In this Insider, we will identify the consequential enablers and inhibitors of third-party data centers and adoption of cloud services in the Middle East. We observe that the current market for third-party data centers and cloud services in the region is very small, even in those countries known to be quite dynamic and relatively accepting of innovation. For instance, relative to developed markets, Turkey and Saudi Arabia present big mismatches between their enterprise demographics and the level of presence of data centers and adoption of cloud services.
The lag in the region is partly because the Middle Eastern ICT players have only recently begun to feel pressures on their profit margins for their traditional services and therefore did not prioritize the provision of supply. Yet their appetite — especially the appetite of powerful telecom operators — is growing as the urgency of their need for diversification is rising. Will they be able to create vibrant markets where businesses do not only see IT capabilities as central to their operations, but also feel comfortable and knowledgeable enough to relinquish control to third parties? That will depend on whether the right types of businesses, skill sets and infrastructure, both technical and regulatory, are in place in the region to enable the development of an IT-based work culture and ecology.
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