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Oracle expert on how SMEs can build a robust cloud management strategy

Oracle expert on how SMEs can build a robust cloud management strategy

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Ahmed Adly, Senior Director – Technology Solutions and Cloud Engineering, Middle East and Africa, Oracle, tells us how SMEs in the Middle East region can create a robust cloud management strategy.

Small and medium enterprises have been leading the way during the last decade when it comes to cloud adoption in the region. Driven by many factors like moderate IT complexity, agility of decision-making processes and extreme consciousness about cost optimisation, the uptake is no doubt phenomenal. The outbreak of COVID-19 accelerated this adoption as companies started to realise they need more and more flexibility in their options to maneuver around the unprecedented situation.

In our discussions with many regional CIOs, there is a common consensus for the need to create a well-structured cloud management strategy to achieve the maximum benefits of the digital journey.

First, involve the business; some CIOs mistakenly think it is an IT decision while successful journeys have always demonstrated that agreement and buy-in from business LoBs have helped IT teams to make more successful decisions about the move. The most valuable tip here is around how to work with the business to use cloud as a competitive advantage, to differentiate the company’s operations and services from tough competition in the market.

Second, push higher in cloud service stack; this means that the more workloads that can be pushed to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the better it is. If this is not possible, then the focus should be more towards leveraging Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) should be the last resort as it is the lowest in ROI.

Third, build an accelerated adoption plan. Big bang approaches usually fail because deciding on moving everything all at once usually back fires. However, implementing an accelerated timeline to move one workload after the other while refactoring or rebuilding some applications as cloud native is what makes the journey more productive and keeps up the momentum.

Fourth, invest in your teams. The human factor is the biggest barrier to cloud adoption, but when your team sees that you are investing in educating them about the latest cloud technology and utilising their upgraded skills to do more and perform better, they usually come onboard the cloud transformation and help sail the ship rather than trying to stop it.

A mid-range insurance company in the UAE recently moved its claim management platform to Oracle Cloud. The IT director of the company highlighted that the decision was motivated from the fact that he is now ready to process one claim per day or 1,000 claims per day without worrying about the predictability of his business.

Finally, it is also a golden opportunity to use cloud adoption as an engine to foster innovation and create new business models which helps generate new revenue streams or exponential growth in business.

During the launch of the Oracle Cloud Region in the UAE, the CIO of a leading automotive dealer explained how Oracle Cloud allowed him to build an Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled platform to create a new experience for automobile service centres without the need to invest in huge upfront CAPEX – all because of cloud dynamics.

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