KSA launches SAP Cloud Hub
Witnessed by His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, during her trade mission to the Kingdom, SAP announced a plan to launch the SAP Cloud Hub, in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Communication and Information Technology represented by the National Digitization Office, to support the acceleration of Saudi Vision 2030 and meet the Kingdom’s digital transformation goals.
The investment of SAR285 million will happen over a period of four years, and the SAP Cloud Hub will be made up of four key pillars: the establishment of a public cloud datacentre in the Kingdom; an open platform for local developers; a co-innovation centre to support Saudi startups and customers from both large, and small and medium-sized enterprises, and further localisation of SAP solutions to support Saudi’s economic diversification goals and government investment.
Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 call on government agencies to deliver and use more online and mobile technology solutions, especially in the areas of enhancing the citizen experience, talent development and procurement.
“Saudi’s public and private sector organisations need to adopt latest technology innovations to enable new digital business models and enhance the Kingdom’s economic competitiveness. In a digital economy era, more public-private partnerships and co-innovation are crucial to fuel a diversified economy and spark the next wave of Saudi talent and entrepreneurship,” said Deema Al-Yahya, Acting Head of the National Digitization Office.
In this context, the National Transformation Program outlines SAR285 billion (over $71 billion) in government spending by 2020, driving public sector cloud adoption. Cloud solutions, running on a pay-as-you-go OPEX model, will be essential for driving the Internet of Things and Smart Cities’ innovation across smart utilities, traffic, and security and defence.
As part of the announcement, the Ministry of Economy and Planning, and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology represented by the National Digitization Office, will work with SAP to explore integrating the SAP Cloud Hub into the planned government cloud, in order to further enhance government efficiency, employee productivity and citizen services.
Public cloud datacentre in the Kingdom to transform industry verticals
Underlining the strong market opportunity, research firm Gartner projects that the Middle East and North Africa’s public cloud services market will grow by 22 per cent to SAR4.5 billion in 2017. Worldwide, 69 per cent of CIOs are making significant cloud investments, Oxford Economics maintains.
SAP will be the first international software provider to launch a public cloud hub in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2017. Organisations running solutions on the SAP local datacentre can securely analyse data in-country for real-time decision-making. Analysts agree the datacentre will make a major impact in supporting the transformation of Saudi’s industry verticals, such as banking and finance, construction, manufacturing, the public sector and retail.
“With the SAP Cloud Hub, the Kingdom will accelerate government-led digital transformation and diversified economic growth. SAP is leveraging global best practices in supporting the Saudi government and organisations of all sizes and industries to use secure, localised cloud solutions to simplify operations, cut costs, and drive agile business models and unprecedented collaboration,” commented Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen.