CLOUD SOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL
Q: Sri Lanka’s IT industry is one of the highest growth sectors in the economy.
What’s your view on this?
A: Our IT industry has plenty of opportunities and is second to none. We have the capability and necessary skills set with a talent pool and the right attitude to deliver any expectations. In my assessment, if addi¬tional government support is provided through the estab¬lishment of dedicated IT parks and IT-related invest¬ments in infrastructure and other necessities, Sri Lanka has the potential to become a stronger global player.
Presently, we see individual companies more or less single-handedly bringing in the invest-ments. Unlike India, we don’t have large players. In the last decade, India has emerged as an IT hub for foreign software companies and Indian software companies have taken prominent positions in the global IT industry.
Q: In your assessment, what reasons hamper the indus¬try’s growth potential?
A: Ease of doing business is the number one factor. The conduciveness of the regulatory environment can make or break an industry. Therefore, we need to promote a favourable business environment, and the govern¬ment should provide that assurance to investors and other stakeholders.
For instance, the government established free trade zones in the 1990s – a bold reform that was implemented. This resulted in a boom in the apparel indus¬try over the decades that follo¬wed. For companies such as Google, Microsoft or Facebook to come to Sri Lanka, there has to be some attraction and as such, we must have at least some means and mechanisms in place to attract prominent players to the country.
Q: What should be improved from a regulatory point for the growth of the industry?
A: Sri Lanka secured a position in the global IT industry long before countries such as Bang-ladesh, the Philippines and Vietnam to name a few. But over the last 10 years or so, they have outpaced Sri Lanka.
The IT industry is vast and comprises information tech¬nology services, consulting and outsourcing. If you take the BPO sector, it’s all about knowledge. Product engineering is the bread and butter of software development companies such as Cloud Solutions. In addition, there are many other IT-related businesses as well. We have to establish a set of standards across all sectors and then train our people through best practices to bring them up to par with other countries.
Q: How would you describe Cloud Solution International’s journey?
A: Cloud Solutions Interna¬tional is a fully owned sub¬sidiary of Cloud Solutions, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was created to ensure that the healthcare sector embraces better technology while mini¬mising day-to-day risks.
Boasting over 22 years of domain knowledge in the healthcare sector, we pride ourselves on punching way above our weight. Our mother com¬pany Cloud Solutions is the information technology arm and a subsidiary of Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group (HMG), which is the biggest medical group in the Gulf Region. It employs about 16,000 employees and the company is listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange with a current market value ex¬ceeding US$ 18 billion.
In an effort to improve the healthcare information systems used in HMG hospitals, Cloud Solutions was formed as the development company located in Sri Lanka. Its work is to continue R&D in Hospital/Medical Information Systems and related products and services. The company also aims to expand its horizons in the field of healthcare by exploring the obscured.
Q: What motivated Cloud Solutions International to enter the Sri Lankan market?
A: HMG is a giant company with a presence in Saudi Ara¬bia, Dubai, Sri Lanka and Jordan. Our decision to enter the local market was mostly influenced by the skill sets available here, and the attitude and competencies of Sri Lan¬kans. We now employ 150 Sri Lankans and that number is expected to rise to 220 by the end of 2022.
I must mention that the former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Azmi Thassim was instrumental in establishing Cloud Solutions International in Sri Lanka.
Q: For those of us who are not familiar, can you explain in layman’s terms what Cloud Solutions International does?
A: With the vision of being a global healthcare standard for software applications, we build software solutions to help organisations that provide healthcare services such as small and large hospitals, medical centres, polyclinics, laboratories, pharmacies, blood banks etc.
We strive to ensure that our clients can continue to evolve using cutting-edge technology so that their customers may receive the best healthcare experience throughout life by adapting to and adopt¬ing the disruptive technological solutions provided by us.
Cloud Solutions has about 37 specialised applications that are designed for different market segments. Our largest client is the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia and our systems are operating in about 50 hospitals in the kingdom. All our pro¬ducts are future proof and cloud ready; and therefore, there is a guaranteed ROI for our customers.