IBM Study: 85 percent of C-Suite executives in Saudi Arabia pursuing or planning hybrid…


Saudi C-Suite executives see hybrid cloud as a solution for flexibility, cost savings, conducting testing and development, as well as disaster recovery

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Mar. 28, 2021 — A new IBM (NYSE: IBM) study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed that 85 percent of C-Suite executives surveyed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are pursuing or planning to implement hybrid cloud strategies in their organizations.

According to the study, C-Suite executives surveyed in KSA are prioritizing the implementation of hybrid cloud strategies to help their organizations benefit from flexibility, cost savings, testing and development, as well as disaster recovery. However, while there is a growing shift towards the cloud, further adoption of hybrid cloud strategies are needed to help organizations transform their operations using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The new study polled over 500 C-Suite executives across 12 industry sectors, including highly regulated industries, such as government, telecommunication and banking, in KSA, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and South Africa. The survey was commissioned as a result of the growing importance of hybrid cloud for enterprises in the region and the transformational impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses.

Increasing prioritization of hybrid cloud

The study also found that while only 32 per cent of C-Suite executives surveyed from KSA are currently pursuing hybrid cloud strategies, over 50 per cent are in the planning phase.

C-Suite executives polled in KSA pointed to their organization’s strategic requirements for adopting hybrid cloud over the next 12 months. Specifically, 58 per cent cited flexibility and significant cost savings they expect from implementing a hybrid cloud strategy, while 55 per cent view cloud as useful for conducting testing and development before moving their business-critical workloads to a production environment. Nearly half of C-Suite executives surveyed in KSA view hybrid cloud as a solution to any potential disaster recovery requirements their organization may need.

Additionally, C-Suite executives surveyed in KSA see hybrid cloud as an important step towards application modernization or developing cloud-native applications. 67 per cent of  C-Suite executives in KSA polled cited the ease of application deployment in adopting hybrid cloud in their organizations, 52 per cent want to leverage the operational benefits, and 56 per cent believe the technology will aid resource allocation improvements.

“The adoption of hybrid cloud in Saudi Arabia is accelerating and seen as an integral component towards digital transformation for organizations,” Fahad Alanazi, General Manager, IBM Saudi Arabia. “At IBM, we strongly believe that relying on one cloud alone locks companies in, and more importantly, it locks organizations into only one technology company’s innovation. To unlock the true value of cloud, businesses need freedom and flexibility to securely deploy, run and manage any app or workload, anywhere. That’s where hybrid cloud architecture is the answer.”

Hybrid cloud adoption is key for enterprise digital transformation

In Saudi Arabia, several companies from various industries have adapted their corporate structure to hybrid cloud. To support this move, Go Smart Solutions, a software development company in Saudi Arabia selected IBM Cloud to help its customers accelerate their digital transformation and expedite their hybrid cloud strategies.

Founded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Go Smart Solutions serves customers locally as well as in the UAE, Lebanon and the United Kingdom. By hosting its production environment on IBM Cloud, Go Smart Solutions is now able to provide its customers with digital solutions as a service with a cloud-based subscription model, enabling businesses to opt for the services they require, as needed. The IBM Cloud offers sophisticated encryption capabilities such as “keep your own key” and confidential computing –so that not even IBM can access clients’ data.

“Based on our experience with IBM, the decision to opt for IBM Cloud was an easy one to make,” said Mazen Ajeeb, Managing Partner, Go Smart Solutions. “As a business, we needed to transform our operations and enhance the experience we deliver to our own customers. IBM Cloud is enabling us to do that and more, while still prioritizing security.” 

The hybrid cloud model’s growing prominence stems from its agile architecture, which allows businesses to manage multiple clouds designated to meet current and incremental business requirements, data, and workloads in a secured and governed manner. A hybrid cloud landscape may include the combination of one or more on-premise infrastructures, internally managed or outsourced private clouds, public clouds from multiple providers, and even the infrastructure for legacy and most modern IoT and Edge systems—all running simultaneously to fuel the digitization needs of the enterprise.

“The IBM study conducted by IDC highlights the evolution of a hybrid cloud ecosystem in which organizations would choose a deployment option (private cloud, public cloud, or on-premise) depending upon the value of that deployment option. Vendors that offer flexibility to seamlessly operate across multiple clouds will have an edge over others,” said Harish Dunakhe, IDC’s Research Director for Software and Cloud in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.  “It is clear that there is strong awareness of the benefits that organizations can leverage from hybrid cloud. As the awareness grows, we expect enterprises to encourage adoption across their organizations to fully benefit from hybrid cloud programs.”

The study polled over 500 C-Suite Executives across 12 industries in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and South Africa. It was conducted in cooperation with International Data Cooperation (IDC).