Riverbed has announced the results of its ‘Middle East Network Transformation Survey’, which assessed the state of cloud and network technology advancement for enterprises in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Report, which was commissioned by Riverbed and conducted by IDC earlier this year, provides excellent insights into just how prepared enterprises have been to roll out their remote work strategies.
With government measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus still in effect in both countries, organizations have had to prioritize the IT investments that enable their employees to work from home. Cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings such as Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Zoom are all seeing a significant spike in adoption rates, given their ability to be rapidly deployed at scale. It is no surprise then that three quarters (75%) of respondents agree that cloud is ‘important’ to their organization’s network strategy. Riverbed’s survey reveals that 29% of organizations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already completed migration of workloads to the cloud. This process is currently ongoing for a further 31% while an additional 20% of organizations will execute such migrations within the next two years.
The transition of employees to remote working arrangements has also meant that organizations must now ensure seamless and secure access to applications and data across the Internet and home networks. With business-critical services now being delivered to employees working from home via the cloud, it is no surprise that 77% of respondents stated that it is ‘very important’ for them to optimize connections to SaaS applications such as Microsoft 365 to ensure consistently good performance at all times.
Highlighting that 71% of organizations believe cloud is crucial for their digital transformation, Mena Migally, Senior Director, MENA, at Riverbed said, “Current events are hugely impacting all of us on a global scale and organizations are under immense pressure to maintain business continuity while safeguarding the health and safety of their employees. For many, this has translated to the rapid roll-out of work-from-home policies whereby cloud has been instrumental. However, slow SaaS applications can reduce workforce productivity and significantly impact organizations’ ability to execute in highly demanding times.”
When queried on the key connectivity challenges they face, respondents identified secure access for remote and branch workers and high costs as their top two concerns. With large segments of the workforce now requiring access to corporate data and applications from personal devices and home networks, and the challenging economic environment, the impact of issues is likely to be aggravated.
Organizations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are therefore investing in upgrading their networks and currently over half (52%) are undergoing network transformation. Riverbed’s commission survey reveals the top three factors driving these transformation initiatives to be the need for greater security and compliance (54%), improved application performance (50%) and improved network monitoring and optimization (44%). In conducting these network upgrades, these businesses hope to improve operational efficiency (62%) and business productivity (52%).
“Given that our technology has the ability to greatly aid the success of these initiatives, we are keen to play our part in supporting regional customers,” said Migally. “Riverbed empowers IT teams with purpose-built solutions that facilitate fast, agile, secure delivery of SaaS applications to any user, anywhere, ensuring even the most remote and mobile employees stay productive as well as monitoring their organization’s network performance.”
Manish Ranjan, Program Manager for Software and Cloud, IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa, adds, “IDC is seeing increasing appetite for cloud adoption these days and Work From Home is expected to be a new normal across various organizations in the Middle East region. As organizations increasingly deploy and use mobility and productivity solutions on cloud (including IaaS/SaaS, multi-cloud, and hybrid cloud solutions), greater bandwidth with lower latencies will be needed to access these applications. Business leaders need to focus on optimizing their network infrastructure, make it agile to improve application performance and network security. Organizations that optimize their network performance and provide stable network infrastructure to its users will be able to improve operational efficiency and enhance business productivity.”