Cloud is Accelerating Beyond the Traditional Centralised Infrastructure Model

Rached Dabboussi, the Head of Commercial Sector for MENA at Amazon Web Services (AWS), says, over the past few years, we were witnessing continued growth in eCommerce as more and more people were organically buying online

What trends do you foresee for Cloud Computing in 2022?
2022 will see the launch of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Region in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), giving customers more choice and flexibility to leverage advanced technologies from the world’s leading cloud. The new AWS Middle East (UAE) Region will consist of three Availability Zones and become AWS’s second region in the Middle East in addition to the existing AWS Region in Bahrain.

The new data centers region in the UAE brings advanced and secure technology infrastructure that matches the scale of our other AWS Regions around the world and will enable local customers with data residency requirements to store their data in the UAE while also providing even lower latency across the country.

Organizations using this region will be able to access advanced technologies from the broadest and deepest suite of cloud services to drive innovation including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile services, and more.

We’re very excited by the opportunities that the new cloud infrastructure will bring to customers in the UAE and across the Middle East. One of the areas that we’re seeing the excitement and actual application development is machine learning (ML). In the long term, we expect machine learning to be everywhere, every application, every online system, from the production lines in manufacturing, to the healthcare systems, to transportation networks.

In 2022, we’ll see further accelerated adoption of ML across industries and government. The question is no longer whether a company should have a machine learning strategy, but rather, how fast can a company get its machine learning strategy in motion. One of the important things to consider is identifying the right business problems that you want to be solved with ML.

What sort of benefits does cloud computing bring to eCommerce stores and e-tailers?
Over the past few years, we were witnessing continued growth in eCommerce as more and more people were organically buying online. This got dramatically accelerated when the pandemic hit, crippling retail stores around the world and sending online sales through the roof. For some retailers, this dramatic shift stressed systems beyond capacity.

The result of this sudden uptick in online shopping is that unprepared retailers missed opportunities for growth and many customers experienced less than ideal degraded interactions. This is why cloud computing is the perfect fit for digital commerce. Cloud technology also allows retailers to deliver consistent experiences across channels. Customers are increasingly moving between digital channels—eCommerce sites, mobile apps, and social commerce sites.

Is edge computing helping shape up the cloud computing industry as a whole?
Organizations are increasingly incorporating more edge technology into their operations to build high-performance applications that can process and store data close to where it’s generated, enabling ultra-low latency, intelligent, and real-time responsiveness.

We’ve already seen the cloud go practically everywhere. The shift we’ll witness in 2022 is the cloud becoming highly specialized at the edges of the network. To fully realise the benefits of the cloud in workshops and warehouses, in restaurants and retail stores, or out in remote locations, there must be tailored solutions at the edge.

Purpose-built devices bring cloud capabilities to the edges of the network to do a specific job. They bring all of the high security, advanced features, and speed of delivery of the cloud, but they can be placed almost anywhere in the world. Yet, rather than isolated boxes sitting someplace, these devices become true extensions of the cloud with a link back to all of its core capabilities.

What we will see in 2022, and even more so in the years to come, is the cloud accelerating beyond the traditional centralized infrastructure model and into unexpected environments where specialized technology is needed.

Do you believe serverless functions have a big part to play in creating new user experiences?
Serverless adoption is growing -and fast. In fact, a serverless strategy supports some of the world’s biggest and most successful companies including Disney, iRobot, McDonald’s, Lego, and Coca-Cola. With serverless technologies, infrastructure management tasks like capacity provisioning and patching are handled by AWS, so customers can focus on only writing code that serves their organization.

The needs of modern businesses are changing and a serverless strategy fits these new needs. Today, customers tell us they want to become more agile so they can innovate and respond to change faster. They need to build applications rapidly, with the ability to scale quickly to potentially millions of users, have global availability, manage petabytes if not exabytes of data, and respond in milliseconds. And they want to do all of this while lowering total costs.

A serverless strategy is purpose-built for this kind of applications because it enables customers to react to nearly any volume of data at nearly any scale easily while aligning their costs tightly to usage. Customers tend to find value from a serverless strategy in four main areas:

  1. Move from idea to market, faster: By eliminating operational overhead, teams can release quickly, get feedback, and iterate to get to market faster.
  2. Lower total costs: With a pay-for-value billing model, you never pay for over-provisioning and resource utilization is optimized on your behalf.
  3. Adapt at scale: With technologies that automatically scale from zero to peak demands, you can adapt to customer needs faster than ever
  4. Build better applications, easier: Serverless applications have built-in service integrations, so you can focus on building your application instead of configuring it.

Will combining AI with cloud services enable organizations to get the most out of both applications in a cost-effective way?
At Amazon, we know that innovative technologies always take off whenever barriers to entry fall for market participants. That is the case right now with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). In the past, anyone who wanted to use this technology had to start from scratch: develop algorithms and feed them with enormous amounts of data – even if an application was only needed for a strictly confined context.

AI technologies were also so expensive that they made them prohibitive to use. Today, AI and ML technologies are available on the AWS cloud, at the click of a mouse, and they can be called up according to individual requirements. Even users who are not specialists can very easily and affordably incorporate the building blocks into their own services.

Organizations of all sizes, including small and medium-sized companies, are benefiting as they do not have to learn any complex AI or ML algorithms or technologies and they can start experimenting straight away without incurring high costs. It’s really the golden age of this technology, and we are excited to support customers in its adoption so they are able to innovate for their customers.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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