Businesses in Pakistan are rapidly adopting cloud technology as they see it as a way to accelerate business activities and inflate profits while consuming minimal resources.
To have a clearer picture of the technological revolution, The Express Tribune reached out to Oracle Senior Director and Head Cloud Platform Group in Pakistan and Afghanistan Amer Khan.
While technology adoption in Pakistan had always been very fast, the pandemic certainly acted as a catalyst for digital transformation in the country, he pointed out, adding that organisations wanted to remain abreast of the latest technologies.
“We are seeing more and more Pakistani companies, especially those belonging to the health sector, adopt cloud technology as they seek to harness the lower total cost of ownership, higher availability, increased efficiency and greater ability to innovate,” he said.
“This has helped companies, particularly those that are leading the way in the financial services and manufacturing industries.”
Moreover, it is also assisting public sector firms to boost their services to the citizens.
According to the Oracle official, due to Covid-19, large-scale digital transformation, that would have normally taken years to materialise, happened in a matter of a few months as businesses strived to serve customers amid social distancing measures.
Talking about fresh investment in IT infrastructure in Pakistan, he added that a huge number of companies were pouring money into it in a bid to reap the benefits of better efficiency, agility and resilience.
“It is hard to cite the exact figure but what I can say is that the last two to three years have seen a sharp increase in IT spending,” Khan said. “Overall, the return on investment (ROI) for companies that focused on technology has been strong.”
Speaking about how Pakistan stands out compared to other countries in the region in terms of implementation of cloud technology in SMEs, Khan pointed out that the nation had always been an early adopter of technology.
“Companies in the country see technology as a way to increase their efficiency and profitability,” he said. “Many large and medium-sized organisations from multiple sectors are already using cloud solutions to support their business.”
He explained that SMEs in Pakistan were also investing in cloud services and their decision helped them immensely because such businesses were less likely to own the resources needed to maintain and secure complex business workload.
Utilising cloud also helped small businesses gain access to enterprise class business applications that aided them in running their operations more efficiently and saved significant capital expenditure.
Speaking about cloud-based IT services that play a key role in realising the vision of ‘Digital Pakistan’, Khan added that the scheme had a huge potential to unlock significant economic value.
“You can almost say that it is the new gold and with such a huge English-speaking young population, we can surely envision a great future, however, we have to enable it to utilise the latest technologies,” he said. “Cloud technology will be the key to helping make this happen.”
Over the past few years, the businesses rapidly adopted the revolutionary technology with many organisations implementing a cloud-first strategy and transforming their businesses accordingly, the Oracle official noted.
He added that services of his company were availed by diverse sectors including health, manufacturing, real estate and banking and all these segments were implementing the cloud-first policy.
“The education sector also took a lead in cloud technology adoption,” Khan said. “We are observing organisations moving on the same lines even in highly regulated sectors like government offices and the financial services industry.”
Many countries, including Pakistan, have regulations to safeguard their citizens’ data, hence they do not allow organisations to store data on servers outside of the country, he detailed.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2022.