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Localized data centers are key to business empowerment in KSA

Localized data centers are key to business empowerment in KSA

Monday, April 29, 2024/ Editor -  


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Riyadh:  Saudi Arabia is at the crossroads of digital transformation. Its ambitious Vision 2030 seeks to propel the nation into a new era of economic diversification, social progress, and technological advancement. The Saudi government has embraced digital transformation as an integral and pragmatic strategy in line with this vision. This transformation aims to enable and accelerate government efficiency and effectiveness, and propel Saudi businesses into the global market by leveraging technology.

Digital transformation is also increasing the demand for cloud-based solutions in Saudi Arabia. Public cloud spending in Saudi Arabia was expected to exceed $950 million by end of 2022, with a projected 24% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2025. Organizations are recognising the cost-efficiency, security, agility, and flexibility offered by cloud solutions.
Adopting new technology, with all its benefits, also poses several challenges that must be addressed to capitalise on these enhancements fully. The biggest challenges among these are the concerns of privacy, cybersecurity, data security, accessibility, data sovereignty, and sustainability. Saudi Arabia, under its Vision 2030, has been aware of these challenges, and for this purpose, the Personal Data Protection Law has been implemented by the government to protect personal data and enhance data security.
Data centers are at the core of today's and tomorrow’s digital transformation needs, and the demand in the Kingdom shows this requirement. According to a report by Arizton,'The Saudi Arabia data center market size was valued at USD 1.78 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 3.18 Billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 10.13% during the forecast period'. 
Saudi Arabia’s modernization journey hinges on data centers. Driven by Vision 2030 and digital transformation efforts, these centers are the backbone of the nation’s technological leap. However, they face a dual mandate: cybersecurity and environmental sustainability. ManageEngine, the enterprise IT division of Zoho Corporation, provides world-class data center solutions in the Kingdom and is focused on building sustainable data centers within Saudi Arabia for data sovereignty.

ManageEngine’s initiative to build data centers in the heart of the Kingdom shows its commitment to catering to the region's needs and enabling businesses to not only achieve digital transformation but also comply with Saudi Arabia's data protection regulations.

Cybersecurity challenges

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, much like other nations, faces various cyberthreats—malware, data breaches and digital espionage. As businesses and governmental infrastructure goes digital, safeguarding critical infrastructure, financial systems, and personal data becomes paramount. The private sector and government agencies collaborate to fortify their digital defences as national security and business continuity depends on fortifying digital fortresses like data centers. These threats range from customer data being compromised to national infrastructure and security being compromised.

One key aspect of combating this challenge is data sovereignty. Establishing data centers within the Kingdom ensures data sovereignty and localization. Localized data helps companies comply with Saudi laws; enables the government to ensure privacy, safety, and integrity; and assists in immediate data recovery.

'We welcome the launch of the data centers in Saudi Arabia, as it ensures increased availability, safeguarding of sensitive medical data and helping us meet compliance-related requirements. The new facilities empower us in our mission of providing the best quality technology-based services. We look forward to building our relationship with ManageEngine and putting in place a reliable and secure IT infrastructure for the healthcare sector,' said Othman Al Jumaiee, director of information services for the Ministry of National Guard - Health Affairs.
ManageEngine’s data centers in Riyadh and Jeddah will provide enhanced security and data privacy and will enable companies in Saudi Arabia to comply with data security regulations. The data centers will provide localization of data storage and processing, which will be key for the government and the banking sectors.

Environmental challenges
On the other end of the spectrum is the challenge of ensuring sustainability, as data centers consume significant energy, contributing to the carbon footprint. In order to truly attain Vision 2030 goals, sustainable solutions are essential to align with Vision 2030’s environmental goals. 

Rising temperatures, water scarcity, and extreme weather events threaten the delicate balance of ecosystems. As the world shifts toward renewable energy sources, Saudi Arabia faces the dual challenge of reducing its dependence on oil while safeguarding its environment. Balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship is a tightrope walk that requires innovative solutions.

For the sustainability needs of Saudi Arabia, ManageEngine’s data centers utilize energy-efficient technologies and adhere to sustainable practices, aligning with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 goals for environmental responsibility.

Prasanna Venkatesh Srinivasan, regional manager for the KSA at ManageEngine, said 'We firmly believe that the digital transformation outlined in Vision 2030 not only presents significant opportunities for cloud service providers but also underscores the critical importance of data security and sustainability. As the Kingdom anticipates exponential growth in the IT sector over the next few years, our commitment lies in enabling both public and private organizations to harness the power of cloud technologies while safeguarding sensitive information and contributing to a more environmentally responsible future.”

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