By Sam Bridge / Arabian Business
Microsoft’s technology ecosystem and the growing popularity of cloud services will create more than 5,600 jobs in Bahrain by the end of 2022, according to new research by the International Data Corporation (IDC).
The Microsoft ecosystem – the companies that sell, service, deploy, or otherwise work with Microsoft products – supported more than 3,100 workers in the Gulf kingdom in 2017.
IDC said the ecosystem itself is a prolific generator of downstream revenues, accounting for BD10.57 for every BD1 that Microsoft produces.
“The report from Microsoft and IDC confirms the long-lasting strength we have rooted to realise the Economic Vision 2030. Cloud computing and Microsoft’s ecosystem of products, services and partner solutions will continue to play a vital role in economic development and creation of jobs in the Kingdom,” said Information & eGovernment Authority chief executive Mohamed Ali AlQaed.
IDC’s white paper showed that organisations across the kingdom will participate in a rise in IT spending and employment. Innovation and economic diversification will be supported by the increasing utilisation of public cloud services, it noted.
In addition, the government's cloud-first strategy, together with investments in private and hybrid cloud solutions, will enable businesses to generate almost BD129 million in new revenues over the next five years, the report added.
IDC predicts spending on public cloud services in Bahrain will almost quadruple over the same period, from BD2.74 million in 2017 to BD10.05 million in 2022.
Between the end of 2017 and the end of 2022, adoption of cloud services will create nearly 5,200 new jobs and the Microsoft technology ecosystem will add 400 jobs for a total of 5,600 in net job creation, it said.
“Digital transformation has the power to engage customers and citizens, empower employees, optimise operations and reinvent products and services,” said Necip Ozyucel, cloud & enterprise group lead, Microsoft Gulf. “Microsoft is proud of its record of job creation in Bahrain. Acceleration of economic growth and innovation and the downstream revenue that comes from the Microsoft ecosystem are natural outcomes from our efforts to help every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more.”
In March, Microsoft announced it would open dedicated cloud data centres in the United Arab Emirates, to serve customers across the Middle East.
In its whitepaper, IDC also examined wider ICT spending in Bahrain, predicting it would reach BD296.76 million in 2022, and that IT employment in the country will surpass 12,600 by that time.
“As cloud continues to gain momentum in the region, countries will be able to accelerate their digital transformation and economic diversification agendas,” said Megha Kumar, research director - Software & Cloud, IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
“Cloud will enable innovative projects that revolve around artificial intelligence, enterprise mobility, Internet of Things, and blockchain. It will also create demand for new skill types and expertise in the market.”