A lot of CIOs in the Middle East may be talking about cloud, but when it comes to deployment it remains low on the list of priorities. This according to Uwe Neumeier, VP, Global Server Sales, Fujitsu.
The rise of cloud technologies has created somewhat of an enigma in the Middle East. It has become the most talked about IT deployment in the region, but yet adoption rates remain low.
Neumeier referred to Gartner’s 2012 CIO Agenda Survey, which gathered responses from 2,335 CIOs representing more than $321 billion in CIO budgets and covering 37 industries in 45 countries, during the fourth quarter of 2011.
Whilst cloud computing could fall into the general category of ‘delivering business solutions’, which was number one on the priorities list, actually ‘implementing cloud solutions’ was ranked down at number nine.
“I have a very personal opinion about cloud. Number one, private cloud we could just call a data centre. With hybrid cloud we have a data centre infrastructure where we use certain outside services that you get quicker, cheaper, reliably and maybe even with less data issues for whatever reason. Then you have public cloud. When you have a company with 1,000 employees and you have a greenfield IT, then it’s great to have company data mostly based on cloud because when you are greenfield you can do that,” Neumeier said.
“Outside of that scenario it’s difficult because whenever you look into any kind of customer operations you have to see what kind of appliances and applications they are driving, what is sensitive, what regulations are applicable, security issues and how to store the data. So I think in most of the scenarios a public cloud scenario will only work for a limited amount of what you are doing in your data centre. There are probably only 30 or 40 customers worldwide that can truly go through such a paradigm and have everything public cloud,” he added.
Indeed, Neumeier goes against the grain of many people in the industry who predict that IT will reach a point in the future when all enterprise data is in the cloud.
“I think we are all a lot more cloud-based today than we all think. When you use the Internet in any kind of respect, you’re in the cloud. In that respect we’re very close already. There is no doubt everybody will use the cloud, but the question is to what extent and what is more efficient and effective. I don’t think there will come a day when all enterprise data will be stored in the cloud because there will always be data that you don’t want to hand over to the cloud,” he said.
Despite the low cloud deployment rates in the Middle East, Neumeier said he is very optimistic about the region and pointed to the fact that he has visited it far more regularly this year as testament to that and its position on Fujitsu’s list of priority areas.
“I have found that Middle East customers listen and ask questions, which is good. I think the approach in the Middle East is very healthy. It’s more down to earth than other regions,” he said.
“People look for opportunities outside their established vendor space to really get a new bearing on what makes sense from their point of view. They are open minded, curious, critical and questioning – it’s fun talking to the customers out here to be perfectly honest.”