JEDDAH — As the Middle East and Africa region moves into the mobile-first cloud-first world at an increasingly fast pace, the demand for technical experts in this sector has become higher than ever before. As more enterprises, consumers and cities embrace the cloud and it becomes part of their everyday life, the demand for cloud architects is obviously growing and cloud services are growing at an unprecedentedly accelerated rate for the region.
More than a third of Saudi organizations have already invested in cloud services and the cloud market in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow 44.5 percent year on year in 2016 to total $63 million as an increasing number of end-user organizations migrate non-core workloads; such as productivity, team collaboration, sales and marketing and human capital management to the Cloud, according to IDC’s FutureScape Predictions.
A recent survey conducted by leading online recruitment website Monster.com revealed that 68% of employers included in the survey in the Middle East and India believe it is extremely difficult, or at least difficult, to hire talent for technology, while only 17% of these companies believe that it is either easy or not difficult to find such skills. The survey found that around 55% of employers said their recruitment department needs five to ten man-hours to hire one technology professional. Further down the line, 72% of respondents said that only two out of ten of their correspondences with job seekers actually convert into hiring. At a local level, the company’s Employment Index for software, computers and communications fields found online recruitment activity grow by 43% between March 2014 and March 2015.
Cloud computing can be defined as processing users’ data on remote servers online, so that users can use a unlimited resources of huge datacenters, connect to them from any location, and pay only for what is used. IT infrastructure is definitely running towards cloud solutions and most enterprises have accepted this vision. Individual consumers are already embracing cloud even if they do not know it, as most personal services are completely controlled by cloud computing and mobile internet. In the near future, it is expected that each person on the planet will have a representation of themselves as a virtual identity stored in the cloud, together with their private and business data. More people across the Middle East and Africa are moving to the cloud to enjoy features that enhance productivity and security. Microsoft Azure, the company’s growing collection of integrated cloud services, is one of the most important cloud services platforms that is welcoming more than 100,000 new subscriptions each month. This platform unleashes Big Data productivity and makes its processing and analytics simpler and more accessible for developers, data scientists and analysts to store data of any size, shape and speed, across platforms and languages. Microsoft’s unique approach to the cloud spans three areas: hyper-scale infrastructure to assist organizations to reach their customers; hybrid differentiation, which allows organizations to combine cloud and on premise servers; and enterprise grade to ensure security and compliance, as well as flexibility and choice. Microsoft’s hybrid approach helps those who are hesitant to be guided into the cloud, rather than pushed. In addition, the latest security measures are automatically updated to the perimeter of the platform without the user having to worry about its impact on the platform’s components.
Cloud security specialists are also in demand. The lack of knowledge in data protection and privacy laws, is often a deterrent for entities considering Cloud. Moreover, it is expected that spending on IT security software in Saudi Arabia will grow 12% year on year in 2016 to total $96 million. Cloud computing will see immense growth when countries across the Middle East and Africa will have strong legislation in place to ensure data protection. Governments can gain by prioritizing this because cloud computing provides the most affordable and scalable way for businesses to be competitive. Strong cryptography will ensure that data can only be accessed with the user’s knowledge and consent.
It is an exciting industry to be in, with many of areas of specialization, and more jobs being created each year, a fact that fuels demand on cloud architects and creates new and unique job opportunities. — SG