Digitalisation Aiding the Rising Demand for External SSDs

Antoine Harb, the Team Leader for the Middle East at Kingston Technology, speaks about the evolution of the SSD storage industry in the region, factors to look for in an SSD, and the company’s strategies for this year

What factors should be taken into account before choosing an SSD storage device?
When choosing the right SSD storage device, it is important to identify the needs of your employees to ensure you are implementing the right storage solution for you and your team. External storage devices should serve as a benefit and not a hurdle. So how do you get your staff to accept and even embrace change? The answer – by making it convenient. The chosen solution has got to be easy to use, lightweight and fast.

If your employees work with big data files such as editing high-res images, 8K videos and large documents an incredibly speedy drive can deliver enhanced productivity with little interruption. However, if you are solely looking for a quick backup solution to file work documents that can’t be deleted, but only need infrequent usage, a mid-level SSD will be an incredibly convenient backup solution.

How is the SSD storage industry evolving in this region?
Mordor Intelligence predicts the ICT market in the MENA region to reach $250.2 billion in 2029. This marks an increase from $183.4 billion in 2024, suggesting a staggering 36.41 per cent increase. This establishes the MENA region as one of the fastest-growing digital economies globally. And is driven by substantial investments during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global Solid-State Drive Market is estimated at $65.47 billion in 2024 and is expected to reach $147.01 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 17.56% during the forecast period (2024-2029). With this and the growing demand for Kingston’s external SSDs, it’s a clear indicator that external SSDs have become a vital part of how organisations store and transfer data.

What were your learnings from 2023, and how are you using it to better your strategies for 2024?
Since launching our external SSD lineup, 2023 has been the strongest year in terms of sales for Kingston Technology within the category of external SSDs. This demonstrates a clear demand for fast portable storage solutions like our XS1000 and XS2000.

We therefore have a clear vision to further differentiate and expand our portfolio. For 2024, we will continue to offer the best value, while never compromising on quality and support. We may also look to add a splash of colour to our product line of external SSDs.

How are SSD speed and durability playing a vital role in shaping the future of the education industry?
Devices such as tablets and laptops are now part of everyday life and are also used as useful learning tools in the classroom and at home. The majority of schools have now fully integrated the usage of either a laptop or a tablet as part of their schooling. The Dubai-based school GEMS Royal Dubai School for example has implemented a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that requires an iPad or similar device for Years 1-4 and an iPad (with keyboard) or laptop for Years 5 and 6.

When it comes to the introduction of digitalisation into schools, a device with lots of buffering and loading times due to full storage can tremendously reduce productivity. The introduction of an additional storage option which is user-friendly, light to carry and has fast transfer speeds can serve as a convenient backup solution for saving all data that doesn’t need accessing at all times and in return keeps the tablets or laptops own storage capacities free to run apps and systems smoothly.

By the nature of their jobs, teachers carry a lot of data such as worksheets, audio recordings for listening exercises, and test and exam documents. These documents travel back and forth with each teacher in between their home where they prep the upcoming lessons and back into school where they need to copy work sheets for the class etc. It is therefore essential, that these files are quickly accessible at all times at home, at school or even during travels. While this used to mean carrying a heavy load of folders and workbooks, today it can all be kept on an external SSD weighing less than 29 grams.

What are the potential security vulnerabilities associated with a modernized learning environment? How can one overcome those by adopting SSD storage and related tech?
Digitalisation comes with a lot of benefits. One of which is that everything becomes more and more accessible. Files can for example be transported and shared on the go which is also a big enabler for anyone mixing their workplace and working from the home office, such as teachers preparing their lessons for the upcoming week.

This flexibility has, however, not always been positive as it has also enabled cybercriminals to use it to their advantage. While usually its businesses that catch the attention of cyber criminals, there has been a growing number of cyberattacks on schools, where the attacker gained access to private files or exam papers and extracted them from the school’s system to be either leaked or sold online.

Should a school fall victim to one of these attacks it is essential to clarify what data has been stolen and could be leaked or if the sole purpose of the attack is to be paid to get the information back, in which case backups of the data can make all the difference. To keep data safe there is also the option of backing them up on an encrypted external SSD which defends against cybersecurity threats from compromised systems using two levels of Read-only protection.

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