A total of 72 percent of businesses in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) are openly embracing digital transformation, a survey has found.

A global research survey, named Evolution, was backed by flash data platform vendor Pure Storage and found that the majority of MENA firms are committed to being information-based companies.

The data also found the key factors driving adoption of digital solutions in the region are new business models (52 percent), need for faster innovation (47 percent), customer demand (47 percent), competition (43 percent), new customer acquisition (43 percent), and cost savings initiatives (42 percent).

It’s clear that businesses in the region are facing digital transformation head-on, as 77 percent see more demand in the business for real-time analytics and interactive simulations than a year ago and digital solutions are typically driving almost half of revenue (47 percent on average) for MENA organizations today.

But despite this growth, technical complexity (53 percent) and reliance on IT to deliver strategy (41 percent) have prevented businesses in the MENA region from truly becoming digital.

Public, private and hybrid cloud, SaaS, and traditional on-premises all have momentum, but businesses still lack confidence in where to place specific workloads:

  • On average, businesses in the MEA region are running 48 percent of applications with traditional on-premise IT – higher than both public cloud (23 percent) or private cloud (24 percent).
  • Security (57 percent), availability (52 percent) and performance (47 percent) are cited as key drivers for continued use of traditional on-premise and as such, 39 percent of businesses expect their on-premise usage to grow over the next 18-24 months
  • Although, security continues to be cited as the main concern with public cloud (38 percent), 69 percent of businesses say they will increase their public cloud usage in the next 18-24 months. In parallel, private cloud (57 percent) and SaaS (56 percent) usage are also expected to grow in the same timeframe
  • Interestingly, 76 percent of businesses in the MENA region think that cloud and on-premise should complement one another rather than compete.

“Evolution 2017 shows that businesses in the Middle East & Africa are making significant steps towards digital transformation, but the report also reveals some key barriers to progress,” said Pure Storage Vice President James Petter.

“Cloud confusion seems evident in workload fragmentation and cloud repatriation. As data volumes continue to grow and unlock greater opportunities, managing and harnessing data with a future-proofed approach is essential for organizations in the region.”


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