The region spanned by UAE has been the center of attention for the last many decades now. In addition to the strategic location of this region, the UAE has remained a focal area of attention due to its involvement in many military adventures by various adjoining countries.
If we trace back the progress of UAE in particular and the Middle East region in general, the discovery of oil reserves turned out to be the major game changer for this entire region. The discovery of vast oil and gas reserves greatly amplified the already prominent Strategic Importance of the UAE.
UAE has seen tremendous development and transformation on the back of consistent and high revenues from export of oil and gas products. Most of UAE has achieved phenomenal progress in terms of infrastructure development and other related amenities.
The standard of living offered by most states constituting the UAE can be compared with the developed regions of the west. Currently, we can say that the UAE region is now in a transition phase from an oil based economy to a data and information driven economy.
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Transition of UAE and the Cloud
It would be fair to say that this imminent transition of the UAE will be driven, rather steered by Cloud Based Solutions. The inherent benefits and competitive advantages that cloud solutions bring to the table will act as strong motivators for the speedy implementation and adoption of the cloud.
The UAE is home to many businesses of different sizes. Another factor quite unique to this region is its pivotal location in international trade. Due to this strategic location, many ports across UAE serve as staging posts for onward transmission of goods to other parts of the world.
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Most of these businesses are prospecting for high tech solutions that would not only streamline their business processes but also bring cost related efficiencies. This is where the power of cloud based solutions comes in the picture, which add both versatility and cost effectiveness.
Current Cloud Landscape of UAE
Cloud Service Providers (CSP) across the globe are always on the lookout for potential opportunities and emerging markets that are gearing up adopting the cloud. If we focus on the UAE from this perspective, we can safely say that the UAE is one of the most ripe and high potential markets for cloud solutions.
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Some major cloud solution providers have been proactive in spotting this opportunity and were quick to allocate heavy investments for setting up data centers across the region. Enterprise and business applications giant SAP has already set foot in the UAE by setting up data centers early on.
The cloud computing wing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has also set foot in the UAE by setting up data centers early on. Global cloud giant Microsoft is in the process of establishing its indigenous data centers across strategic locations of UAE.
Lastly Software and application development giant Orcle, has also stepped up its game and wants to avail the opportunity early on by setting up its own data center. As we write this post, , SAP has the largest data center footprint across the UAE which speaks volumes of the potential it sees in this market.
Data Centers and Cloud Transformation
It is said that coming events cast their shadows before. This can’t be truer for the recent ramping up of investments in IT infrastructure by Cloud Solution Providers across the UAE. Data centers can be regarded as an instrumental piece in the overall delivery mechanism of cloud based solutions.
Rightly appreciating the business opportunity, many leading cloud providers have adopted a proactive posture by setting up data centers well in advance of the imminent demand that will soon be created for cloud based solutions. Another important trend being observed in the UAE’s market is an inclination towards the Public Cloud.
Local Businesses and Cloud Adoption
The recent demand for cloud based solutions in the UAE market is not driven by western tech giants, rather bulk of the demand is home grown or domestic. A major component of this demand is local UAE based businesses of varying sizes that are prospecting for cloud solutions to achieve digital transformation.
Cloud and Digital Transformation
Today’s cloud solutions “kill two birds with the same stone” in a way that they not only bring cost and process efficiencies, but also play an instrumental role in digitization of business critical processes. By leveraging the cloud, businesses across UAE can achieve full integration with both the supply and demand sides of their business.
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In addition to suppliers and customers, cloud solutions can greatly transform the workforce of any business. Employees can remain fully productive without physically showing up to the workplace. This is an ideal situation for the relatively conservative UAE region as women participation can be increased manifolds.
Sector Leading UAE’s Cloud Journey
As with any new technology, there are always early adopters, followed by the relatively late adopters who do not mind waiting for maturity of the product or service. Another factor that can trigger early adoption is business compulsions that leave little to no room for complacency.
Interestingly, UAE’s banking sector has emerged as one of the earliest adopters of the cloud. It is no surprise that some data managed by banks is of a highly confidential and sensitive nature. Some leading banks of UAE have posed tremendous confidence in the security of cloud based solutions by moving their entire data stack to the cloud.
As the cloud market of UAE thrives and shows promising growth, it will come as no surprise that more cloud players will enter the market with their cloud based offerings. As more service providers and cloud tenants enter the market, there will be a strong need for regulating UAE’s Cloud Industry.
A critical component of this regulation will comprise of protocols and guidelines for handling sensitive data over cloud networks. Given the relatively conservative nature of regimes across UAE states, we can assume that there will be stringent checks and balances on the way data is stored and transmitted across cloud networks.
Dubai Expo 2020
It is one of the flagship business events of UAE that attracts businesses and customers from across the world. We can expect that the 2020 expo will receive unprecedented attention from both cloud service providers and UAE based organizations prospecting for various degrees of cloud solutions.
This major networking event will act as a major catalyst for the proliferation and adoption of cloud based solutions across UAE. In addition to industry leaders, the expo is likely to be attended by relatively smaller cloud service providers that are offering highly customized solutions to woo potential cloud tenants.
A very important aspect of this transition towards the cloud will be strong capacity building of both information decision makers and company employees. The information officers will be instrumental in laying out the broad vision behind the adoption of a cloud based solution.
The organization’s information related decision makers will also play a critical role in implementing each organization’s cloud strategy and how it is aligning with the goals of the organization. Over the course of this journey, there may be small tweaks that will need to be executed to streamline the cloud transition.
The last but very important component of the cloud transformation are the employees that will be the main end users of the cloud based solution. To fully reap the benefits of the cloud, capacity building of employees will also be required so that the cloud environment starts delivering on its prospected benefits.
We should expect a cloud revolution across UAE in particular and the Middle East in general over the upcoming year or so. Cloud Service Providers and cloud tenants that adopt a proactive approach will be the early beneficiaries of this era. They are quite likely to be rewarded with unparalleled competitive advantages.