Why Data is at the center of your cloud journey: Saudi reveals adoption

March 6, 2019 11:27 am

According to a survey conducted by MIT Technology Review and commissioned by Pure Storage, an overwhelming 87% of leaders in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region, say that data is the foundation for making decisions, delivering results for customers and growing the business.

James Petter, VP International, Pure Storage explains below how data is central.

Yet transaction data, data from IoT devices and sensors, and video and audio data from a multitude of sources are generating massive data sets. Global IP traffic is now measured in zettabytes, and the deluge is rising fast. As a consequence, organizations are struggling to extract value from their data as evidenced by the fact that 75% of enterprises in the MEA region reported that they face challenges in digesting, analyzing and interpreting all the data.

Data, Not Apps Should Dictate Cloud Strategy

Modern businesses need real-time access to any and all data. This means making the most of business data in the reality of a multi-cloud environment—enabling applications to move freely between on-premises, private, or public cloud. The right strategy is on-prem and cloud, not either or.

According to IDG, 90% of companies will have a portion of their applications or infrastructure in the cloud this year. Among the many lessons learned in that migration over the last several years is the need to drive efficiency and cost savings while meeting strategic business needs.

The bottom line: Executives should be making strategic decisions about the appropriate environment based on the type of data and the applications making use of that data. Mission critical, steady-state apps that run all the time without a lot variance, are better-suited to an on-prem instance. It’s simply less expensive than running such apps persistently in the cloud.

But workloads that typically must spin up or down with some frequency—and which require lots of compute—are better-suited for the public cloud, where they can take advantage of cloud economics and cost only for the time they’re actually being used.

A Data-Centric Approach to Tiering

Most enterprises run a mix of workloads. The concept of tiering has evolved with the advent of fast, flash-based storage. The idea that you have mission-critical Tier 1 applications on high-performance storage, Tier 2 applications on mid-performance storage and Tier 3 applications on cold storage, based on economics is out of date. Flash has democratized the data center and enterprises realize there is value in all of their data.  In other words, “cold data” is no longer part of our lexicon.

Modern data centricity means that application mobility―the ability to seamlessly move applications born in the cloud to an on-premises environment, or vice versa, based on needs the data dictate—is what is mission critical.

Data mobility across public and private cloud requires a common tier of shared data. An Oracle database, for example, might run on Tier 1 storage but the data in the database might be leveraged in many places within the enterprise depending on the use case.

The agility of the cloud allows you to not need this massive compute on-premises, as you can spin up the compute you need quickly for the period of time you need it. Need a report faster, spin up more compute. Having a common data layer makes data mobile and applications agile.

Data Centricity As a Bridge in the Multi-Cloud World

Today, a cloud divide persists. On one hand, we have the on-prem and hosted environment and on the other, the public cloud with different management and consumption experiences, different application architectures, and different storage.

But what if you could bridge the two with seamless orchestration, bi-directional mobility, and common shared data services? Hybrid cloud requires a data-centric architecture, which is built at its core to share data in real time and easily facilitates moving data and applications.

Similarly, native cloud app deployments can be enhanced by getting data services that increase efficiency through data reduction, snapshot, and replication facilities. Indeed, your data should even define your disaster recovery (DR) strategy. In a multi-cloud world, data centricity enables you to leverage the cloud as a second data center. In an on-prem environment, spinning up the cloud-hosted backup environment makes recovery much less painful.

Saudi organizations: From on-prem to the cloud

Moving to the cloud are aimed at cost savings, with nearly two-thirds (62%) of Saudi IT decision-makers in the Kingdom saving costs on the cloud, according to new research from YouGov.

Many Saudi organizations – especially small- and medium-sized enterprises – use traditional on-premise technology infrastructure, which presents business challenges. Organizations are locked into specific vendors, face rising costs in technology infrastructure, and do not have real-time customer insights.

By taking a cloud approach to digital transformation, Saudi organizations, from government and public sector to oil and gas, can primarily optimize costs on hardware and software.

Among the 306 survey respondents, 30% said the cloud saved at least 25% in costs, and about one in eight respondents (13%) said the cloud saved at least 50% in costs.

“Double-digit cost savings can help Saudi organizations to gain C-suite buy-in for cloud-based digital transformation, especially for SMEs operating on tighter budgets,” Ahmed Al-Faifi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SAP Middle East North.  “Organizations running on the cloud can operate in real-time, easily scale up as they expand, and free up IT staff to focus on business innovation .”

The survey added that among Saudi IT decision-makers, two-thirds (66%) plan for their organizations to be partially or fully on the cloud in 2019, and 59% plan to increase cloud spend in 2019.

SAP, market leader in enterprise application software, is enabling Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation with its live Digital Hub and cloud data centre in the Kingdom, and its  4-year SAR 285 million  Saudi Arabia investment plan.

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AMEinfo Staff
By AMEinfo Staff
AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.