US technology company Oracle on Wednesday officially launched its new cloud region – a complex that houses at least two data centres – in Abu Dhabi and announced the opening of its first cloud region in Johannesburg, its first in Africa.
Abu Dhabi’s cloud region went live in November. This is the company’s third in the Middle East.
In July 2020, the company opened its Middle East’s first cloud region in Jeddah, which was followed by a centre in Dubai in October in the same year.
With the Dubai and Abu Dhabi regions, “we have the required cloud infrastructure for organisations across public and private sectors, including SMBs [small and medium businesses], to accelerate their digital transformation”, said Richard Smith, Oracle’s executive vice president, technology, for Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
In October, the company said it planned to open a cloud region in Saudi Arabia’s upcoming futuristic city Neom but did not specify a timeline.
“Oracle’s decision to open a second cloud region in the UAE is a clear reflection of our nation’s embrace of digital transformation, advanced technologies and the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which have become central to our economic and investment strategy for the next 50 years,” Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said.
The cloud industry in the region is booming. The GCC’s public cloud market is expected to more than double in value to reach $2.4 billion by 2024, up from $956 million in 2020, according to the International Data Corporation.
Public cloud services adoption is accelerating at a compound annual growth rate of 28 per cent, year on year, between 2020 and 2025 in the UAE, the Massachusetts-based researcher estimated.
The new cloud region in Abu Dhabi will “help us accelerate the emirate’s digital agenda and leverage innovative solutions and emerging technologies to help achieve Abu Dhabi’s socio-economic objectives”, Mohamed Al Askar, director general of Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, said.
Oracle’s local clients include DP World, Abu Dhabi Customs, Emaar Properties, Saudi Arabia Tourism Development Fund, Saudi Railway Company, Mashreq Bank and Saudi Arabia Mining Company.
It reported nearly $7.6bn in global revenue from its cloud services and licence support business in the quarter that ended on November 30.
The cloud services business accounted for nearly 75 per cent of its total sales of $10.4bn.
The Johannesburg facility is Oracle’s 37th cloud region to open worldwide. The company aims to open seven new centres across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America in the next year.
“Cloud-led digital transformation is vital for us to maintain an agile and profitable business model … [the new cloud] region will offer us the flexibility to explore the latest technologies that can support our digital roadmap,” said Mthoko Mncwabe, chief information officer of Airports Company South Africa, which owns and manages nine airports in South Africa.