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UAE businesses keen to embrace hybrid cloud: report

UAE businesses keen to embrace hybrid cloud: report

Only 15 per cent of UAE businesses use legacy data centre-only environments

More than a third (35 per cent) of businesses in the UAE are running private cloud infrastructure model, a new report commissioned by Nutanix reveals.

The survey, the Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI), says UAE is tied with Australia and Italy for having the largest penetration of private cloud of all companies ECI polled worldwide. Private cloud is a component of the flexible hybrid cloud model, which 83 per cent of respondents in the UAE agree is the ideal IT operating model going forward.

The UAE appears to have done a reasonable job of paring down their use of legacy data centre-only environments, reporting below-average penetration of 15 per cent while the country is right in line with averages for hybrid cloud adoption (just 10 per cent penetration).

Over the next five years, respondents in the UAE plan to reduce all IT models in use except for hybrid cloud, which they expect to grow significantly. Hybrid cloud/ multi-cloud will account for 45 per cent of new deployments in the same time frame, the report shows.

Security, privacy, and compliance strengths together represent the number one deciding factor when considering new IT deployments. This was agreed by 26 per cent of UAE respondents. Cost advantages ranked a distant second (13 per cent); from there, respondents from the UAE were highly divided in their selections of the top IT deployment decision factor. More respondents from the UAE did report having to abide by executive-level mandates as their top criterion (9 per cent) than average (2 per cent).

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UAE IT pros are migrating to a hybrid cloud environment for better business outcomes, not just to save cost. UAE respondents cited better control of IT resource usage (65 per cent), increased speed to deliver business needs (61 per cent), and better support for remote working (61 per cent) as their top motivators.

More than a third of respondents from the UAE (35 per cent) reported being short on the IT skills necessary to manage hybrid cloud environments, and over a fourth (29 per cent) said they lacked skills in cloud-native and container technology, such as Kubernetes.

Covid-19
The majority of UAE respondents (83 per cent) said that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused IT to be viewed more strategically within their organisations. The pandemic has in many cases forced IT shops to turn to the cloud for readily available infrastructure that can accommodate larger numbers of work-from-home employees. Indeed, while more than a fourth of respondents from the UAE (28 per cent) reported having no regular remote workforce one year ago, that number has plummeted to 4 per cent since the rise of the pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic generally drove new investments in cloud infrastructure and tools. Nearly half (47 per cent) of UAE respondents reported making new investments in hybrid cloud and private cloud, while 33 per cent reported increased investments in public cloud infrastructure services because of the pandemic. Far fewer respondents from the UAE reported making no new infrastructure investments because of the pandemic (1 per cent) than in other regions.

“It is a great sign that companies in the UAE have a healthy adoption of private cloud and multiple public cloud infrastructures. Both these components are a necessary step on the journey to a dominant hybrid cloud environment, as enterprises gain the right mix of management tools and skillsets to handle the job,” said Aaron White, senior sales director, METI at Nutanix.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced IT priorities. It moved many businesses’ IT focus from planned initiatives to remote infrastructure build-outs to support home workers. However, in doing so, it has boosted cloud use, spurring the growth of underlying cloud infrastructure that’s essential to hybrid cloud plans and, more broadly, to corporate digital transformation initiatives.”

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