STME, the Middle East’s leading IT solutions provider and systems integrator (SI), suggests technological and commercial drivers along with existing and increasing security concerns are at the heart of the managed cloud services sector’s growth across the Middle East (ME). According to Reporterlink, the managed cloud services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27 per cent to reach $8.5 billion by 2022 in the ME.
The managed cloud services market in the ME has grown rapidly in the recent years as more businesses are willing to utilise cloud computing systems and services to increase their competitiveness. Investments by regional governments, as well as businesses, in the technology sector across the region, and the increasing mobile nature of work are other reasons for the surge in the managed cloud services sector.
However, there are specific drivers for the adoption of managed cloud services in the ME. Some technological drivers, because of the fast rate of technological developments, internal staff could face difficulties in coping with emerging technologies and their certification processes. Further, any learning and certification processes will undoubtedly take time, as a result companies opt for managed cloud services because they will not need to ride out any learning curves, or invest in training their employees, and can utilise an already existing pool of highly skilled and experienced professionals as and when required.
Choosing managed cloud services also has added commercial advantages such as the reduction of cost of specialised in-house staff, and IT infrastructure. Employing managed cloud services will also held companies move from a CAPEX to an OPEX model. In addition to both technological and commercial drivers, there are also security concerns that have motivated the adoption of managed cloud services.
Because cybersecurity and security threats keep on evolving by the minute, utilising managed services ensures that the company has the most up-to-date skills to protect their systems whilst combating these threats.
Further, there is also the cost advantage in using managed services to protect a company’s systems and data, which if done in-house would be a very costly investment that could be obsolete very quickly.
In this business context, there are numerous opportunities for managed cloud service providers. However, there are challenges that need to be met or overcome to ensure that clients receive the best systems, products, and services. “Our challenges include maintaining highly skilled professionals while serving high-demand customer environments. This requires the right balance akin to having open-heart surgery while running a marathon,” commented Ayman al Bayaa (pictured), CEO, STME.
“We also have to counter customer resistance to using third-party resources which usually revolves around the loss of control. At STME we tackle this by ensuring that SLAs and other contractual agreements are well designed to protect the customer interests and deliver the best of all worlds to them,” he further explained.
When it comes to third-party resources, the vendors and partners have a role to play too such as in the development of small, targeted or specific solutions which will reach a wider client base. It is essential that vendors and partners especially, focus on understanding customer needs, build capabilities to integrated sophisticated and diverse technologies through developing highly-skilled resources while developing the competency to design and tackle flexible SLAs.
Through a combined effort of vendors and partners, and by responding to government policy and investment in technology alongside changing business requirements, the managed cloud services is set for strong and continued growth in the Middle East.