Posts tagged ‘IT industry’

Cloud MENA 2015 Survey Results #CloudMENA

Hello Cloud community,

I am now finalising the speaker panel for our 5th Edition of the Cloud MENA Forum, taking place 13th & 14th April 2015 in Dubai. In addition to the discussions I had with leading IT experts from Enterprises, Operators, Solution Providers and Industry Bodies to understand better the Cloud-related challenges in the region, we recently run a relevant on-line survey. You can find below some of the responses we received along with comments.

We asked the audience to rate the benefits of Cloud Computing and the 3 predominant ones were: 1) Cost efficiency, 2) Data security and 3) Agility.

Following this, we asked you ‘What challenges are you facing when it comes to Cloud adoption?’. Key themes that came up were:

  • Privacy related concerns: guaranteeing data security, trusting the Cloud, understanding the regional legislation.
  • Internal related concerns: willingness to change, getting internal buy-in, and training staff.
  • Customer related concerns: communicating the technicalities, benefits and risks of collecting, storing and analysing customer data.
  • Vendor related concerns: choosing the Cloud model that responds to your needs, location of data centre, accessibility and SLA agreements, long term availability of service.
  • Technical concerns: moving large amounts of data to the Cloud, managing Big Data & Analytics, understanding SaaS Vs Cloud, convergence & virtualisation.

It is quite interesting to notice the paradox that the mentioned benefits, also constitute some of the largest barriers to Cloud adoption in the MENA region.

In addition, the lack of clear regional or national regulation on the matter adds to the confusion and makes Cloud adoption even more challenging. 35.71% of the respondent said they are ‘confused, not too sure what regulation permits’ and a 10.71% said they are not aware at all of what the regulation permits.

It is hard to miss the image the above information paints – how the IT industry in the MENA region seems caught up in a vicious circle that keeps Cloud penetration levels low. Even though the benefits of Cloud (agility, cost reduction, data security, collaboration and productivity benefits and more) are widely accepted, the privacy concerns, unclear regulatory landscape, level of initial investment required and technical challenges are making getting internal buy-in for Cloud highly challenging for IT leaders. It is apparent that there is lack of information or education (on all levels and topics) in the region.

We have developed Cloud MENA in a way that it is a high level educational platform for the region. We hope that it will break down several myths and help bring the IT industry forward in the Middle East and North Africa.Being free for operators and enterprises and featuring dedicated streams for both, with 50+ speakers, 850+ facilitated VIP introductions (in 2014) and 10+ hours of interactive and networking sessions & breaks, Cloud MENA needs to be in your calendar!

For more speaking, exhibiting, attending or anything else have a look at our website: or get in touch at

P.S. The above is just a short outline of some of the responses we got from the survey – we will elaborate further in future posts.

Best wishes,

Melina Diamantopoulou
Senior Conference Researcher

Exclusive Interview with Agenor Leão, CIO, Natura #cloudlatam

The Cloud World Forum Latin America 2014 is fast approaching. In the run up to the event, we caught up with Agenor Leão, CIO at Natura, to get his views on the cloud computing market:

Exclusive Interview with Agenor Leão, CIO, Natura about the cloud computing market:

AGENOR LEAO1. How do you think the IT industry has changed over the last 5 years? What is the greatest challenge that the IT Director faces these days? How has Cloud Computing affected this change?

In recent years the technology industry has changed enormously since the advent of the internet and the exponential growth in mobility. Smartphones and tablets today provide the creation of large-scale connections between people and organizations, who exchange information at all times. Technological developments made it economically viable to process in real time this large amount of information, supported by cloud computing. This, in turn, expanded processing capacity and use of technology by businesses of any size and sector of activity, a reality that was restricted to owners of large data-centers. The great technological innovations of recent years came in the hands of small businesses – the famous startups – made possible by the factors set out above, making the traditional leaders of the IT industry attentive observers and sometimes, buyers of these small businesses.

Within this context, IT leaders within organizations face great challenges, focused on two main aspects:
– The first is that technology areas leave the traditional role of supporter, in which the main responsibilities were limited to the automation of processes and information generation, to a new role as a “booster” and “new business generator” for organizations;

–  The second is that the existing capacities in the market today will facilitate the use of technology by the organization, not restricting the scope to the solutions brought solely by the company’s technology area, which assumes the position of a trusted advisor and coordinates the use of technology through new paradigms, such as “software as a service”, instead of trying to control its use.

Balancing these two aspects and sustaining the business through traditional operations demand, in fact, a negotiation skill and an ability to be ahead of the market, becoming a “proposer” of solutions, instead of the traditional role of “demander” of business areas.

Obviously, the spread of cloud computing, linked to other factors exposed previously, contributes greatly to this scenario, since the flexibility, speed and scalability obtained with the use of the cloud create an environment of innovation which, in turn, makes possible the technological innovation in players previously unviable, whether in the IT industry, whether in their own companies users of technology.

It is up to the companies and, particularly, the areas of technology, to appropriate the facilities that are available to re-invent themselves, building value for your business through good opportunities created by technological innovation.

Read the full interview here.

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A Cloud on the Horizon and a Fork in the Road – Pt.1 #clouldwf @ServiceSourceEU

A Practical Guide to Transition your Business into the Cloud – Pt.1

616[2]Martin Moran, Executive VP Global Selling Services, ServiceSource

Throughout history, we’ve seen many examples of companies – or whole industries – confronted with the stark new realities associated with emerging technologies and shifting market trends. Faced with strong resistance and insurmountable challenges, these companies needed to make some very painful decisions to reinvent themselves and remain relevant.

Several years ago, both Apple and Kodak were confronting daunting challenges in rapidly changing marketplace. Kodak, the preeminent camera company, was quickly facing obsolesce with the advent of digital cameras. In the same way, Apple faced obsolescence from the personal computer industry dominated by the Wintel (Microsoft +Intel) monopoly.

Standing at the crossroads, Apple and Kodak asked themselves: Where is the market going? Is my existing business model still relevant? Will my employees and sales force adapt to a new culture? Are my internal systems and technologies aligned? And most importantly, will my customers follow?

Apple embraced innovation and made bold moves, rethinking its core business model, culture and internal processes. Kodak, on the other hand, only took half-measures – even though they held critical patents for digital cameras. We know how this story played out within the marketplace resulting in one spectacular success, and the other in bankruptcy.

Today, we’re witnessing a similar transformation within the technology industry. The rapid ascent of cloud computing has fundamentally turned the IT industry on its head. In particular, the legacy software and hardware vendors, which have dominated the past two decades with premise-based business models, are facing pressure by faster, more nimble best-in-class software as a service (SaaS) companies.

As companies increasingly replace application, server and networking infrastructure with cloud services, existing IT vendors are facing a dwindling IT spending pie. Similarly, the cloud-based delivery of software is democratizing the technology spend, allowing employees and managers to whip out their credit cards and procure services from the emerging class of SaaS providers, without going through IT.

In 2012, cloud subscription revenues experienced a whopping 22.7 percent average growth rate.[1] Compare these double-digit growth rates with flat growth for companies whose primary revenue streams today are in on-premise technology and maintenance and support revenues.[2] As companies become more reliant on cloud-based resources and less dependent on traditional IT, vendors are now facing a their own fork in the road. Although the impact on established vendors is slight today, by 2016, the pain will be visibly evident[3].

With an eye to the future, traditional software and hardware vendors are acquiring nimbler SaaS startups, creating new SaaS solutions, and rapidly moving their legacy technology offerings into the cloud. But, are these changes enough to transform today’s technology companies into the successful SaaS companies of tomorrow?

In the next installment we explore how new business models demand new mindsets.

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