As modern enterprises embrace innovation and digital transformation, higher connectivity and data processing capabilities are the prerequisites for friction-free operations. The combination of emerging technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and cloud computing is set to change business operation models dynamically. Strategizing along those lines, leading cloud services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched two cloud regions in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia and the UAE — as the two countries’ appetite for technology adoption has been garnering global attention.
Using advanced technologies to drive innovation and with availability zones spread across the region, AWS is supporting developers, SMEs, entrepreneurs and enterprises, as well as government, education and nonprofit organizations, to run their applications with zero to minimal connectivity interruptions as the data exchanges happen at data centers closer to the end users. In the UAE, AWS estimates that its spending on the construction and operation of the UAE Region will support an average of nearly 6,000 full-time jobs annually at external vendors, with a planned $5 billion (AED 20 billion) investment in the local economy through 2036. The AWS Middle East (UAE) Region will also add an estimated $11 billion (AED 41 billion) over the next 15 years to the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Accelerating AI Innovation
Public cloud and AI can help telcos innovate their service offering and generate new revenue streams through data monetization. Bandwidth-guzzling business applications require the power of cloud computing and network infrastructure for storage, computing and processing of data; telcos’ advantage over these data exchanges can help them formulate digitalization offerings across industries. Gleaning through these data, telcos can get a good footing on understanding the unique requirements of enterprise customers and fulfill those accurately. A recent market survey reveals that 59% of marketers in the UAE agree that customer expectations are more difficult to meet than they were a year ago. The power of the cloud and analytics will help operators realize their wider business objectives and enhance their competitive advantage. Application of AI in micro-managing data into distinct categories and cloud analytics can reveal insights that are bound to give telcos an upper hand when it comes to decoding their customers' operational constraints.
Reliance on Technology
The supply chain industry is an integral part of any economy; however, they are faced with various challenges as a result of the current geopolitics and global recessionary environment and are turning to technology to streamline their operations. In a new DP World study, 75% of the respondents said they expect technology to be a significant factor in easing the current supply-chain woes. Over 56% felt that digitalization would be the primary driver of efficiency, supporting the industry to move ahead. A majority of them placed technology at the center of cost savings and onboarding new customers.
However, many were fuzzy on how to incorporate technology into their industry. As telcos, supporting this important industry in their digital transformation journeys is a great responsibility and an opportunity. Again, this means working closely with other industries and trying to understand their pain points to come up with solutions that work. Network providers can work with hyperscalers to help industries design a cloud strategy that optimizes for business outcomes, including speed, resilience and agility involving management, logistics, tracking and delivering. This is an opportunity to position themselves as leaders in the industrial sector, which is constantly evolving.
Cost Optimization and Efficiency
Perhaps one of the most important advantages for telcos from a partnership perspective with public cloud operators is cost optimization and efficiency. The migration of network workloads to the public cloud and running virtual network functions (VNFs) or cloud-native network functions (CNFs) on cloud infrastructure will liberate them from owning their own. Network operators may utilize the cloud and its platform capabilities — computing, IoT platform, machine learning (ML), container orchestration and security — to enable enterprise clients to customize and scale their network experience on demand, using the latest technology such as network slicing or dedicated private networks.
A case in point is the collaboration between e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) and AWS.
The two companies are leveraging their respective expertise to build industry-specific solutions that offer low latency and high-performance computer services on 5G private networks and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) across use cases such as interactive AR/VR, industrial automation and ML/AI at the edge. These solutions are enabling enterprise customers in the UAE to streamline their operations, enhance the safety of work sites and employees and increase production resiliency across critical business processes.
At the kind of pace 5G rollouts are taking place regionally and globally, cloud adoption by the enterprise is not a matter of how but when. Here in the UAE, the preparation has already begun on a war footing. The UAE Cybersecurity Council (CSC) and AWS are collaborating to enable faster adoption of AWS cloud services in the UAE’s public sector and regulated industries, including healthcare and financial services.
The government is keen on leveraging AWS’ global cloud infrastructure to unlock a plethora of opportunities for government entities and other strategic industries to accelerate innovation and digital transformation in line with the UAE’s economic and national agendas.
With public cloud services changing business dynamics in major sports events such as the F1 race in the UAE and World Cup 2022 in Qatar, the technology will soon encompass many other sectors, and telcos must be well-prepared for the unprecedented windfalls of sorts.
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