Published: Aug 21, 2014
Source: Saudi Gazette

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GCC Cloud market to post seven-fold growth by 2020

As cloud computing moves from hype to the business mainstream, facilitating regional adoption of cloud technologies and virtual storage solutions will come to the fore at this year’s Cloud Confex - a specialist, integrated cloud exhibition and conference platform held at Gitex Technology Week, the largest ICT event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA).

With IT research firm Frost & Sullivan predicting the global cloud market will reach more than $125 billion by the end of the year, the GCC’s cloud computing market is set to grow from $91.7 million last year to $118.5 million by the end of 2014 – year-on-year growth of 29 percent.

Smart cities are cities built on ‘Smart’ and ‘Intelligent’ solutions and technology that will lead to the adoption of at least 5 of the 8 following smart parameters smart energy, smart building, smart mobility, smart healthcare, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart governance and smart education, smart citizen. As per Frost & Sullivan estimates, Smart cities are anticipated to create huge business opportunities globally with a market value of $1.5 trillion by 2020.

The global cloud market is expected to reach $125 billion by the end of 2014 and its growth is expected to accelerate over the next two years. The competition in the ever-growing cloud market is increasing and we witnessed various developments in the market such as intra-industry consolidation between Microsoft and SAP or other strategies being implemented.

Since early 2010, cloud computing was the main buzz word in the ICT market in the Middle East.

Cloud security issue still remains the key growth restrain in the region. However, intra industry convergence, cooperation between local IT companies or telcos and international cloud experts such as Etisalat and Pacific Control, cloud roadshows, focusing on educating business leaders about the benefits that cloud brings, and excess focus on delivering secure service helped cloud to penetrate the market. 

As regional companies large and small move to transfer physical storage, backup, network, security and management systems to the virtual cloud, Frost & Sullivan predict the Gulf’s cloud computing market will post seven-fold growth and expand at a CAGR of 32.8 percent to reach $668.5 million by 2020.

The region’s unique business potential will see more than 7,000 key buyers attend the Cloud Confex on 13 October, 2014 - the second day of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK, which runs at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on Oct. 12-16, 2014. The Cloud Confex will be held under the theme: ‘Re-think Transformation. Re-think Agility’.

“Via a wide range of panels, demonstrations and networking events with industry-leading experts, the fifth Cloud Confex will focus on ‘how’ enterprises can truly capitalize on the cloud’s transformational potential and present industry-leading CIOs with best-practise cloud innovation and integration strategies,” added Trixee LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC, the organizer of Gitex Technology Week.

“A diverse range of sessions will explore all aspects of cloud computing agility – from technical areas including network, delivery, storage solutions and support services, to how Middle East telecommunications can generate cloud-driven revenue by developing and leveraging assets such as regional data centers and MPLS networks.”

In the UAE, sensitive industry sectors such as the public sector, oil and gas, banking, finance and insurance are all set to drive demand for cloud computing security solutions, according to Frost & Sullivan. Revenue from cloud computing security services in the UAE is set to grow from $8.7 million in 2012 to $72.3 million by 2019.

"To gain a competitive edge in an increasingly connected world, more enterprises are harnessing the cloud to extend their business capabilities across an ecosystem of internal teams, suppliers, channel partners, distributors and customers,” said Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, Founder and CEO of WSO2, a Diamond Sponsor of Cloud Confex. “As one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-enabled, service-oriented architecture solutions, we are proud to sponsor Cloud Confex and educate companies of all sizes about the benefits and best practices around implementing private, public, and hybrid clouds to gain a strategic advantage and drive ROI.”

Juniper Networks Middle East, the industry leader in delivering innovation across routing, switching, and security, will serve as Platinum Sponsor of the Cloud Confex.

Cloud Confex will also host the second GITEX Cloud Awards – a celebration of excellence in cloud computing recognizing the advancement and contribution of cloud computing to the business and technology communities. Awards will be given out to end users in five categories including ‘Best Data Centre Infrastructure Project’, ‘Best Cloud Security Implementation’, ‘Best Virtualization Solution Implementation’, ‘Best Big Data Solution Project’ and ‘Best Government Implementation of Cloud Solution’. With companies allowed to nominate themselves for accolades, the nomination period is open until the end of August at www.gitex.com 

Running under the theme ‘Re-Imagining our Future’, Gitex Technology Week 2014 is set to attract more than 142,000 ICT professionals, 25,000 C-level executives and over 3,700 exhibitors from 61 countries. The show will be held on Oct.12-16 at DWTC 

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