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Cloud computing in Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Eltijani O. Elrayah
AUG 04, 2013 12:26 PM
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Cloud computing technologies in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have become what will be used in the near future for companies and organizations, especially in providing integrated services for each company separately according to client's desires and requirements.

Currently cloud computing enjoys outstanding rank on the priorities stair of IT managers.

In the near past some had reservations about cloud computing due to security and privacy factors. However, such factors were overcome shortly and governments themselves have come to use cloud computing.

It is important for IT companies to understand that they need to transform their infrastructure and operations to lower costs, while increasing  industry qualifications, and expanding capacity. Questions about flexibility need to be answered. At a fixed communication network level, traditional networks in MENA may support now applications of cloud computing such as HD videos and video conference applications through the Internet. With the current growth of data transfer worldwide via data centers, some transitional network centers fail to meet such requirements.

An IDC report last year on content of the digital world in the Internet predicts that digital world content will reach 40 Zeta-byte in 2050; this growth equals fifty folds to that of 2010. On the other hand Cisco published a report expecting that transfer of data worldwide via data centers will quadruple to reach about 6.6 Zeta-byte annually by the year 2016, according to their annual international indicators of cloud computing for the period of 2011 to 2016.

In spite of companies' desire to apply the latest technologies in virtualization and cloud computing, current IT networks infrastructure in MENA hinders them from achieving such a goal as the infrastructure is not qualified enough to deal even with current burdens and demands. One third of multinational companies suffer from repeated network failure every week, according to survey conducted recently by Brocade, a company specialized in network solution, which included more than 1750 decision makers in IT. 91% percent of the participants in the survey proved that their networks in their current situation are not qualified for virtualization and cloud computing, though more than one third of the participants mentioned that they upgraded their IT network in the last three years.

Meanwhile some multinational companies have started to make strategies to offer those services (Cloud based services) in MENA, in spite of revolutions the region is witnessing. Hany Morkos, regional director of cloud computing sector at Microsoft MENA, said to Elmal newspapers that his company executed a number of projects of cloud computing over last period in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt , Morocco, Turkey, South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria. He added that Microsoft has recently inaugurated e-commerce gate in Jordan, and also his company has mechanized Saudi postal services, which reduced its cost by 50%.

CEOs in UAE shed light on the strategic significance of cloud computing, especially mobile technologies and instant business solutions.

Cisco expects that MENA will witness highest growth rate of using cloud computing with annual rate of 79%; Latin America comes next with rate of 66%, then Middle and Eastern Europe with 55%.

About the Author:  

Eltijani O. Elrayah is an senior electronics and communication engineer with wide experience in the of fields of ICT and light current systems, He is Project Manager with profound work record with reputable engineering consultancy utilities, & contractor firms in projects management, member of Microsoft Research panel, volunteer at IEEE Sudan, IEEE Egypt and IEEE CS CC STC.

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