C-level executives and business leaders in Oman overwhelmingly agree on cloud computing’s positive and transformative impact, according to new findings released today.
Commissioned by security and cloud experts F5 Networks, and conducted by research agency Think Positive, the study revealed that although the GCC is relatively early in its multi-cloud embrace compared to mature markets, such as the USA and parts of EMEA, there is widespread and enthusiastic receptivity for the technology’s potential.
“Cloud computing has significant potential to radically alter how businesses and organisations run in the GCC,” said Diego Arrabal, VP – Middle East, Turkey & Africa, F5 Networks.
“This new study shows that, while the region still has plenty of room to ramp up cloud deployment projects, the overall recognition of the technology’s possibilities is at an all-time high. Decision-makers in the region see the cloud as a business priority. Firms that continually innovate and build a sustainable cloud strategy will increasingly stand out from their competitors, meet intensifying compliance targets, and be better able to substantively contribute to major government-backed transformation projects.”
100 percent of all Omani executives believe the cloud can have a positive impact on market share and help to displace competitors. 94 percent also stated that it can improve brand perception, and 91 percent praised its capacity to improve innovation and positively impact on the overall customer experience.
Meanwhile, 97 percent believe cloud will be integral to Oman’s ongoing Vision 2020. The importance of local regulations as a constructive cloud conduit was also emphasised, with 63 percent stating they had a favourable influence.
Cloud computing’s most commonly cited benefits in Oman include cost savings (60 percent), business efficiency (57 percent), customer service (40 percent), time to market (37 percent) and operational flexibility (37 percent). According to all surveyed businesses across the GCC and Egypt, as many as 35 percent estimate that cloud migration unlocks business growth of between 25-50 percent. 25 percent predict it drives 51-75 percent growth, and 18 percent went as far as 76-99 percent.
The most critical apps currently used in the cloud were related to operations (57 percent), services (47 percent), marketing (43 percent), business (40 percent) and HR (28 percent).
By 2025, 39 percent of GCC businesses said 25-50 percent of apps would be in the cloud; 23 percent said the total would be between 51-75 percent; and 20 percent as much as 76-99 percent.
The top cloud-related concern for Omani businesses is data security, with 86 percent of executives citing it this as the number one issue. Other major concerns include consistency of policies (40 percent) and data integrity (29 percent)
Another issue to contend with is a shortage of staff with key cloud computing skills. 89 percent believe this will be a challenge moving ahead.
Think Positive’s findings align with F5’s recent State of Application Delivery (SOAD) report, which reported that applying consistent security policies for applications is the “most challenging or frustrating” aspect of managing multi-cloud environments (42 percent of F5’s surveyed EMEA customers).
“Oman is ideally placed to reap the benefits of the cloud in all its incarnations. Governments have ambitious, world-class plans in place to change the way people live and work, and there is a huge base of tech-savvy youngsters about to enter the workforce. As the findings show, there is also a strong appetite among key decision-makers to use the cloud as a conduit to move fast and innovate,” said Tabrez Surve, MEA Security Head, F5 Networks.