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85% of c-suite executives in the UAE pursuing or planning hybrid cloud

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A new IBM study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed that 85 percent of C-Suite executives surveyed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are pursuing or planning to implement hybrid cloud strategies in their organizations.

According to the study, C-Suite executives surveyed in the UAE are prioritizing the implementation of hybrid cloud strategies to help their organizations benefit from flexibility, cost savings, testing and development, as well as disaster recovery. However, while there is a growing shift towards the cloud, further adoption of hybrid cloud strategies are needed to help organizations transform their operations using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The new study polled over 500 C-Suite executives across 12 industry sectors, including highly regulated industries, such as government, telecommunication, and banking, in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and South Africa. The survey was commissioned as a result of the growing importance of hybrid cloud for enterprises in the region and the transformational impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses.

Increasing prioritization of hybrid cloud

The study also found that while only 32 percent of C-Suite executives surveyed from the UAE are currently pursuing hybrid cloud strategies, over 50 percent are in the planning phase.

C-Suite executives polled in the UAE pointed to their organization’s strategic requirements for adopting hybrid cloud over the next 12 months. Specifically, 68 per cent cited flexibility and significant cost savings they expect from implementing a hybrid cloud strategy, while 56 per cent view cloud as useful for conducting testing and development before moving their business-critical workloads to a production environment. Half of UAE C-Suite executives surveyed view hybrid cloud as a solution to any potential disaster recovery requirements their organization may need.

Additionally, C-Suite executives surveyed in the UAE see hybrid cloud as an important step towards application modernization or developing cloud-native applications. 65 per cent of UAE C-Suite executives polled cited the ease of application deployment in adopting hybrid cloud in their organizations, 58 per cent want to leverage the operational benefits, and 55 per cent believe the technology will aid resource allocation improvements.

“It is evident that hybrid cloud strategies are becoming core to digital transformation journeys and increasingly prioritized in the UAE to help revolutionize business models,” said Hossam Seif El-Din, General Manager of IBM in the Middle East and Pakistan. “IBM is working with its customers in the UAE and across the globe to accelerate their hybrid cloud efforts and prepare them for transformational technologies like AI. As organizations in the UAE transform their operations, hybrid cloud will continue to be adopted to provide flexibility and efficiencies and improve the bottom line.”

Hybrid cloud adoption is key for enterprise digital transformation

In the UAE, several companies from various industries have adapted their corporate structure to hybrid cloud.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) selected IBM hybrid cloud solutions based on the Red Hat OpenShift to further modernize its operations, automate processes, provide its customers with improved digital banking experiences and bring new services to market faster. 

With consumer demands on the rise and their preferences changing fast, ADIB today uses IBM Cloud Pak for Integration to build new cloud-native applications and make them available to their customers across its digital platforms in a faster, more personalized and user-friendly manner. Through the solution, ADIB is also able to integrate new micscroservices with its vast ecosystem of partners and fintechs, offering customers a marketplace of financial services. This enables ADIB customers to use the bank’s digital platform as a one-stop-shop for their financial needs, such as financing a house or a car. 

ADIB has also selected IBM Cloud Pak for Automation to drive a new wave of productivity. The new solution enables ADIB to better manage and automate data-intensive processes and reduce manual document processing, enabling employees to focus on higher value work and serving their customers better. Today, ADIB relies on IBM Cloud Pak for Automation to facilitate and automate over 20 processes such as customer onboarding and loan origination.

“Providing an exceptional customer experience is the top priority at ADIB and core to our digital transformation strategy,” said Mamoun T. Alhomssey, Chief Information Officer, ADIB. “As we continuously look to modernize our operations, we needed a hybrid cloud solutions that enable faster and more secure digitization, with little to no compromise on the level of security and that will further equip ADIB to integrate and launch new customer capabilities quick enough to remain competitive. As result, we opted for IBM Cloud Pak for Integration and IBM Cloud Pak for Automation.”

The hybrid cloud model’s growing prominence stems from its agile architecture, which allows businesses to manage multiple clouds designated to meet current and incremental business requirements, data, and workloads in a secured and governed manner. A hybrid cloud landscape may include the combination of one or more on-premise infrastructures, internally managed or outsourced private clouds, public clouds from multiple providers, and even the infrastructure for legacy and most modern IoT and Edge systems—all running simultaneously to fuel the digitization needs of the enterprise.

“The IBM study conducted by IDC highlights the evolution of a hybrid cloud ecosystem in which organizations would choose a deployment option (private cloud, public cloud, or on-premise) depending upon the value of that deployment option. Vendors that offer flexibility to seamlessly operate across multiple clouds will have an edge over others,” said Harish Dunakhe, IDC‘s Research Director for Software and Cloud in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.  “It is clear that there is strong awareness of the benefits that organizations can leverage from hybrid cloud. As the awareness grows, we expect enterprises to encourage adoption across their organizations to fully benefit from hybrid cloud programs.”

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