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Mena cloud services sector investments to hit USD4.7bn

DOHA: Given the cost efficiency and other benefits of Cloud Computing Services, the innovative technology for data storage is becoming increasing popular in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, including Qatar.

  Source http://goo.gl/zWBH6W

The total investment in the cutting-edge technology is expected to reach $4.7bn (QR17.11bn) by 2018, according to Gartner, Inc, an American information technology research and advisory firm. As cloud computing takes the region by storm, businesses are advised to address privacy concerns with great diligence, according to industry experts.

"This cost-efficient method of granting remote access to information has led to an international cloud revolution, and Qatar is no exception when it comes to tapping into the unlimited potential of cloud technology," said a press statement. 

"In a business environment, cloud computing helps increase staff collaboration, secure data, and reduce costs associated with on-premise assets," said Savitha Bhaskar, General Manager of Condo Protego, a Dubai-based data storage and protection firm. 

"From a consumer perspective, the ability to access information anytime/anywhere is a growing demand that businesses cannot afford to ignore and a determining factor of customer satisfaction. 

"However cloud services must be complemented by stringent security policies. This is still a fairly new technology, and so the regulations for it are still in their infancy compared to traditional forms of information storage, making it more vulnerable to exploitation," said Bhaskar. 

The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects spending on cloud delivery in the UAE to expand at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.7 percent over the five-year forecast period ending in 2016. 

From a regional standpoint, the Middle East and Africa region is expected to have the highest cloud workload growth rate from 2012 to 2017 with a CAGR of 45 percent, according to the Cisco Global Index.

Meanwhile, the public cloud services market in the Mena region is on pace to grow 21.3 percent in 2014 to total $620m, up from an estimated $511m last year, according to Gartner, Inc. 

The information technology research firm also predicts that from 2014 through 2018, $4.7bn will be spent on cloud services in the region, of which $1.3bn will be spent on business process as a service. With this rapidly evolving technology also comes a number of challenges, mainly related to security, regulation, and compliance, and the widespread adoption of cloud services has been slightly constrained by repeated cyber-attacks and continuous fears of security breaches. However, businesses are taking proactive measures to combat these challenges in order to reap from the many benefits of the virtual cloud.

"With the appropriate tools, cloud computing can help streamline every aspect of a business or service," said Andrew Calthorpe, CEO, Condo Protego. "Businesses can use this virtual technology to drive customer satisfaction, improve logistics and cost-efficiencies; and governments can use it to enhance their public services.
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