Breaking through the cloud adoption barriers in Qatar

PwC Middle East today launched its report on cloud services exploring the five key challenges to cloud adoption and how to overcome them. With the uptake of cloud services having been expedited by the pandemic, the report looks at the barriers to entry within Qatar’s private sector and how organisations can overcome these challenges.

During the pandemic cloud spending rose rapidly on a global scale, with a 37% increase in the first quarter of 2020. Industry analysts Gartner have forecast that spending will grow a further 18.4% in 2021, reaching USD 304.9 billion by the end of the year.

Cloud adoption brings a host of benefits, including reduced costs, improved service quality and increased flexibility, which can drive a transformative new business model and enhance an organisation’s competitiveness. Despite a global drive for the adoption of cloud services, Qatar’s private sector in particular has struggled to embrace the cloud with adoption rates that fall behind the global trend. Only 3% of Qatar’s private sector has implemented cloud solutions, despite 76% of businesses being aware of its benefits. In order to increase cloud adoption, the following challenges must be addressed:

1) Data sovereignty regulations

Lack of understanding over data sovereignty regulations can be a barrier to access. Through cooperation between the public and private sector such concerns can be mitigated. Within Qatar there are clear government regulations in place that cover the transmission of data outside of Qatar and with global technology leaders establishing data centres in Qatar, this should become less of a concern in the years to come.

2) Security

According to Gartner, 66% of IT professionals consider security to be a major challenge to cloud adoption, however a move to the cloud has been shown to increase security. For example, Microsoft invests $1 billion every year in cybersecurity for their Azure cloud platform – a platform that successfully fends off 7 trillion cyberthreats a day.

3) Vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in remains a serious concern for many companies. However, implementing a multi-cloud solution mitigates this risk by allowing organisations the freedom to move service providers when prices change. In order to succeed with such a model, however, organisations must develop a cloud architecture that is both portable and interoperable.

4) Skills gaps

One of the most pressing challenges to cloud adoption is a skills gap. Upskilling and reskilling existing employees is critical and developing a cloud center of excellence within a company is a proven method for advancing to a cloud-based model.

5) Existing data centre investments

Existing data centre investments can be a double-edged sword for cloud adoption, as some entities may be reluctant to move to a cloud based model due to the investment. However, while initial capital expenditure is required to move to a cloud solution, over the long-term, many entities will ultimately experience a reduction in operational expenditure.

Firas Sleiman, Partner, Technology at PwC in Qatar comments: “On a global scale, cloud solutions are advancing the adoption of digital technologies, and enabling new revenue streams, quick time-to-market and many differentiated benefits around data, analytics, artificial intelligence, resilience, security and automation.”

He added: “ Organisations in Qatar have the opportunity to quickly embrace the benefits offered by cloud-based solutions. It is important to recognise the role Qatar  plays in the rapidly evolving technology landscape. With both Microsoft and Google investing in the cloud space in the country,and with Qatar’s positioning as a regional hub for research, innovation, education, healthcare and technology, we expect to see accelerating uptake of cloud-based solutions by both public and private sector entities within the next few years.”

For the full report, click here.