Since the onset of the pandemic, most organisations have decided to move to the cloud.
Even though vendors make it sound easy, the process of migration involves various factors that need to be kept in mind and accordingly work on a strategy for the same.
These were discussed at W.Media’s Middle East Cloud and Data Center Market Insights 2021 in a panel titled ‘Cloud Computing & Data Centre priorities & Outlook for a new decade’. The panel was moderated by Akshaya Gaur, Senior Partner- Banking Technology & Digital Transformation, The Partnership Consulting.
Impact of COVID-19 on DC and Cloud Adoption
“The last year has been a remarkable journey for every digital or technology leader. The digital push or the digital transformation journey which the organisations were going through was already there. COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation journey.
One of the important aspects of the digital transformation journey is the cloud transformation journey and organisations are taking small steps. Particularly in the Middle East region, they were still in the initial stage of moving their applications to cloud.
As and when the pandemic broke a lot of organisations did not have a choice. The workforce was pushed to work from home, a lot of flights were restricted and mobility was restricted. In such cases it is important to equip the workforce with applications that are cloud-enabled and cloud-ready,” said Piyush Chowhan, CIO, LuLu Group International.
He further added that even in LuLu Group International the migration towards cloud has been accelerated and at a very fast pace has enabled a lot of applications to be cloud-ready.
But, that according to him is not a long-term solution. There are two kinds of reactions that people need to take, during that time the business continuity was important and there were challenges that employees were facing and it was important to make sure that there was a more distributed cloud computing environment so that it would be convenient for people.
A more long-term view would be focusing on modernise all the applications and how we can rescale and re-platform some of the legacy applications to make them cloud-ready.
Putting a non-cloud native application on cloud is a failed strategy. It is important to make sure that the application is cloud-native and cloud-enabled, only then it would be possible to get the benefit of cloud.
“If we talk about cloud computing, it is an on-demand availability of computer systems which have different service models like public, private and hybrid cloud.
Ever since the cloud adaptation has started, hybrid cloud is the most prominent structure that has been adopted by companies and different service models are there like infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, mobility-as-a-service, and security-as-a-service.
One can see that a wide landscape of cloud computing has emerged and that is the reason why cloud computing is considered as a critical and core component of businesses and IT,” said Sheeba Hasnain, Senior IT & Digital Transformation Specialist, Government Entity.
She further pointed out that earlier the cloud was there and cloud computing was available but as soon as the pandemic began, the demand and adoption have accelerated in the market.
There are various reasons for this. Firstly, people started working from home and as soon as following the issue pertaining to the internet access had emerged worldwide and it was required to cope up with the increase in demand.
Everything became dependent upon the internet and the availability of resources because of which cloud adoption has become an important factor for every organisation.
Not only large but even SMBs are adapting to the cloud because traditional data centres are a capex based model which is a highly capital intensive model and there are various things that need to be taken care of. But, if one takes the on-demand infrastructure, service or platform then one just needs to work.
Based on the demand the capacity can be increased or decreased and at the same time, scalability and flexibility are also an issue for any expanding demand at the country level.
Cloud is dealing with various areas and along with that, it is also providing disaster recovery and security.
Regulators around the world are increasingly mandating companies to follow compliances when it comes to data.
“When we are based in the UAE and doing business with any party in Europe, GDPR becomes important. GDPR does apply to a company based out of UAE if you are doing a transaction with them and if your customer is based out of that particular region.
Similarly, if you are looking at UAE as a country it is always very stringent and they have been doing this for the last few years to ensure that data protection and data privacy is taken care of,” said Chowhan.
He further added that the UAE protection laws also clearly talk about having the right framework, regulatory, and compliance on the organisation’s side if dealing with the data of the customers and it is important to follow those regulations otherwise the organisations could be at a risk.
Piyush Chowhan further added that it is important for organisations to be aware of the existing law.
For an organisation that is operating from multiple countries, it is important to study all of it and build an application that builds a common denominator so that it meets the basic criteria of all the regulations.