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It has been three years since Microsoft went live with its data center in the UAE. And the need for data storage and cloud computing keeps growing manifold. Image Credit: AP

Every business stakeholder in the region has seen it happen in front of their eyes. They have been a part of it. I speak of the mass migration to the cloud over the past two years because of pandemic-induced shifts in business operations and working set-ups.

At the centre of this activity is the data centre, which has enabled the acceleration of the movement of workloads to hybrid digital infrastructures. The economies of scale associated with the cloud have been proven.

It has been three years since Microsoft launched its UAE cloud locations. From our data centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we accelerated digital transformation across the country and the region. As this has taken place, organisations have experienced the benefits that accompany cloud migration.

They have seen enterprise-grade performance up close. They have seen reduced latency as they build the digital experiences of the future for their employees and customers. And in a region where regulatory frameworks are continually evolving, organisations that operate in the Microsoft Cloud have found compliance easier to implement.

A further benefit of our extended cloud ecosystem is its ability to generate jobs. A recent IDC report predicts that Microsoft, its partners, and its cloud customers will create 69,000 jobs for the UAE economy by 2024. These jobs include 16,000 roles for skilled IT professionals. The activity of this ecosystem will also add $27 billion to GDP.

A partner to the government

Everything we do, including our UAE data centre launch, is aligned with the UAE leadership’s ambitions for the country, from Vision 2030 to the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031. Last year, when the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence launched the National Programme for Coders to create 100,000 software professionals and 1,000 digital businesses, Microsoft was one of the first tech companies to become a partner.

Helping industry

We launched industry-specific clouds to accelerate digital transformation in sectors from healthcare to retail. We introduced the UAE and the region to the Energy Core initiative to drive the development of AI skills in the energy sector.

The regional telecom industry is one where we have seen significant digitisation in everything from the individualisation of the customer experience to the enhanced collaboration, productivity, and mobility of employees through the deployment of bot assistants and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams.

“Enhancing customer experience continues to be our number one priority as e& embarks on its exciting journey as a global technology and investment conglomerate,” said Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Etisalat UAE. “Supported by Microsoft’s local Cloud Regions, we are able to contribute to a brighter, digital future.”

Communities too

Microsoft works continuously towards the plugging of skills gaps. We are vocal advocates for diversity and inclusion and have a long history of infusing accessibility into all our products and services. We are also making big leaps on our sustainability journey.

The country has announced a nationwide initiative to build a green economy for sustainable development. Microsoft has partnered with Bee’ah to enhance its headquarters with an array of AI and smart building solutions.

As we celebrate the third anniversary of our data centres, we are reminded that all these impactful activities are made possible by the cloud. We believe the cloud will be fundamental in underpinning global development for years to come. And Microsoft’s UAE cloud locations underpin the future of the nation and the region.