Microsoft’s technology ecosystem and the growing popularity of cloud services will create more than 55,000 jobs in the United Arab Emirates by the end of 2022, according to new research by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC’s white paper analyses the impact of ICT, cloud services, and the Microsoft ecosystem on the UAE economy between 2017 and 2022, covering a decade of IDC regional findings.

The research shows that implementation of nationwide initiatives such as UAE Vision 2021 and Smart Dubai, as well as other initiatives focused on tourism, healthcare, transportation, and education, has led to a rise in IT spending and employment.

IDC predicts spending on public cloud services in the UAE will almost quadruple over the next five years, from AED 439 million ($119 million) in 2017 to AED 1.51 billion ($410 million) in 2022.

Meanwhile, adoption of cloud services will create nearly 31,650 new jobs (net) and the Microsoft technology ecosystem will add 23,800 jobs (net) for a total of 55,450 in net job creation between the end of 2017 and the end of 2022.

The Microsoft ecosystem – the companies that sell, service, deploy, or otherwise work with Microsoft products – supported more than 71,250 workers in 2017.

IDC analysts estimated that the ecosystem itself is a prolific generator of downstream revenues, accounting for AED 10.16 ($2.77) for every AED 1 ($0.27) that Microsoft produces.

IDC analysts also investigated the possible knock-on effects of cloud adoption. The use of public cloud services, combined with investments in private and hybrid cloud solutions, will “enable organizations in UAE to innovate and achieve their [digital] transformation goals,” the white paper posited.

The benefits emanating from this digital transformation trend are set to generate around AED 20 billion ($5.44 billion) in net new revenues over the next five years.

“Digital transformation has the power to engage customers and citizens, empower employees, optimize operations and reinvent products and services,” said Syed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf.

He added that “IDC’s report clearly shows that private and public organizations have realized these benefits, and are directly or indirectly creating jobs as they invest in their futures, and Microsoft is proud of its record of job creation in the UAE, the wider GCC and beyond. Acceleration of economic growth and innovation and the downstream revenue that comes from the Microsoft ecosystem are natural outcomes from our efforts to help every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more.”

In March, Microsoft announced that it would open dedicated cloud data centers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to serve customers across the Middle East and Africa, and these data centers coming with huge investment are the first Microsoft datacenters in the Middle East.

The company believes the provision of cloud services through regional data centers will help start-ups to more quickly realize their potential, as well as accelerating the adoption of public cloud services within government agencies and regulated industries such as banking and finance, telecoms and healthcare.

In its whitepaper, IDC also examined wider ICT spending in the UAE and predicted it would reach AED 35.9 billion ($9.77 billion) in 2022, and that IT employment in the country will surpass 206,000 by that time.