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AWS talks Cloud at Gitex Technology Week

Vinod Krishnan, Head of MENA, AWS tells us what AWS is showcasing at this year's GITEX

AWS talks Cloud at Gitex Technology Week
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Vinod Krishnan, Head of Commercial Sector, MENA, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS recently launched the AWS Middle East Region in Bahrain, bringing advanced and secure technology infrastructure that matches the scale of our other AWS Regions around the world. This offers unprecedented opportunities for innovation across industries and organizations of all sizes to support the region’s drive for digital transformation.

With this launch, AWS now spans 69 Availability Zones within 22 geographic regions around the world. The new AWS Middle East Region offers three Availability Zones. Availability Zones each comprise of at least one data center and are located in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications.

Cloud computing is a powerful technology that can open the doors for opportunity for organizations of all sizes, and across industries. For government agencies, cloud adoption allows them to drive down costs, streamline services, and better serve citizens. For example, by migrating to the AWS Cloud, the Bahrain Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), has reduced the government procurement process for new technology from months to less than two weeks, and reduced ICT infrastructure operational expenditures by up to 90%.

For large enterprises, cloud technology is a key enabler for digital transformation initiatives, which are a priority given the increased competition from startups that are disrupting traditional areas of business. For example, leading provider of logistics and transportation solutions, Aramex, is today solving longstanding logistics challenges in the region, such as the lack of proper physical addresses, by utilizing sophisticated data analytics and machine learning services to improve delivery accuracy and better serve customers. As a result of this adoption, Aramex has increased accuracy in shipping-date predictions by 74 percent, and lowered its average processing time for a prediction from 2.5 seconds to under 200 milliseconds.

Cloud technology has leveled the playing field giving smaller companies access to IT resources to compete in ways that were very expensive and often cost prohibitive in the past.  Today, entrepreneurs are able to gain the resources they need to put their ideas to work.  There’s no up-front investment and users pay for only the resources used. If an idea fails, a business is not left with wasted technology investments.  If the idea succeeds, AWS can help the company grow quickly and go global. 

This model of IT has changed the amount and degree to which companies, especially startups can innovate. We already work with a number of disruptors in the Middle East that are building regional solutions on the AWS Cloud across various sectors, like Anghami for digital music, Careem for transport, Fetchr for logistics, OpenSouq for ecommerce, Sarwa for fintech, and many more. Careem is a an example of a startup that has runs totally on AWS since day one, focusing their engineering efforts on the flagship app, rather than managing the technology infrastructure.

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