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Government organisations in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region have yet to gain a nuanced understanding of cloud computing, according to market analyst IDC. These organisations demonstrate a relatively low inclination to adopt the technology until they develop greater confidence in it. The analyst firm says over half of senior government IT decision makers are now familiar with various cloud technology terms.


However, less than 20% have a strong understanding of cloud computing terminology. At present, 60% have no interest in deploying cloud-computing environment within their organisations. This highlights the scale of the mountain cloud vendors must climb in order to achieve widespread adoption within the region.


Insights into the attitudes of these decision makers toward cloud computing reveal the vast majority (85%) believe cloud computing remains an immature/developing technology, in spite of acknowledging it has the ability to offer significant and tangible benefits (74%). While the majority believe cloud computing has clear benefits, there are still widespread concerns regarding cost and bandwidth (72%) and its inherent security risks (68%).

"MEA public sector needs to explore and gather distinctive proficiency in order to define their business requirements and build a cloud services model that is suited to their operations," says Mukesh Chulani, IDC Government Insights' research manager for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "Security concerns constitute the greatest deterrent to cloud adoption at present. As government organisations are the key custodians of citizens' information, use of the cloud could expose them to significant risk. This is a risk factor that is hampering adoption."

While security is the number one government concern with regard to cloud adoption, there is a general lack of understanding of the technology. There is a perception that cloud is unsuited to the government sector. Also, the uncertainty regarding specific cloud providers are further inhibitors to adoption in the region.

Additional concerns related to issues such as cost and bandwidth, IT governance, and the ability to integrate cloud with existing systems. IDC says vendors should address these concerns by educating internal stakeholders with regard to cloud computing. "Government organisations in the Middle East and Africa region are unaware of how to take advantage of the cloud delivery model.


The technology is disruptive, buyers are sceptical and hype abounds," he says. "IT decision makers must help bolster awareness within their organisations by providing educational tools, models and success stories.” An inventory of government organisations' current IT environments would also provide a good indication of whether existing systems contain sensitive or mission-critical data and which workloads are most suitable for migration to the cloud.


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