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AWS summit enhances regional technology growth
October 7, 2018, 2:10 pm

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in Bahrain, brought together technologists from all industries and skill levels to discover how AWS can help them innovate quickly and deliver flexible, reliable cloud solutions at scale. 

The keynote was delivered by  Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS, who gave an overview on the latest AWS services and innovations, and an update on the progress of AWS in the Middle East. AWS has been accelerating investments in the reigon in recent years, with the first Middle East infrastructure Region set to launch in Bahrain in early 2019. The company has also been investing in a number of cloud education and workforce development programs to enable faster cloud adoption across the Middle East.

The keynote also included AWS customer stories from the region, as organization of all sizes, from startups to enterprises to governments, have been increasingly moving to the AWS cloud. Keynote speakers inlcuded Bahrain’s Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA), Saudi Arabia’s Al Tayyar Travel Group, Jordan’s, and UAE-based startup, who spoke about how they are using the AWS cloud for agility, innovation, and digital transformation.

AWS Summits take place in major cities around the world to help participants develop the skills to design, deploy, and operate cloud infrastructure and applications. The full day summit includes various educational and training sessions on topics ranging from how to get started on AWS to the many ways that the AWS cloud enables innovative technologies such as AI, IoT, and machine learning.

As a regional center of  excellence for developing cloud computing in the region, Bahrain has achievd a mature level of progress to date with the Kingdom’s cloud migration journey making it a center of excellence for developing cloud computing in the region.

During his opening speech at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit held in Bahrain for two consecutive years, Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive Mr. Mohammed Ali AlQaed stated that Bahrain’s experience today can provide capacity-building and knowledge-exchange with other countries as well as system development in a legislative environment that performs laws and adopts necessary policies for the success of the project.

AlQaed further noted that the support of Bahrain’s Cabinet has been one of the key reasons behind achieving accomplishments and goals through the adoption of the ‘Cloud First Policy’ in the government sector – proudly positioning the Kingdom as the first Arab country to implement such policy and amongst the first countries globally.

Amongst the latest achievements, AlQaed said that over 40 government systems and more than 650 workloads were able to successfully migrate to the national cloud, with plans underway to migrate up to 1,000 workloads by 2019. He continued that during the past period, a number of systems were developed which serve important sectors have been developed – such sectors include Education, Health, Finance and others during which the resources were effectively utilized resulting in lowering the use of external expertise.

He indicated that during the migration process, the Authority remained focused on capacity-building of the national workforce, equipping them with the necessary new skills in order to deliver the projects as well as keep pace with the rapid developments. To date, iGA - in collaboration with AWS and Tamkeen - has trained over 400 government employees with the aim of training 1,500 by 2020. The delivered courses are comprehensive and cover operations, applications, information security, databases, data analysis and management planning amongst many others. 

AlQaed also discussed the way forward in cloud adoption so as to reduce expenditures and raise levels of security as well as speed, namely ‘Server-less’ application development which will bring great benefits such as flexibility and reduction of operational costs. Additionally, find clear mechanisms to eliminate poorly-utilized resources as well as develop technologies such as Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) along with Artificial Intelligence.

He concluded by stressing the importance of cloud adoption and benefits of the technology in enabling government entities to remain competitive and able to continuously develop, improve citizen services as well as sustain quality of services provided to users. In return, iGA has implemented a well-defined mechanism to measure the impact of its adoption of the technology across government entities while ensuring that it is fully leveraging its benefits with the least risks – contributed in making Bahrain the center of excellence for cloud computing services in the region. 

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