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70% of Dubai start-ups use cloud computing, plan to increase spending-Report

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) announced the findings of The Cloud Report 2017, commissioned in partnership with IBM and produced by Thomson Reuters.

The report provides an in-depth overview of cloud computing adoption across the start-up segment in Dubai based on a survey of more than 100 start-ups, supplemented by several case studies. 


The Cloud Report 2017 found that 70% of start-ups in Dubai currently use cloud computing, and 24% even built their start-ups on the cloud.

Meanwhile, 38% of those not yet on the cloud plan to adopt the technology in the near future.

Across the three cloud service models available, 76% of start-ups on the cloud have opted for Software as a Service (SaaS).

Meanwhile, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are each used by 32% of adopters.

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One-third of the start-ups on the cloud utilize more than one type of cloud service, with nine percent using all three service models.

Start-ups on the cloud in Dubai use an average of 4.39 cloud services, with 36% using one or two services, and 18% using more than five.

Storage and web hosting are considered as core services, and are generally the first cloud services adopted, and are also currently the most widely used at 68% and 67% respectively.

Although 72% of all start-ups spend less than $50,000 on IT annually, 24% dedicate more than 20% of that annual budget to cloud solutions.

In addition, 80% of start-ups on the cloud are planning to increase spend on cloud services in the next two years.

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Among the start-ups that have not yet adopted cloud solutions, 42% find the initial investment prohibitively high.

Other concerns delaying start-ups from moving to the cloud include data protection (27%) and security (15%).

Tina Ghanem, Head of Accelerate SME at Thomson Reuters in the Middle East and North Africa, said: “For entrepreneurs with less IT expertise, cloud adoption can be an overwhelming thought and there is still a misconception that it involves big price tags, and huge commitments of time and resources. Various initiatives – such as the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, a cloud credit program, and the incubation support of ecosystem players like Dtec – will help to address some of the perceived obstacles to deeper and broader cloud technology usage among these start-ups.”

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Top tips

The Cloud Report 2017 lists five cloud adoption tips for start-ups:

1) Begin with a cloud-first strategy and consider adoption from the get-go

2) Find a provider that offers a secure and scalable storage solution that also acts as a virtual workspace

3) Choose a cloud deployment model (public, private, community, hybrid) that reflects your privacy, security, and size requirements

4) Choose the optimal hosting option (dedicated or shared)

5) Make data security and privacy a priority