The Middle East is a crucial market and one of the fastest-growing countries for Alphabet’s Google, which is investing billions of dollars globally to compete with Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud arena. Google is evaluating plans to create new data centres in this region.
According to Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, the business, which is currently constructing data centres in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and has recently launched a new cloud area in Israel, is looking at a number of options. There are normally three data centres in each new cloud zone that Google Cloud creates.
“So, the kingdom itself has three [data centres], Qatar has three and Israel has three. Each location that we announce is a triad,” He remarked, refusing to say specifically how much the firm intended to invest there.
“We don’t share our dollar figures publicly, but you can assume that [investment in] each cloud region is in hundreds of millions of dollars in capital, north of that,” Mr Kurian said.
All of these initiatives span several years, and the firm has stated that when it constructs data centres, it’s often “looking at an eight- to 10-year horizon because it’s a large investment.”
The company’s effort to expand globally includes a campaign to do business in the Middle East. It presently has 106 data centres and 35 live cloud regions. Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, recently declared plans to create 14 additional cloud zones worldwide.
The fastest-growing markets for Google Cloud include the Middle East and Asia, and the company anticipates that trend to continue over the next five years as it broadens its regional presence. Global software and technology companies are vying with one another to open offices in the area and aggressively grow their market shares.
With the second cloud region in the UAE, Amazon Web Services (AWS) hopes to improve its standing in the market. Other companies building their own data centres in the second-largest economy in the Arab world include IBM and Alibaba.
Google Cloud has had exponential growth in the Middle East region to date, and Mr Kurian is working hard to keep it rolling.
“Now we have direct presence in five countries. You will see us expanding in the years ahead and you will see us continue to expand at least at the same rate as we are today.”
One of the G20 economies with the strongest growth rates, as Saudi Arabia matures, “we expect technology to become a bigger part of the overall economic growth so we’re confident that our business will continue to grow [there],” Mr Kurian said. “We definitely see that trend continuing.”
Government ministries, the telecom sector, banks and other financial institutions, as well as businesses in the travel and tourism and retail industries, are just a few of its regional clients. Two of the companies it works with in these industries are the e-commerce platform Noon and the online retailer Namshi.
Businesses in the Middle East and Africa are using cloud adoption to reduce overall operational costs, increase profitability, and effectively handle market disruptions brought on by COVID-19.
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