GCC Cloud market to grow double by 2024

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Cloud computing
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The cloud market in GCC countries is expected to show more than a double surge in value by 2024, a $956 million growth in this year to reach $2.35 billion at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 percent.

“The cloud” refers to servers that are accessed over the Internet, and the software and databases that run on those servers. Cloud servers are located in data centers all over the world. By using cloud computing, users and companies don’t have to manage physical servers themselves or run software applications on their own machines.

Recently the Dubai Outsource City, an outsourcing and shared services company in the Middle East conducted a panel discussion to address the condition of cloud adoption and data center management in the region.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) stated during the discussion that countries in the GCC are witnessing fast-track cloud adoption, which is supported by the ongoing investment by cloud providers and the increasing need for remote working arrangements.

The session was moderated by Harish Dunakhe, Research Director (Middle East, Turkey & Africa for Software and Cloud) of International Data Corporation (IDC), along with Santiago Freitas, Head of Technology (Middle East and Africa) Amazon Web Services (AWS), Tanya Koval, Head of Enterprise Architecture, Infrastructure & Workplace, First Arab Bank (FAB) and Aleksander Andrijenko, Head of Infrastructure at DA-Desk, forming the panel.

One of the major findings was that even though the companies’ investments in the information and technology sector is comparatively low, several sub-markets within the sector have witnessed strong growth. This was particularly evident in segments like infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service. In these segments, spending has grown by 32.7 percent, 32 percent and 24.1 percent respectively.

Ammar Al Malik
Ammar Al Malik
MD – Dubai Outsource City

“During these exceptional times when the vast majority of workers are collaborating across vast spaces, distances and time zones cloud technologies become an unprecedented necessity. By leveraging these efficiencies, we can greatly simplify and smoothen workflows and processes, while also contributing to Dubai’s vision to become one of the smartest, most future-ready cities in the world.”

Cloud adoption in the GCC is “seeing strong demand, driven by the diversification to non-oil economies, young and dynamic populations that are digital natives, an active startup community, and a drive to digitize across several industries,” Santiago Freitas from AWS said.

The major shift to cloud computing is backed by a significant cost advantage. It reduces the time for businesses to convert ideas into action. For startups and entrepreneurs, “cloud democratizes access to technology, so that anyone with an idea and a credit card can gain access to the same technology that another large corporation can,” Mr.Freitas added.

“Cloud is a major disruptor in terms of how organizations are structured, blurring the lines between different operational departments in an organization. It allows more room for career growth and flexibility, with employees being offered a wider field of opportunity to build different skills at different stages of their careers,” said Ms.Koval.

Mr. Andrijenko opined that the power of the cloud can be seen in its ability to “turn big data into informed business decisions”. Companies can develop strategies for their future growth, increase profit and expand their bottom line by using digital insights.

The IDC pointed out that about 53 percent of Chief Information Officers in the GCC are focusing on speeding-up their existing digital transformation efforts while only 23 percent plan to slow down these initiatives to focus on core IT tasks.

This year Saudi Arabia is estimated to spend the highest on the IT sector in the GCC region with $5.8 billion, followed by the UAE with $5.3 billion.