The move to the cloud has become a hot topic in the GCC region in recent years and while many organisations have already started making that transition, others are still hesitant to make the leap.
But it makes “absolute financial sense” for organisations to move to the cloud, especially in the era of digital transformation where companies are trying to constantly upgrade their systems to keep up with the rapid change, according to Mohammed Arif, regional director, Modern Workplace and Security in Microsoft Gulf.
By getting on the cloud organisations can decrease costs, increase profits and build better business relations with their customers.
One of the biggest advantages of the cloud is that it eliminates the cost of buying expensive hardware such as network storage, backup and recovery systems.
“So instead of purchasing in-house equipment to setup the infrastructure, these needs are best left to the cloud service provider. Additionally, it is no longer the headache of businesses to update their equipment as the provider takes responsibility to do these upgrades with no cost to the user,” he stated.
Another advantage of moving to the cloud is the reduced need for unnecessary office space for IT assets which also means less energy needed to power the setup and less rental space required for the IT property.
This helps the business run in an “affordable manner”, he said.
“With the ‘doing more with less trend’, organisations are looking at ways to cut down on costs without compromising on the quality of service provided to their customers. With a fully managed cloud infrastructure, businesses can fully harness the power of the cloud by subscribing to its infrastructure as a service(IaaS). Moreover, it provides instant access to their data from anywhere at any time enabling them to respond and act on client requirements in a timely manner,” he added.
Also, cloud models such as pay-as-you-go allow customers to only pay for what they use, which makes it possible to scale applications according to demand and need.
“This also means that companies can expand resources and applications during times of the year where there is an additional need, and scale it down during the rest of the months without incurring additional or heavy costs. This gives them the flexibility to work in accordance with their requirements,” explained Arif.
“Most importantly, the stored data gets enterprise grade protection including redundant storage with multiple copies at different locations to prevent data loss in case of unexpected systems failure.”
The numbers have started adding up. In 2018 alone, public cloud spending in the MEA region is expected to cross $1.1bn compared to $952m last year, according to IDC.
In March 2018, Microsoft announced plans to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from its first datacentres located in the Middle East. Expected to be operational by next year, the two centres will be located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and will host the company’s Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 services – offering enterprise-grade reliability and performance to GCC firms.
Top four reasons why companies should move to the Microsoft Cloud
1. Economies of scale
With so many customers sharing the same space on the cloud, Microsoft has a vested interest in keeping things running as smoothly as possible with a minimum of downtime. This leads to costs being spread out across each organisation with the benefits passed onto its customers. Capital expenses are also reduced.
2. Superior security
A larger provider such as Microsoft can afford to spend billions of dollars annually on the most advanced cyber security. Not only is security built in at the entry level of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, but the company also encrypts your data at rest and in transit for a full 360-degree solution.
3. Only pay for what you use
The Microsoft Cloud works on a pay-as-you-go model that allows you to utilise what you need, only as much as you need it. This leaves you with unlimited flexibility when scaling your business up or down, depending on its needs throughout the year, and can cut costs related to unused storage or software. Your network can add terabytes of space as needed without heavy procurement projects.
4. Reduced downtime
Cloud storage is off-site in nature which means that in the event of a catastrophic incident to your business, your data is secure and untouched thanks to redundant storage with multiple copies at different locations, ready to be operational again in mere hours, rather than days.