Building a foundation for digital transformation in the Middle East

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Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO at Gulf Bridge International (GBI), explains how removing the complexity from networking supports the long-term success of digital transformation in the Middle East and beyond

Networking is the foundation of any digital transformation project. How organisations connect and optimise their applications will define the long-term success of their digital journeys.

As these applications continue to evolve, the need for reliable, redundant and high-performance networking will be consistent. It is paramount that organisations of all kinds make decisions on their networking infrastructure that support future development. 

Worldwide spending on digital transformation will reach $2.3 trillion in 2023 and will account for more than half of the total ICT spend, according to IDC. At the same time, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will see the fastest IP traffic growth of any region with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41% between 2017 and 2022, according to a forecast from Cisco.

In the Middle East and around the world, the challenge will be to keep up with the pace of change and have a networking strategy that supports new applications, technologies, and growth. Organisations of all kinds need to remove the complexity from how they connect to their applications, consolidate the number of vendors they work with, and choose connectivity providers that can offer unique routes and true redundancy. Otherwise, they are deploying new solutions on a risky networking infrastructure that is both difficult and costly to manage.

I believe that as IT environments continue to get more complex, networking needs to be simpler.

Transforming the Middle East

In the Middle East, connecting and optimising applications can seem even more daunting with each country having a national carrier and local complexities. By choosing a provider with a unique network footprint, carriers and enterprises can quickly and efficiently access all of the hubs of the Middle East via a single provider with one superior customer experience.

A network that mixes both terrestrial and subsea cable infrastructure enables local and global organisations to consolidate the number of vendors they work with and streamline their access to the region. This can simplify their operations and provide more opportunities in terms of connectivity.

At the same time, they can build redundancy into their network infrastructure by choosing a provider with unique routes. Unique routes reduce risk and support consistent network performance. For example, in the Middle East there are unique routes via Iran and Iraq as well as connectivity via the Red Sea corridor, enabling carriers and enterprises to benefit from a redundant and unique network footprint.  

This enables carriers and enterprises to benefit from shorter round-trip delay times (RTDs) and strict service-level agreements (SLAs). Global rollouts of cloud-based applications, such as software as service (SaaS) platforms, benefit from ultra-low latency networking across global hubs, which optimises performance and enhances user experience.

Prioritising customer experience

However, it’s not enough to just choose a provider based on their networking infrastructure. Networking expertise and a commitment to customer experience are vital elements for any successful approach to digital transformation in the Middle East.

Improved network analytics and zero-touch provisioning can accelerate how customers roll out new services and optimise their network performance. It’s important to choose a provider that continually invests in its network infrastructure and shapes its service offering to match the needs of a transforming market.

A simple and powerful approach to networking is crucial to support digital transformation on a global scale. Carriers and enterprises should search for providers that offer unique and seamless access to global hubs, providing a solid foundation to support their digital journeys.

Most importantly, they need to keep networking simple. In a market where the only constant is change, organisations need a trusted foundation that they can build on and utilise to deliver an optimised end user experience. This enables the long-term adoption of digital solutions in their organisations, built on a successful transformation strategy for growth in the Middle East and across the globe.

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