How GCC governments can lead the cloud computing revolution
Regarding cloud computing, it is not a question of if. It’s not even a question of when. It’s a question of now. Around the world, governments are actively developing cloud computing policy frameworks to embrace this inevitable shift and encourage locally grown entrepreneurship, job growth and competitiveness. Governments are taking the lead when it comes to the use of the public cloud and innovative technologies.
History shows us that embracing world-class technology makes a huge difference for the economic prosperity and well-being of a country. With a legacy infrastructure gap, countries with enabling government policies are set to benefit the most and will see the biggest uptake of cloud services across the world. According to BMI Research; software spending in Kuwait is forecasted to increase from KD 57.3 million in 2016 to KD 62 million in 2020. The market is small due to oil dominating Kuwait’s economy but there are select opportunities in enterprise modernization initiatives. Moreover, IT services spending forecast is further estimated to increase from KD 105.7 million in 2016 to KD 123 million in 2020, at a CAGR of 3.9 percent. The cost savings and increased flexibility offered by services such as cloud computing and outsourcing will support IT services outperformance in an environment of increasing economic uncertainty.
This is the first area in expanding affordable access to Internet connectivity and cloud computing. Innovations providing last-mile connectivity should be exploited, as should competition among local service providers. TV Whitespaces is a great example of a technology that expands wireless Internet access and cloud computing services to some of the most remote communities.
Governments must work to create more knowledge-based economies. The pathway to new technologies requires a parallel investment in skills development - having the requisite talent to participate in an increasingly digital society and to use smart devices and online services. In schools, this requires promoting digital literacy and making sure teachers and students have access to technology and learning tools at low cost. In the workplace, this requires lifelong learning with a focus on programs and investments that promote upskilling for the cloud, a more digitalready workforce and a smooth shift to new jobs, as we transition to knowledge-based economies.
A balanced regulatory agenda
Regulations are essential to create a regulatory environment that promotes innovative and confident use of technology. A balance must be struck between the free flow of data and information, and privacy policies. This means more formal and written cyber-security and privacy policies should be put in place, and countries should create interoperable frameworks for the free flow of information across borders. The processes for protecting intellectual property like obtaining trademarks need to be streamlined.
Government leading by example: Government leadership is perhaps the most important step in the transition to a knowledge economy. Every government has an opportunity to lead by example in embracing technology to provide advanced services to citizens and improving productivity in the public sector. Companies can and should work in partnership with governments to take advantage of the innovative cloud and productivity business solutions. Governments in the region can digitally transform themselves to empower their employees, optimize operations, reinvent their services and eventually engage and serve the citizens on day to day basis, in a much more efficient and productive manner.
Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. As such, we are optimistic about the future and the role technology can play. However, computing is not the end goal. Empowering people is, and public sector support is a vital enabler for us all. - Charles Nahas is the General Manager, Microsoft Kuwait
FRANKFURT: Germany’s economy ministry says it has withdrawn its approval for Chinese Grand Chip Investment’s 670-million-euro purchase of Aixtron, citing security concerns. —AFP