Financial services sector 'ripe' for cloud technology disruption

Exclusive: The cloud offers data residency and sovereignty, which ensures it is not subject to foreign jurisdictions, chief executive of G42 Cloud says

The G42 stand at Gitex Technology Week in Dubai. Leslie Pableo for The National
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The financial services industry leads a list of critical sectors that would benefit most from a cloud ecosystem, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi's G42 Cloud has said.

With the cloud being the "underlying foundational pillar" for many industry verticals, it provides a level of confidence by offering data residency, as well as sovereignty, which ensures it is not subject to foreign jurisdictions, Talal Al Kaissi told The National at Gitex Technology Week in Dubai on Tuesday.

"In terms of industries that can actually have a multiplied effect from the cloud, financial services is very big, because it’s very ripe for disruption," he said.

"The elasticity that the cloud provides gives it an edge versus an on-premises solution."

Using cloud services to store important data is generally considered to be a more viable solution to an organisation's requirements because it is, in many ways, safer than using private data centres.

The financial sector, which holds a massive amount of important and personal data, could use the power of the cloud, which is also relatively more economical.

The size of the global finance cloud market is expected to surge to more than $105 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of about 20 per cent from $20bn in 2021, Grand View Research found.

Meanwhile, the overall cloud computing market is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2030 at a 16 per cent CAGR from $369bn last year.

Aside from finance, the healthcare and energy sectors also stand to benefit significantly from using the cloud, Mr Al Kaissi said.

"Security isn’t that much of an issue — if you are able to get people to embrace the concept of the cloud and understand its benefits versus an on-premises site," he said.

Energy companies, in particular, can create solutions for their industry with bundled services that can come from the cloud. This, in turn, will drive more consumption.

"Any kind of company, public or private, would not want to have the headache of managing their cloud infrastructure, as well as try to ensure they have the best and brightest IT staff," Mr Al Kaissi said.

"Outsourcing that headache is the next phase for companies to focus on the core of what they do."

Abu Dhabi is already a hub for the cloud, and it’s quite interesting to see the proliferation of different companies in this domain
Talal Al Kaissi, chief executive of G42 Cloud

While G42 Cloud is boosting its services in the UAE, he welcomed competition from international industry players, saying it would make the company more competitive.

Global technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle have already set up cloud data centres in the UAE to support the country's technological push.

"Abu Dhabi is already a hub for the cloud, and it’s quite interesting to see the proliferation of different companies in this domain," Mr Al Kaissi said.

"It will be good as it enriches the ecosystem by having their presence here; it makes us better."

Within the next three years, most organisations would have already been past the point of cloud migration, "which is a necessary but difficult step", he said.

But "once they’re over that hump, we’re going to see interesting solution providers build products and services that can only be enabled by the elasticity of the cloud", he said.

"As a result, data will be easier to tame even at the large scale that it is being collected in."

G42 Cloud is a unit of G42, the Abu Dhabi artificial intelligence company, which has geospatial intelligence company Bayanat and data centre services provider Khazna under its umbrella.

It is looking at countries in the CIS and Eastern Europe to expand into, and organisations in those areas are looking to replicate G42's solutions there, Mr Al Kaissi said.

Updated: October 12, 2022, 3:30 AM