18 May 20

Study: Middle East pivoting towards homeworking

Sometimes, history throws us a curveball. A few months ago, nobody would have predicted that working from home would be the biggest trend in ‘mobility’. Yet that’s where we are today – and tomorrow. And the Middle East is ready for it, a new study shows. 

The report for Riverbed Research reveals the levels of cloud and network readiness among companies in the Middle East for the work-from-home business model. 

Well advanced
As it turns out, the organisation’s Middle East Network Transformation Survey shows a region well advanced on the path to securing optimal conditions for remote-working. Although some problems persist, and there remains room for improvement. 

  • 75% of respondents agree that cloud-based technology and products are ‘important’ to their organisations’ network strategy. 
  • 29% of organisations in the Middle East have already completed the migration of workloads to the cloud. 
  • A further 31% of organisations in the Middle East are in the process of performing such a migration.
  • An additional 20% said they would execute such a process within the next two years – which will then bring the total of cloud-compatible organisations to 80%.

Cloud-based paradigm
As work migrates an office-based to a cloud-based paradigm, seamless, swift and secure online access from home (or anywhere else) to work data and apps becomes mission-critical. 

  • That’s why 77% of respondents said that optimal connections to Software-as-a-Service applications (like Zoom or Microsoft 365) are ‘very important’. 
  • For their part, 71% of the organisations surveyed said cloud technology is crucial for their digital strategy. 
  • The top two concerns with regard to remote working in the Middle East are: how to get secure access for remote workers, and high connectivity costs across the region. 

Growing concerns
Overall, the survey indicates that corporates in the Middle East are well positioned to pivot towards homeworking. However, with lockdown measures still in effect across much of the region and the economic challenges growing day by day, the concerns about the obstacles to the pivot may yet grow instead of diminish. 

  • That’s why 52% of corporates in the Middle East are currently upgrading their networks. 
  • In 54% of cases, this is because of the need for greater security and compliance. 
  • In 50% of cases, it’s to improve performance.
  • And in 44% of cases, the upgrades are meant to optimise and monitor networks. 
  • Big-picture aims: better operational efficiency (62%) and/or improved business productivity (52%). 

In short: the appetite for working from home is increasing rapidly across the Middle East, and it is to be expected that it will become an integral part of the ‘New Normal’ of doing business across the region. However, to facilitate the new paradigm, the existing networks need to be upgraded to accommodate increased usage.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs