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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Thursday 18 January, 2024 10:20 am |


Responses by Raahul Seshadri, Director - Engineering at WebEngage


1. What inspired WebEngage to create data residency in Saudi? And how does it relate to WebEngage’s regional aspirations?




Data Residency is a major policy being implemented by global economies in the interest of security and privacy. In Saudi, due to increased digitalization, data security and privacy have become all the more important and relevant. That is particularly true for critical infrastructure sectors like finance and banking, which are more susceptible to cyberattacks. 




By establishing data residency in KSA, WebEngage will reduce entry barriers for its Retention OS while simplifying the compliance of SaaS companies in Saudi. That is our first decisive step to supporting local businesses, providing them easy access to the most advanced retention marketing suite while ensuring their data is hosted securely within Saudi. Data residency is the start of WebEngage’s next growth chapter, which includes more recruitment, new offices, and strategic expansion. 




2. How did WebEngage go about establishing data residency? What were the priorities, technically and technologically?




Data has become one of the most valuable commodities, with a digital version existing somewhere of almost everything deemed important today. Technology is no less responsible for data security than it is for data creation. So, it played a significant role in our decision to establish data residency. 




WebEngage is a technologically complex system, with several nuances to how it supports multiple operational requirements. After we decided that Saudi was a key market and wanted to serve it better, we began brainstorming how to accomplish it. We laid out a comprehensive plan involving technology and infrastructure leadership. 




The primary requirement was an appropriate cloud infrastructure in the region. The next challenge was maintaining complete feature parity across different regions where WebEngage has data residency while ensuring they are all managed and updated simultaneously. It was all-hands-on-deck efforts from the engineering team in bringing data residency to fruition.




3. Please elaborate on the data centre specifications, including the cloud services provider, storage and processing speeds. How will those parameters contribute to operational efficiency?




WebEngage relies on cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We use the same providers in all regions, allowing us to maintain uniformity in our infrastructure orchestration processes. That supports elastic scaling in all regions, including Saudi. Data residency in Saudi also means that the network traffic will be faster for users within the region, as it does not have to make a costly trip around the globe. Google Cloud Platform in the region also supports our comprehensive suite of analytics by maximizing the power of data while ensuring utmost compliance with and adherence to local laws.




4. Information privacy is often the cornerstone of data residency laws. How is WebEngage hoping to uphold data integrity and security in the context of its data residency in Saudi?




WebEngage is known for its high standards of data integrity and security. We comply with ISO-27001 and SOC2 to ensure data security. Accordingly, in adherence to these standards across regions, all data stored in WebEngage is encrypted at rest and in transit. Audit logs are presented on the WebEngage dashboard for customers’ reference and use. Combining these with residency inside Saudi helps businesses using WebEngage to comply with local laws.




5. What value can Saudi customers expect from WebEngage following data residency? What sectors stand to benefit the most through this move?




Due to widespread privacy concerns, data localization is a sought-after requirement today. In critical infrastructure sectors like finance, this is becoming mandatory. By having data residency in Saudi, companies using WebEngage get a straightforward and simplified route to complying with all mandatory local laws. Having our cloud presence within the region also means we are more aligned with security practices and priorities like Vision 2030, joining businesses of all sizes in their journey of creating a thriving economy in the Kingdom. 




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