IDC’s white paper analysed the impact of ICT, cloud services, and the Microsoft ecosystem on the UAE economy between 2017 and 2022, which covered a decade of IDC regional findings. The research displayed that implementation of nationwide initiatives such as UAE Vision 2021 and Smart Dubai—and other initiatives that were focused on tourism, healthcare, transportation and education – led to a rise in IT spending and employment.
The study also covered findings from other Middle Eastern markets such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Turkey.
It predicted that spending on public cloud services in the UAE will almost quadruple over the next five years, from $119.5mn in 2017 to $411mn in 2022. Between the end of 2017 to the end of 2022—adoption of cloud services will create nearly 31,650 new jobs and the Microsoft technology ecosystem will add 23,800 jobs more—for a net total of 55,450 jobs.
In 2017, the Microsoft ecosystem—the companies that sell, service, deploy or otherwise work with Microsoft products—supported more than 71,250 workers. The ecosystem in itself, is a prolific generator of downstream revenues.
IDC analysts in the report also investigated the possible knock-on effects of cloud adoption. Usage of public cloud services, combined with investments in private and hybrid cloud solutions, will “enable organisations in UAE to innovate and achieve their [digital] transformation goals,” state the White Paper. The benefits emanating from this digital transformation trend are set to generate around $5.4 billion in net new revenues over the next five years.
Sayed Hashish, Regonal General Manager, Microsoft Gulf, stated that: “Digital transformation has the power to engage customers and citizens, empower employees, optimise operations and reinvent products and services.”
“IDC’s report clearly shows that private and public organisations have realised these benefits, and are directly or indirectly creating jobs as they invest in their futures. Microsoft is proud of its record of job creation in the UAE, the wider GCC and beyond. Acceleration of economic growth and innovation and the downstream revenue that comes from the Microsoft ecosystem are natural outcomes from our efforts to help every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more.” He added.
Microsoft had announced in March, that it would open dedicated cloud datacenters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to serve customers across the Middle East and Africa. These datacenters come with huge investment and are the first Microsoft datacenters in the Middle East. The company believes that provision of cloud services through them will help start-ups to more quickly realise their potential, as well as accelerate the adoption of public cloud services within government agencies and regulated industries like banking, finance, telecoms and healthcare.
Microsoft is also taking its role in upskilling and reskilling the existing workforce very seriously. According to the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs” report that was published in January this year, two in three children will end up working in jobs that currently do not exist. Microsoft is active in creating awareness of this with our education partners around the world. The company runs several professional programmes that address the need for upskilling and reskilling to plug knowledge gaps in the emerging cloud services segment, including Microsoft Cloud Administration, Azure Essentials and the AI Professional Certification.