By Kamal Zian, CSO of Huawei Gulf North
Cloud computing has been one of the major trends shaping technology over the past decade. Governments and enterprises have overcome initial concerns over regulation and cost to embrace outsourcing their computing requirements and storage needs. This move to the cloud is enabling digital transformation and the adoption of digitally enabled business models across all sectors.
The pivot away from owning and operating traditional servers and IT infrastructure towards private virtualized cloud and public cloud from hyperscale providers is an essential part of the digital economy evolution.
Underpinning this major shift in business operations is the abundance of data. Research shows that 50% of the data will be hosted in the cloud by 2025, bringing more flexibility to businesses to process, store and manage this huge amount of data more efficiently, securely and in a scalable manner, leaving organizations to focus on innovation in their core business.
In line with those developments, the government of Kuwait represented by CITRA adopted a "Cloud First" policy, where public bodies must first consider and assess hybrid cloud solutions before seeking other alternatives when integrating technology with public services. The choice of cloud is well defined by a data classification policy allowing public and private organizations to choose the right cloud model based on data sensitivity level. History shows us that when a government takes such a bold step towards adopting cloud services, it inspires local businesses and entrepreneurs to follow suit. We should give credit to CITRA for laying the regulatory foundation for such trends to flourish.
Governments are uniquely positioned to signal and generate considerable trust in a system and help overcome initial jitters, for example, where there is confusion around cloud benefits or concerns about placing sensitive data into the cloud. Such mistrust can ultimately leave countries expanding legacy IT-storage systems, losing out on cloud benefits and risking widening the global digital divide. Therefore, a government's adoption of cloud services can act as a catalyst that advances digital transformation not only in the public sector, but across local industry sectors, helping them maximize digital dividends. This is what CITRA has been able to achieve.
Cloud technology provide several benefits, including simplifying expansion due to its scalability attributes, improving development efforts by offloading the ICT burden, agility to adapt to customer needs and increasing profits. However, data security remains a significant challenge in network-enabled applications. Therefore, leveraging the security of a private cloud and the capabilities and diversity of services offered by public cloud is key. Accordingly, cloud providers should ease their customers' security concerns by offering different cloud deployment strategies to their customers.
Huawei's everything-as-a-service model that incorporates infrastructure as a service, technology as a service and expertise as a service can accelerate digital transformation, speed up the development of new apps and business processes, and enable organizations to innovate faster. We believe business leaders should adopt cloud native 2.0 architectures to boost innovation and digitalization. As one of the earliest adopters of container technology, Huawei has accumulated rich practical experience and provides fully-vetted, full-stack container services for enterprise users to migrate applications to the cloud and succeed in the cloud native 2.0 era
Huawei has also invested heavily in cybersecurity. Of the $132.5 billion the company has spent in R&D over the last decade, 5% has been invested in cybersecurity. Huawei uses full-stack security products and ecosystem products to help customers build a security assurance system to ensure the security and reliability of customers' services on the cloud.
In the Middle East, HUAWEI CLOUD offers more than 220 cloud services and 210 solutions to customers. We also recently announced an investment of $15 million to accelerate the development of local enterprises and cloud ecosystems. This money will cultivate more than 1000 consulting partners, 500 technical partners, 3000 certified experts, and several hundred SMEs.
At the end of the day, organizations large and small require a strong cloud infrastructure and a proper cloud strategy to truly grow – the strategy must be one that can deliver excellent performance, and secure cloud operation, while ensuring access to a rich business ecosystem. Furthermore, the strategy also needs to support business innovation and growth without concerns about the compatibility with existing infrastructure.
Companies should understand that businesses are on their own personal cloud journeys and no journey is identical. They need to select the right cloud service provider that can effectively bridge the operational needs of their business without sacrificing security.