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Telecom providers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have long faced barriers which prevent the widespread adoption of cloud computing technologies. However, as these obstacles gradually diminish and cloud solutions become more accessible, the moment is opportune for these firms to initiate a transformative voyage, capitalizing on the substantial financial advantages offered by cloud technology.

Impressive Returns Following Cloud Migration

A recent study by Strategy&— a leading strategy consulting firm— boldly asserted that now is the crucial moment for MENA telecom companies to transition to the cloud. Despite challenges, the benefits of embracing cloud technologies far outweigh initial hurdles. Thus, immediate investment is imperative, according to the findings presented by the study.

Projections indicate a remarkable surge in the overall value of the cloud technologies market in MENA, which is set to nearly triple by 2027, reaching USD 9.8 billion. This growth trajectory is expected to surpass the global average, with telecom operators anticipated to claim a significant share, comprising 8% to 10% of the total market value.

By embracing cloud technologies, telecom companies stand to leverage emerging technologies such as 5G, edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced services like software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). As per the report, every dollar invested annually in the cloud is projected to yield an impressive return of USD 5.4, with the majority of this value stemming from reductions in capital and operating expenditures.

This underscores the immense potential for financial gain inherent in cloud adoption for MENA telecom operators. Despite the global growth in cloud computing, the adoption rate among MENA telecom operators remains relatively low, with only 57% having transitioned approximately a quarter of their IT workload to the cloud. This figure lags behind other regions, such as Europe, where a majority of telecom companies have migrated over a quarter of their IT workload to cloud-based platforms.

Cloud Adoption Barriers to Entry

The experts behind the report shed light on the historical barriers hindering cloud adoption among telecom operators in the Middle East. These barriers encompass a range of factors, including technological limitations, regulatory constraints, security concerns, and organizational inertia.

Thus, experts emphasized the need for a comprehensive, multi-domain cloud transformation strategy. This strategy involves integrating cloud technologies seamlessly across different business units, fostering collaboration among diverse teams, and implementing robust data governance and security measures to protect sensitive information. Additionally, it includes providing workforce training to bridge skill gaps, managing cultural shifts through effective change management, and designing scalable and flexible cloud architectures. Cost optimization strategies are also essential to ensure efficient resource allocation and usage monitoring.

Such an approach, they argue, holds the key to unlocking increased core business revenue, tapping into new revenue streams, and achieving substantial savings on the total cost of ownership.

As pressures placed on growth and profitability persist, these experts advocate for a steadfast commitment to the cloud among Middle East telecom operators, heralding a new era of prosperity and innovation in the region's telecommunications landscape.

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