June 12, 2023
Fajhan Almutairi, CEO of LEAN, talks to The Energy Year about the company’s strategy for developing its business in Kuwait, the services it provides to distinguish itself from its competitors and the extent of its involvement in the energy sector. LEAN is a private cloud service provider in Kuwait.
What has been LEAN’s strategy for developing its business in Kuwait?
LEAN was established in 2019 to fill Kuwait’s cloud services void. When studying the market, we realised that global cloud services such as AWS and Microsoft were accessible in Kuwait, but local cloud services did not exist in the country. We then seized this opportunity and built our cloud platform, enabling us to connect with our clients through private data links and remove the risk of potential exposure to malware attacks through the internet. We chose the VMware platform, which is a multi-tenant system specifically built to isolate each client and guarantee their security.
Building on these foundations, things started to grow for us. People slowly became aware of the importance of cloud services. Furthermore, Kuwait recently introduced cloud computing regulations by implementing the Cloud Computing Regulatory Framework Resolution and Data Privacy Protection Regulations by CITRA – Kuwait’s Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority. Among other things, these regulations required cloud service providers to be licensed, based on strict data privacy and security standards. LEAN was the first company to receive the Cloud Service Provider licence in Kuwait. Earning the first Cloud Service Provider licence was a tremendous source of pride for everyone at LEAN and was great validation for a startup like us. We also hold the industry-specific ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] certification, ISO 27001: 2013 – Information Security Management Systems as well as industry security-specific ISO 27017: 2015 -Information technology — Security techniques — Code of practice for information security controls based on ISO/IEC 27002 for cloud services.
Which services do you provide that distinguish you from your competitors?
LEAN offers virtual data centres (VDC), disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) and ransomware and data protection in the form of backup as a service (BaaS).
Our local cloud platform is fully redundant, meaning that there is no single point of failure. We offer a wide array of services with 24/7 monitoring and certified engineers and technicians to support our clients.
Firstly, with VDC, our clients are able to have a virtual cloud-based software-defined data centre, which functions similarly to traditional, on-premises, hardware-based data centres, but without the upfront investment in hardware or continuous licensing and maintenance costs.
Secondly, DRaaS is a significantly underserved and underutilised service in Kuwait. In today’s world, businesses are data-driven and extremely reliant on mission-critical software and applications for both the customer-facing and back-office aspects of their operations. Traditional disaster recovery setups rely on disaster recovery methods that are costly, complicated and slow in getting the affected business back up and running. LEAN’s local cloud-based DRaaS enables real-time replication of workloads and applications, which translates to a minimal disruption of business operations.
With the increase in ransomware attacks around the world, backup has become a target for such attacks, rendering an otherwise indispensable aspect of any organisation’s IT operation virtually useless. Having a comprehensive data backup solution, backed by an effective ransomware protection, has practically become a necessity in terms of business continuity, regulatory requirements and risk management standards. LEAN’s backup and data protection service is designed to isolate your backups, so you can rapidly restore your data to a safe point in time, and get back to normal operation in record time.
All our services are subscription based, which means no long-term commitments. Our services are also hardware-free, so organisations no longer need to invest in costly hardware. Additionally, we offer managed services to organisations looking to outsource these IT tasks. This allows our clients to hand over this responsibility to our certified engineers, so they can focus on their core business.
Who are your main clients in Kuwait?
We went to market in late 2020 with the financial sector in mind, and we have been very successful there, particularly since we meet the requirements of the Central Bank of Kuwait and are licensed by CITRA. That said, the need for our services is not limited to the financial sector. They are needed regardless of size or sector. We currently work with organisations from multiple verticals, including healthcare, retail, government and energy and resources.
What is your involvement in the energy industry?
Energy companies are, of course, quite prominent in Kuwait. These tend to be large entities with significant IT and data protection requirements. We provide services to several companies in the oil and gas sector. Our BaaS is particularly sought after, as we are ISO-certified, which meets the strict regulatory and internal requirements in the energy sector.
What is LEAN’s growth strategy going forward?
As the market accepts the concept of the cloud, we aim to introduce more advanced cloud-based solutions to the Kuwaiti market to fulfil our obligation, and to do our part to bring about Kuwait’s digital transformation on a national scale. Our digital cloud and related cloud services are our core business, so we expect to maintain our focus on what we do best.
Where do you see your company in five years?
LEAN is well on its way to set the standard for quality cloud services in Kuwait. We will continue to be the leading cloud provider in Kuwait, offering sophisticated services and excellent support. We predict the market will continue to grow, and we will do our best to stay one step ahead of our clients’ needs.