Is Dubai becoming more aggressive with cloud computing?

The global metropolis is making its move to transform the state into a smart nation and this is now being accompanied by the integration of cloud computing. While the UAE's cloud market is still in its early stages of the adoption cycle when compared to the developed economies, their large enterprises have been able to leverage on the cloud market, with the assistance of international players.

Why cloud computing?

Determined to diversify its economy in an attempt to boost economic growth, the UAE is driven to embrace technological innovation with cloud computing as its foundation. This is also coupled with the rising demand and usage of online storage alongside rapid digitisation of its economy.

Cloud storage has become the fastest-growing segment of the cloud hardware industry and remarkably, the UAE has an added advantage that allows a larger scope of cloud-growth as majority of vendors already have a good infrastructure to serve the market. This is also in addition to enterprises in the UAE being at an early adoption stage.

Oracle leading by example

Oracle, despite a late entrant in the market, has been at the forefront of digital transformation in the region and is spearheading cloud adoption across the industry. On the 23rd of January, it announced the opening of a state-of-the-art Oracle Digital Hub as well as its first data center in the region which is reported to go online mid of 2017.

“The opening of the Oracle Digital Hub underscores our commitment to continuously enhance our local capabilities and service offerings in the UAE,” said Giovanna Sangiorgi, Vice President, Oracle Digital EMEA.

The Oracle Digital Hub, which is targeted to employ 400 cloud sales professionals, is located in Dubai’s Knowledge Village. It is equipped with future proof technology to deliver an exceptional customer experience and an unparalleled employee experience. This has been designed specifically to align with the modern ‘buying journey’ to better support their customers in their digital transformation. Features include virtual meeting labs, interactive customer meeting rooms, modern collaboration spaces, and Oracle’s first social media hub in the region. This social media hub will enable digitally native Oracle team members to engage with customers using the most modern communication tools and channels.

 “The hub was designed to support the remarkable demand for our complete cloud portfolio across the Middle East. We now have the ability to engage with our customers anytime, anywhere and on their terms.” said Giovanna Sangiorgi.

While the UAE is set to expand its cloud market, the move calls for an intensified demand for niche talent within this sector. This is a growing concern in the region as it not only lacks the right talent, but even the current skilled pool of talent is often misplaced with a lack of information.

Talent mismatch alongside a steep demand for tech professionals

The Middle East as a region is suffering from a shortage of IT professionals who possess the right skills and experience. For example, figures from Cisco show that the Middle East was short of 48,000 skilled networking staff in 2012, and that number had grown to over 100,000 by 2015. This was also coupled with an increase of mismatched talent within this field.

Hence, it is essential for organisations in the region to re-evaluate their recruitment and talent strategies in an attempt of curbing the above mentioned problem. In addition, data centers are avidly expanding the cyber security workforce as part of its move in making the UAE the “safest electronic city in the world”. As such, this will potentially boost the demand of talent within the cyber security space too.

Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) has also mentioned of its intentions to expand its Emirati-only workforce by 50 percent this year. The center, which has a budget of millions of dollars, monitors and researches potential electronic incidents that may affect governmental institutes.

While demand within the overall technology sector is on the rise, the challenge lies with meeting this demand given the sheer lack of readily available talent.

“This gap is a direct result of the positive news that the UAE is embarking on a period of intense digitisation,” said Mike Weston, Vice-President at Cisco in the Middle East. “But the flipside of this is that the country faces a shortage in the number of skilled IT workers required to turn these digital dreams into reality.”

There is a myriad of motivations for looking at the approach towards security through advanced analytics. These include the proliferation of advanced and persistent threats as well as a new emphasis on rapid detection and mitigations of those threats; the vast accumulation of security data; and a dramatic increase in the number of entities that require security monitoring due to shadow IT, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). As such, the expansion of the security sector and the demand for such talent will only continue to rise.

How can Huxley IT help?

If you would like to find out more about the opportunities available within the technological sector, or if you would like advice on sourcing for the best available talent in this market, do contact Progressive Recruitment at [email protected] or follow us on our LinkedIn page for more industry related insights. 

Sources: "UAE Cloud Computing Market - Macro Outlook and Opportunity Assessment, 2017" report by Research and Markets, MENACA and the Cloud Competitiveness Index 2017, Gulf News, Bloomberg, Computer Weekly, DQIndia, Oracle, The National, Khaleej Times, Computer Weekly.

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