More than 150 of Dubai’s most influential IT end users gathered at the emirate’s iconic Atlantis, The Palm for the latest installment of the ‘Cloud Computing and Datacenter Roadshow’, hosted annually by International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecom, and consumer technology markets.

 With public cloud IT services set to grow at five times the rate of the IT industry as a whole over the coming 36 months, the invitation-only event served up a raft of cutting-edge insights aimed at helping UAE-based organizations accelerate their shift to the cloud services model of IT consumption.

“Organizations in the Middle East and Africa are drifting in two different directions when it comes to cloud,” says Sony John, research manager for IT services at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “Progressive organizations are quickly identifying and moving suitable workloads to cloud, taking advantage of the cost efficiencies presented by this IT delivery model. However, the vast majority of organizations are adopting a wait-and-see approach, running the risk of falling out of touch with the latest technology or of being unable to free up resources for value-adding tasks.”

This backdrop set the tone for the Cloud Computing and Datacenter Roadshow 2013 in Dubai, with the assembled industry experts drawing on a mix of keynote addresses, high-impact presentations, plenary sessions, in-depth panel discussions, real-life case studies, and interactive Q&A sessions as they sought to provide guidance to the gathered delegates on planning, designing, implementing, integrating, and, ultimately, managing an efficient, flexible, and truly effective cloud environment.

Mr. John got the day’s proceedings underway by uncovering the major concerns of those organizations that are currently resisting the cloud concept and outlining the motivations and perceived benefits that are encouraging their more progressive counterparts to push ahead with adoption. He was followed by Sadi Awienat, EMC’s CTO and global services lead for the Gulf region, who began by outlining the inherent capabilities that differentiate the public, private, and hybrid cloud models. He went on to detail the various stacks of services that can be offered through the cloud, analyzing the different business models that can be employed for utilizing them. He ended by presenting a breakdown of the necessary architecture that facilitates the next-generation datacenter.

Karl Roe, head of strategic alliances at Injazat Data Systems, then took to the stage to explore how business continuity management can be implemented from a corporate governance perspective, using the cloud as an alternative to traditional disaster recovery technologies and processes. He also addressed the issue of business continuity planning and explained how organizations that are looking to implement IT business continuity can manage their risk exposure by introducing effective risk-mitigation procedures.

The next session saw Adam Wolf, technical director at BIOS Middle East, assess the latest cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions available on the market, while Noman Qadir, regional director at Citrix, presented the gathered delegates with a revolutionary new approach to addressing the requirements of enterprise mobility.

Mahesh Atre, sales director for the Middle East at Vision Solutions, followed by arguing that the perennial concerns of reliable and consistent delivery to users, privacy, security, and vulnerability in disaster recovery systems are as prevalent among end users today as they have ever been. Keeping this context firmly in mind, he then examined the transition that the modern datacenter will undergo as we move into the future, and analyzed the new concept of disaster recovery in the cloud.

The event also featured insights from Joe Fagan, Seagate’s senior director for cloud initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, before Sony John returned to the stage to bring the day’s proceedings to a close by chairing a panel of regional industry experts as they assessed the relevance of the cloud concept to the unique characteristics of the UAE business environment.

In order to ensure that the very latest technology developments were covered at the Cloud Computing and Datacenter Roadshow 2013 in Dubai, IDC partnered with some of the world’s foremost software and technology vendors. EMC and Condo Protego were Platinum Partners, while Injazat Data Systems joined as the event’s Gold Partner. BIOS Middle East, Quantum, Citrix, Vision Solutions, and Seagate participated as Silver Partners.

IDC’s Cloud Computing and Datacenter Roadshow 2013 began in Lagos on April 24 and is set to visit a total of 18 of the region’s foremost business hubs during its tour of the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. The schedule for the remaining events is as follows:

June 10 – Cairo.
June 18 – Ankara.
June 14 – Algiers.
Sept 4 – Dakar.
Sept 10 – Tunis.
Sept 17 – Casablanca.


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