Gulf Business Machines (GBM) today revealed top insights from its cloud services report, where it explored how organizations are leveraging cloud services to become digitally resilient and subsequently business resilient. With disruption being the key word in today’s global and regional economy, we are witnessing the daily rise of new business models, and trends driven by multiple forces. From external events such as the recent pandemic, to the emergence of new digitally based economies such as NFTs, Blockchain, and 5G enabling agile entrepreneurial industry disruptors, the report examines how regional CIOs and business leaders are using the cloud to provide organizations the needed digital capabilities and enabling them to become digitally resilient to address disruption in the new normal.
The survey was conducted among CIOs of over a hundred organizations across banking, insurance and financial services, government, oil & gas, energy, and retail sectors in UAE, Oman, and Kuwait. The study highlighted how organizations are investing in digital technologies to be prepared to capitalize and grow in the event of a mass disruption. This has led to an increase in organizations achieving digital resiliency, which IDC defines as an organization’s ability to rapidly adapt to business disruptions by leveraging digital capabilities to not only restore business operations but also capitalize on the changed conditions.
Cloud services are providing organizations with scalable, fast to deploy, integrated digital platforms for business continuity, while also enabling them to launch products faster and drive insights-led decisions from their data. However, only 10% of the surveyed organizations have massively matured and are using cloud services for broad implementation of business applications, and another 24% of the organizations have already started using cloud services for implementing business applications. This trend was supported by the survey, where organizations cited that all their technology investment projects will include cloud services in the next 12 months. Moreover, nearly 50% of the surveyed organizations favor a hybrid cloud approach as it offered more reliability, operational agility, and scalability as they look to grow their operations.
According to the survey, more than half of the surveyed organizations are utilizing cloud services to offer their businesses with agile and scalable infrastructure which is improving their ability to expand and optimize operations based on market requirement. 44% of the surveyed organizations are also making investments in cloud services to ensure better data integration and data access across all cloud environments. An equal amount of organizations want to invest in cloud services to improve data insights and data-driven decision making, allowing them to accelerate their market initiatives, including launching new products and services for their customers based on their evolving needs. However, 58% of the surveyed CIOs want to manage the usage, performance, and delivery of cloud services to ensure cost effective cloud services utilization, and this is the leading cloud initiative which organizations embarked on in 2021.
Cherif Morcos, Vice President of Digital Business Solutions at GBM, said, “Over the last two years, business disruptions have significantly impacted organizations and challenged their existing operating models. This has brought the importance of digital resiliency to the forefront as CIOs look to build digitally driven businesses which enable operational agility, scalability, and reliability.
“Implementing a cloud architecture and cloud services within an organization has consistently proven to support operational continuity and overall growth. And hence, it is extremely encouraging to see that 56% of regional organizations followed a ‘cloud first’ strategy in 2021. We are also seeing the rise of hybrid cloud as the preferred cloud led platform as it ensures the business meets regulatory, compliance, and security requirements while also enables increased digital resiliency.”
In markets where GBM operates, we are working with organizations from different verticals and industries are rapidly adopting Cloud technologies as a key underlying enabler to raise their competitive advantage through speed to market, and faster execution of their growth strategies such as geo-expansion and scaling their offerings.”
Looking ahead, 87% of the organizations believe that they will be able to drive innovation better with the use of cloud services over the next 12-18 months to address their immediate and future business requirements. 75% of the surveyed organizations are looking to use cloud services to their competitive advantage, by launching new solutions in the market faster and scaling up the services requirements when needed. Organizations are also using cloud services to accelerate business process transformation at a faster pace, as cited by 34% of the surveyed organizations which further supports the drive for digital resiliency.
GBM has crystallized years of customer experience to create the Journey to Cloud (J2C) framework, which takes into account customers’ individual business models and capabilities/services to align the transformation and cloud adoption strategies, helping organizations in their digital transformation. GBM has created an essential guidance to support organizations develop an effective hybrid cloud approach to becoming digitally resilient.