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How Bahrain powers the cloud to unlock digital transformation for global business

Digital EconomyICTStartupTechnology

The cloud server is the cutting-edge technology backbone that connects everything from the internet-enabled apps on our phones to governments and big businesses.

And while it might not be something that we can physically see, its very existence relies on mass computing power in locations around the world – locations like Bahrain.

Amazon Web Services just launched its innovative Middle East Region data centre in the Kingdom, allowing companies such as Bahrain Bourse, Kuwait’s Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, Emirates NBD and Flydubai to run their applications and serve local audiences with quicker and more efficient services.

The company’s chief executive Andy Jassy hailed how the cloud can “unlock digital transformation” for businesses, allowing them to take advantage of game-changing technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics.

That’s something the forward-thinking Bahraini government is already more than familiar with, combining a cloud-first policy with a favourable and fast-moving regulatory environment to innovate for the future.

Looking to the future

Our constant progress and ever-improving business conditions are part of a multi-cloud strategy that is attracting more and more businesses, including global players such as AWS cloud services– empowering an exciting new generation of entrepreneurs who want to take their fledgeling ideas to the next level.

And it’s in our history. Bahrain was the first Gulf nation to open-up and deregulate its telecoms sector in the 2000s, giving consumers more choice and laying the building blocks for the strong ICT ecosystem that exists today.

Since then, we’ve built a flourishing ICT ecosystem and now, all of the Bahraini government entities are required to leverage the cloud server for their digital services, while the private sector is supported to make use of this new technological development.

This enables ministries to deliver additional services to users while reducing system maintenance overheads by as much as 90% with start-ups benefitting from the ability to scale at low cost.

And it’s unsurprising that companies like Amazon Web Services are coming to Bahrain to expand their cloud networking operations, with the cloud market in the GCC worth more than $668 million and recording a 41% annual traffic growth rate. The Kingdom’s business-friendly environment and collaborative Team Bahrain approach mean it is the perfect testbed location for cloud technology partners to launch or expand their innovative products across the region.

Meanwhile, our recently passed data jurisdiction laws mean foreign companies from designated countries can maintain their home market jurisdiction while benefiting from out-of-country cloud networking services – making foreign investment easier in an age when red-tape can tie up innovation and progress.

At a time when privacy concerns are mounting across the globe, the robust law ensures that consumer trust in the market is strengthened in a framework that allows for seamless data flow through the cloud server, meeting the growth and trade needs of government and the largest of corporations.

It shows investors, businesspeople and consumers that Bahrain is taking solid steps towards a data-driven economy without compromising on the robustness and transparency of regulation – all of which contributes to digitally transformative economic progress.

And perhaps most importantly, as the Kingdom’s digital economy continues to grow, the Personal Data Protection law and Cloud First policy enable us to continue to attract high-quality FDI across multiple sectors.

Add to that an educated local talent pool– 90% of whom are fluent in both Arabic & English –  as well as the availability of comprehensive training in cloud computing and dedicated EDB ‘concierge’ assistance for start-ups, and it becomes clear why major global firms choose to do business here.

Indeed, according to recent data from the World Economic Forum, Bahrain ranked first in MENA for ICT readiness and individual ICT penetration – coming 14th globally overall among 139 economies.

And it is those strong foundations which enable the Kingdom to step into the future by utilising the latest innovative technology for a prosperous ICT ecosystem. Bahrain’s businesses are truly soaring high into the cloud.