Digitisation to play key role in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030; IDC

Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 is to diversify away from its dependence on oil and look to digital opportunities instead

Tags: Digital transformationIDC Middle East and Africa
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Digitisation to play key role in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030; IDC IDC's research paper identifies key challenges which must be addressed to facilitate the transformation and provide guidance for the government, public sector organisations, telecommunication service providers and other industries in general.
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  May 24, 2016

International Data Corporation (IDC) identified that digitisation will play a critical role in enabling the Kingdom's vision for the future.

Saudi Arabia recently announced Vision 2030, a long-term economic blueprint for branching away from its dependence on oil.

"Vision 2030 includes regulatory, budgetary, and policy changes that will impact all major aspects of the economy, with technology featuring as a key enabler and driver for many of the changes envisaged," said Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

"Implemented correctly, digitisation initiatives will help drive economic and social development, promote good governance, and enhance national security. However, for this to happen, there must be a concerted effort by organisations across sectors and industries to align their ICT strategies with the Vision and its overarching executive programs."

To assist in the process, IDC's research paper identifies key challenges which must be addressed to facilitate the transformation and provide guidance for the government, public sector organisations, telecommunication service providers and other industries in general.

Abdulaziz Al-Helayyil, IDC's regional director for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain and head of business development for national ICT development in the GCC added: "There is a clear opportunity to leverage emerging information and communications technologies in order to enhance public service delivery and overall government effectiveness and efficiency.

"Indeed, ICT can lead to significant improvements in the citizen experience if employed through an omni-channel approach, while the implementation of shared services and e-procurement tools can considerably improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and transparency of government operations."

IDC believes that the digitisation of industries will ultimately lead to improved competitiveness, with ICT proving invaluable in automating end-to-end business processes across the entire supply chain. Manufacturing is one obvious beneficiary, where the Internet of Things (IoT) will enable manufacturers to leverage a combination of software, sensors, and IP-enabled connectivity to drive innovation around their products and processes. But manufacturing is not alone, with the Kingdom's healthcare and tourism industries also poised to embrace emerging technologies in order to enhance the services they offer.

IDC's paper proposes that digitisation initiatives must not be the sole preserve of large-scale enterprises, explaining that the integration of technology into their operations by SMEs can play a crucial role in increasing their productivity, enhancing their contribution to national economic output, and thereby supporting the diversification aims of Vision 2030.

However the implementation of a sophisticated nationwide digital infrastructure will be integral to empowering the citizens of the future and providing businesses of all sizes with the tools required to drive greater growth, agility, and competition for the benefit of the Kingdom as a whole.

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