As the COVID-19 pandemic set in, Saudi Arabia’s adoption of cloud technology gained considerable momentum, Oracle’s managing director of the Kingdom and its vice president for cloud in SALEENA told Arab News in an interview.
Fahad AlTurief said that this followed the company’s launch of the first cloud data center in Jeddah in February 2020.
He noted that this service was particularly important for businesses.
“During the pandemic, all the supply chain got impacted, (so) you cannot receive your hardware. So usually it used to take three months to receive the hardware in your data center and then you start installation and configuration. With the pandemic sometimes it’s taking eight months. So that's a big delay and [then] you're out of your business completely,” he said.
However, with cloud services the process became much faster and convenient.
AlTurief added that, when curfews were set in the Kingdom, some of their customers had to sleep in their data centers to serve them as they couldn’t leave at night, but the company’s cloud services enabled them to work from home.
Another data center that Oracle plans to establish is in NEOM, where it is set to go live soon.
“In the recent studies of IDC (the International Data Corporation), estimated that public cloud spending in Saudi Arabia will cross the $950 million mark in 2022, and it will reach $1.3 trillion in 2025, which shows you how much Saudi Arabia is adopting the cloud services. The examples are many during the pandemic and even post-pandemic,” he pointed out.
He said that Oracle partnered with many entities that made use of the cloud data center including the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, or KAIMRC, in addition to the Sehhaty app, among others. The company also initiated Oracle for Startups which allows startups to have a free cloud environment. Examples include Tamara and Awini app.
Moreover, AlTurief mentioned some of Oracle’s socially driven programs which focus on youth and women.
GenO, or Generation Oracle, is a program which hires fresh graduates on a full-time basis and trains and mentors them to be managers when they reach 30 years of age. OWL — Oracle Women Leadership — aims to empower women working in both Oracle and outside.