Amazon bets on boom in Middle East as big tech rivals play catch-up

Amazon Web Services caught many established tech giants sleeping as it boomed to a $20-billion-a-year business, and now it’s making a move to dominate a new cloud market: the Middle East. Amazon recently announced it will be investing in its first Mideast data centers, based in Bahrain, which the company said will be built by 2019. Amazon Web Services continues to be a major source of revenue, growing 42 percent in the just-reported third quarter, with a top-line contribution of $4.6 billion. But there are signs that the rest of the tech world is catching up to Amazon in the cloud: The AWS results marked the ninth-consecutive quarter of a declining trend in AWS revenue growth(Q3 was actually flat compared to Q2), making new markets more important to Amazon’s investment in the cloud. “The Middle East is a bit of a dead zone when it comes to cloud computing,” said John Dinsdale, chief analyst and managing director of Synergy Research Group. “Will this change? Yes, but slowly.” He added, “Any firm that wants to be a serious global cloud provider cannot afford to just ignore the Middle East.” An Amazon spokesman said the company would not go into details about plans for AWS in the Middle East but added that the company is “far from being done adding [cloud computing data centers] in this part of the world.” Amazon Web Services has benefited from the cloud computing boom of the past decade, which allows companies to outsource many IT functions… [Read full story]

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