Europes’s largest enterprise software company SAP has opened its first data cloud centre in Dubai on Thursday to give a boost to digital transformation.

German firm said in March last year that it is investing $200 million in the UAE in the next five years after making a $450 million investment in 2012. The cloud investment is part of the $200 million.

According to BMI Research, the UAE’s IT market is set to grow by 20 per cent, from $5.5 billion in 2018 to $6.6 billion by 2021.

“The UAE is already at the forefront of technology innovation, and the UAE organisations that digitally transform on the cloud first will seize market share and business competitiveness,” Gergi Abboud, Senior Vice-President and General Manager for SAP Middle East South, said in a statement.

The SAP Cloud Data Centre allows UAE organisations to subscribe to SAP’s cloud solutions across 25 industries.

“Our cloud data centre will support UAE Vision 2021’s goals to accelerate diversified economic growth and Smart Cities, support innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs, and fuel youth job creation in the fast-paced technology sector,” Abboud said.

In the Middle East and North Africa, more than 60 per cent of all companies, and about 75 per cent of the digital leaders, are investing in the cloud through 2019, according to the recent SAP and Oxford Economics Digital Transformation Executive Study.

“Over the past five years, the cloud has moved from an ‘if’ question to a ‘when’ question in the UAE,” said Julien Bertin, Managing Director, SAP UAE and Oman.