Saudi Arabia - Rajiv Ramaswami, CEO of Nutanix, said, "My keynote at LEAP was around ‘Simplifying IT to enable Vision 2030’. Saudi Vision 2030 has set an ambitious target to transform the Kingdom and create a thriving economy and vibrant society." here are the excerpts:

Can you give us an overview of the keynote you delivered at LEAP 2023?

My keynote at LEAP was around ‘Simplifying IT to enable Vision 2030’. Saudi Vision 2030 has set an ambitious target to transform the Kingdom and create a thriving economy and vibrant society. Significant transformation isn’t easy, and technology is the underpinning of progress. We have seen great examples of technology and the Cloud transforming the world we live in. For example Amazon paved the way for ‘endless aisles’ and online shopping. Careem (Uber) led the way for ridesharing. Netflix originated the concept of over-the-top media and streaming. However, behind all this innovation comes underlying complexity relating to managing and securing applications and data wherever they reside — whether on premise or within multiple cloud infrastructures. According to Nutanix’s latest Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey, 83% of respondents agree that a hybrid multi-cloud model is ideal, but cite challenges related to interoperability, security, cost and data integration. Most companies are struggling with how to implement, manage and secure this hybrid cloud world.

Nutanix turns the web of complexity into simplicity no matter where organizations are on their cloud adoption journey. Our vision is to make cloud ‘invisible’ — thereby freeing customers to focus on their business outcomes. Nutanix’s Cloud platform is designed to enable customers to use hybrid multi-cloud deployments without the stress of worrying about how their cloud estate looks, operates and functions.

Ever since you took over the reins of Nutanix in December 2020, can you talk about the evolution of Nutanix and its solutions?

Our mission is to simplify cloud infrastructure, unify cloud management, and make cloud adoption simple. One of my key focus areas was to simplify Nutanix’s stack and move away from selling ‘point products’ and move towards selling solutions packages, to align with rapidly evolving customer requirements. The simplified portfolio brings together our rich product capabilities across on-premises and public clouds to deliver consistent infrastructure, data services, management, and operations for applications in virtual machines and containers. We have simplified packaging, metering, and pricing to enable customers to plan for changing needs more easily, including workload expansions, cloud preferences, tech refreshes, and more.

Can you provide insight about Nutanix’s participation at LEAP this year?

We are proud to participate again at LEAP for the second consecutive year — an event designed to inspire and educate. It brings together top IT professionals from large multinational organizations, government stakeholders and policy makers — essentially everyone attending, is either shaping the IT landscape, contributing to it, or successfully thriving in it. It is a brilliant platform to promote our brand. More importantly, it’s a way to re-connect with our customers and partners at scale.

Digital transformation will be a key enabler of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. However, we find that a lot of enterprises in the Kingdom grapple with IT complexity — especially when it pertains to the Cloud, as a result of multiple vendors, interoperability challenges between technologies and stringent regulations. With the intention of supporting the Government’s efforts to accelerate digital transformation, our focus at LEAP is to educate organizations on how they can simplify cloud infrastructures and allow for a consistent IT operating model, which is critical for success. We are bringing simplicity to the B2B technology stack, and this is at the heart of the design of our solutions. We offer unparalleled freedom of choice to customers and help organizations simplify cloud complexity with an open, software-defined hybrid multicloud platform, so that they can focus on business outcomes and new innovations.

What should enterprises in Saudi Arabia keep their eye on in terms of technology trends this year and beyond?

Below are a couple of broad trends taking place globally and I see the Saudi market also following the same:

Infrastructure Modernization and Hybrid Cloud Adoption - There will be further acceleration in datacenter modernization and hybrid cloud adoption. Companies broadly will fall into one of the three categories below:

  • Modernize On-Prem: Companies looking to become more developer-ready with server-based, software-defined hyper-converged infrastructure. A lot of companies in Saudi are in this phase of modernizing legacy IT environments.

  • Extend to Cloud: Companies seeking to extend on-prem to public cloud and building out hybrid, multicloud environments and

  • Cloud First: Companies that might not have a long-term on-prem presence, seeking to build or rebuild apps in the public cloud

As cloud systems have matured, there is an increasing consensus that neither a public nor a private cloud environment can satisfy all the needs of the enterprise in itself. There are needs and challenges in data security, flexibility, and performance in both of these. A hybrid cloud gives organizations the ability to pivot quickly in the face of changing market conditions and enables workplace mobility.

Changing Cloud economics will drive new decision making around applications and infrastructure – Organizations’ IT budgets around the globe are under constant pressure and CIOs are tasked with ‘doing more with less’. Organizations that have made the transition to the Cloud are beginning to realize that they can’t move their applications as fast or as cost-effectively to the Cloud as they originally thought. Businesses will prioritize solutions that offer multicloud portability across all environments. They will become more strategic about which workloads belong in the cloud and which belong in private cloud environments.

And finally, CIOs will have a close look and re-examine their public cloud spend commitments with a view to maximising ROI.

Can you provide insight into your customer base in Saudi?

Nutanix has more than 250+ customers in Saudi. We work with a third of government ministries, 50% of the top 10 banks, and 50% of public universities. Our main focus is supporting the Government and Industry, and thereby enabling Saudi Vision 2030 through our technology . To share a few examples, we work with seven of the most relevant ministries driving technological change. Another example is our work with Tatweer for Educational Technologies (TETCO), the technological arm of the Saudi Ministry of Education (MOE). We have helped modernise their IT infrastructure by providing automation, application modernization & DevOps capabilities that has allowed them to deliver faster, more high performance applications to the MoE and in turn the 22,000+ schools which MoE supports. We have several big name customers in the private sector. One of our customers, Saudi German Health, implemented Nutanix to advance digital health services. The implementation has effectively addressed the complexity, reliability, and scalability issues that previously plagued the IT environment and provided a robust platform to continually and cost-effectively introduce innovative digital services such as remote diagnosis, and enterprise mobility.

We intend building on this incredible success we have had in the Kingdom this year and beyond.

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