70 percent of startups in Dubai currently use cloud computing, and 24 percent even built their start-ups on the cloud, according to the recent report Cloud Report 2017.

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, released the findings of the report at a press conference which provides an in-depth overview of cloud computing adoption across the start-up segment in Dubai.

The report also states that 38 percent of those not yet on the cloud plan to adopt the technology in the near future. Across the three cloud service models available, 76 percent of startups on the cloud have opted for Software as a Service (SaaS). Meanwhile, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are each used by 32 percent of adopters. One-third of the start-ups on the cloud utilize more than one type of cloud service, with nine percent using all three service models.

Startups on the cloud in Dubai use an average of 4.39 cloud services, with 36 percent using one or two services, and 18 percent using more than five. Storage and web hosting are considered as core services, and are generally the first cloud services adopted. They are also currently the most widely used at 68 percent and 67 percent respectively.

Although 72 percent of all start-ups spend less than US$50,000 on IT annually, 24 percent dedicate more than 20 percent of that annual budget to cloud solutions. In addition, 80 percent of start-ups on the cloud are planning to increase spend on cloud services in the next two years.

Among the startups that have not yet adopted cloud solutions, 42 percent find the initial investment prohibitively high. Other concerns delaying start-ups from moving to the cloud include data protection (27 percent) and security (15% percent).

“In line with the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DSOA aims to actively contribute to the national key performance indicators under the Competitive Knowledge Economy pillar. As we transition to a more technology-focused world, all sectors of the UAE’s economic landscape are working relentlessly to forge a digital transformation,” said William Chappell, Chief Financial Officer, DSOA.

“The Cloud Report 2017 provides insights for start-ups on the best cloud adoption practices, while serving as a valuable resource for cloud solution vendors. The document outlines the services and models popular with start-ups, as well as the factors that influence decision-making around cloud implementation in Dubai,” he added.

For his part, Maged Wassim, Vice President – IBM Cloud, IBM Middle East and Africa said, “As part of any shift or transformation, the human factor is the one constant. For this reason, IBM puts code, skills training, and resources into the hands of developers to build, create, iterate, and solve problems faster.”

“Dubai startups are increasingly adopting cloud-first strategies to capitalize on the flexibility, speed-to-market and scalability that cloud solutions offer – right from the very beginning. However, for entrepreneurs with less IT expertise, cloud adoption can be an overwhelming thought and there is still a misconception that it involves big price tags, and huge commitments of time and resources. Various initiatives – such as the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, a cloud credit program, and the incubation support of ecosystem players like Dtec – will help to address some of the perceived obstacles to deeper and broader cloud technology usage among these start-ups,” said Tina Ghanem, Head of Accelerate SME, Thomson Reuters MENA.

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