This ecosystem is expected to propel the UAE economy upwards from the 2020 level, creating jobs and driving investment in local economies, including in sustainable solutions which will see a reduction in atmospheric carbon.
The Microsoft-sponsored IDC Info Snapshot — ‘The Microsoft Cloud Dividend Snapshot: United Arab Emirates’ — reflects on the positive impact of Microsoft’s cloud regions in the UAE following its launch in June 2019, with the aim to deliver the complete Microsoft Cloud to governments, organisations and startups in the Middle East. These investments will accelerate digital transformation journeys in the country, empowering organisations to recover faster and reimagine their industries.
The research also forecasts that Microsoft’s cloud ecosystem, which includes its partners and cloud-using customers, will add 69,000 new jobs to the UAE economy by 2024 with 16,000 created for skilled IT professionals.
“The arrival of Microsoft UAE data centres in 2019 solidified the role of the cloud as an enabler of digital transformation supporting data residency, security and agility needs of the region,” said Sayed Hashish, general manager of Microsoft UAE.
“In 2020, the cloud accelerated our role to become the first responders in the digital world to empower organisations to adapt to challenges. And in 2021 and beyond, the cloud is set to reinvent industries and drive more resilience while building capabilities, bolstering job creation, driving sustainability and advancing economic growth.”
The IDC research also reveals that Microsoft and its partner ecosystem, in support of growing their local businesses, will spend about $2.3 billion in the datacenter region for services and products in local economies. The new datacenter region will help to eliminate some of the barriers to cloud adoption within the region and account for 21.1 per cent of the new revenue.
“The Microsoft cloud regions have the advantages of meeting the data privacy and governance needs of organizations including governments, financial services institutions as well as the healthcare sector,” added Hashish. “This is achieved by the broadest compliance, security, privacy and certification standards with the most effective prevention and mitigation measures in the industry.”
The IDC’s research also sheds light on downstream revenues generated by Microsoft’s partner ecosystem. The findings reveal that for every $1 of Microsoft cloud-generated revenue, the partner ecosystem is expected to generate $7.76 by 2024, up from $6.01 in 2020.
The scope and depth of the UAE digital transformation agenda is clearly impressive. It covers a broad space like government policy, administrative processes, smart cities, cyber-safety and security, artificial intelligence, data, robotics, blockchain and crypto, advanced computing technologies, advanced transportation, advanced mobile technologies (5G and beyond), the Internet of Things and so on.
"Each area is supported by relevant policies, goals, and initiatives with a strong focus on UAE society and government rapidly adopting a digital-first mindset," said Dr Hasanat Dewan, chief innovation officer of OurCrowd.
“Direct government support and public private partnerships to develop infrastructure, ecosystems, training, and education in a coordinated manner appear to be working very well. The establishment of Abu Dhabi-based ADGM and its various authorities has attracted companies in the digital asset space (Cryptos). The Abu Dhabi Hub71 tech ecosystem has been a major attraction for digital startups across industries and has been growing at a very rapid pace.”
Dr Dewan, who has recently joined OurCrowd, intends to help expand business and develop a next-generation AI-enabled fintech platform leveraging the unique confluence of growth factors already available in the UAE ecosystem.
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