When it comes to thinking about the most cost-efficient and reliable infrastructure for your business, the benefits of cloud computing are well documented. Those benefits are why, in the United States and Europe, global companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft, with its Azure cloud, are seeing enormous growth. The cloud just makes more and more sense for thousands of organisations, big and small, as time goes on.
But in the Middle East, while those benefits still apply, many organisations are hesitant about moving their entire infrastructures over to the cloud. Sure, we have a healthy ecosystem of new, digital businesses willing to work with the likes of AWS, but more traditional enterprises, of which there are many in this region, simply can’t square handing over all of their data to a third-party provider in a different geography.
That’s understandable for a number of reasons, but that doesn’t mean that local organisations should forget about the cloud altogether. Instead, the answer could be to simply opt for a local cloud provider. Doing so would negate most of the arguments against moving to the cloud in the first place.
One of those arguments, of course, revolves around data sovereignty. Anyone with a half-serious infrastructure will know that, in the UAE, there are laws around where certain types of data can be hosted. If you’re working in the finance, health or government sector, it’s likely that your data will be legally required to stay in-country. That means that moving to a global cloud provider, which currently has no local data centre in which to host UAE customers’ data, is a complete non-starter. And it’s the same story with any of the other big cloud providers.
That’s where a local cloud provider comes in. Over the years, several local IT services companies have opened up UAE-based data centres capable of creating cloud infrastructures for UAE-based customers concerned about data sovereignty. Injazat Data Systems was one of the first to market with these services, having opened its Tier 4 data centre a number of years ago, and it has provided customers with all the benefits of cloud computing – scalability, efficiency, security, and so on – without the drawback of having data hosted out-of-country.
But data sovereignty isn’t the only reason why you might want to opt for a local cloud provider. The other big reason is support. When you’re dealing with a large, international cloud provider, more often than not, you won’t have any on-the-ground support. If you have a problem with your infrastructure, you’ll likely have to pick up the phone and call the Netherlands, or Ireland, or wherever your data is being hosted. Sure, the SLAs in the contract may be pretty iron-clad, but in practice, that isn’t much help when you simply want something fixed as quickly as possible.
With a local provider, things are different. In the event of an emergency, or even if you simply need light maintenance or have a non-urgent query, you’ll still benefit from the fact that the local provider is working in your time zone, and according to your working week.
There’s no doubt that the IT industry is moving in the direction of cloud computing – the performance-versus-cost benefits are simply too great to ignore for most companies. But if your organisation can’t justify moving to an international cloud provider, you can take solace in the fact that there are plenty of strong local options, too.