Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 29 | Page 49

EDITOR’S 29Q&A WHAT ARE THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS YOU EXPECT TO SEE IN THE CLOUD MARKET? Cloud computing has been widely adopted and the global pandemic has put an even brighter spotlight on the importance of cloud as many more people work from home. Worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will more than double over the 2019–2023 forecast period, according to the latest update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide. With a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3%, public cloud spending will grow from US$229 billion in 2019 to nearly US$500 billion in 2023. Charbel Khneisser, Regional Presales Director, MENA at Riverbed, said: “Through 2019, we witnessed a turning of the tide for cloud as the technology rapidly matured from a buzz word to being widely adopted. INTELLIGENT INTELLIGENT TECH CHANNELS TECH CHANNELS Issue The region’s appetite for cloud computing even prompted some of the largest cloud providers globally to establish locally based data centres. “This has had a transformational effect on the pace of innovation and also the ability of even smaller organisations to use technology to gain a competitive edge. This is of particular importance in the Middle East where SMBs are a pillar of the economy – for example in the UAE, SMEs contribute 53% of the total GDP, whereas in Saudi Arabia, this segment accounts for 97% of all businesses. “This year, organisations have had to face unprecedented challenges. Current events are hugely impacting all of us on a global scale and organisations have been under immense pressure to maintain Business Continuity while safeguarding the health and safety of their employees. For many, this has translated to the rapid roll-out of work-from-home policies and cloud has been instrumental in enabling this. Whether it’s CRM apps, Microsoft Office 365, or Softwareas-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, with their ease of deployment and immense scalability, these all offer IT teams a convenient, secure and cost-effective way to meet challenging time-bound objectives.” And he said there is no doubt that once the current challenges have been overcome – the ways in which workforces operate in the long-term will fundamentally change. Even prior to the pandemic, there was a clear indication that remote working models were becoming increasingly preferred by employees. In fact, Gartner predicted that by 2030, the demand for remote work will increase by 30% owing to the Gen Z fully entering the workforce. This will further drive the growth of the cloud market. Khneisser added: “While the outlook for cloud adoption is highly positive, it is vital to recognise that the underlying networks Charbel Khneisser, Regional Presales Director, MENA at Riverbed that facilitate the consumption of cloudbased services are in desperate need of overhaul. The traditional WANs that are based on conventional routers are simply not cloud-ready. With businesses positioning themselves as cloud and mobile first, SD- WAN is rapidly emerging as a must-have technology – evident in IDC’s prediction that the segment will substantially increase to over US$8 billion by 2021. “Interlinked with the growth of the cloud market therefore, we see the market for solutions that optimise cloud performance also growing. In the first quarter of 2020, as businesses implemented SaaS applications to facilitate their remote working strategies, Riverbed saw a 3x increase in web traffic to our Client Accelerator webpage, with interest being expressed by businesses across various industries – including manufacturing, consulting, finance, healthcare, energy/oil and gas and large accounting firms. The Riverbed Client Accelerator is purpose-built to facilitate fast, agile, secure delivery of SaaS applications to any user, anywhere, ensuring even the most far-flung and mobile employees stay productive and organisations maintain Business Continuity.” 49