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Cisco finds that Saudi Arabia leads in the region towards a digital economy

Cisco’s findings have positioned the Kingdom within the "Accelerate High" stage, highlighting the nation’s commitment to championing digitization

Cisco finds that Saudi Arabia leads in the region towards a digital economy
Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia

Cisco’s 2019 Global Digital Readiness Index has observed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is leading in the region towards transition to a digital economy.

Cisco’s Global Digital Readiness Index evaluates countries across seven components:

Basic Needs – for a population to thrive (e.g. life expectancy, access to clean drinking water, reliable electricity, etc.)
Business and Government Investment – private and public investment in innovation and technology.
Ease of Doing Business – infrastructure and policies needed to support business continuity.
Human Capital – a skilled workforce, able to support digital innovation.
Start-up Environment – fostering innovation and facilitating the development of new businesses
Technology Adoption – demand for digital products and services, such as mobile penetration rate, internet usage, investment in cloud services and AI adoption.
Technology Infrastructure – the ecosystem available to enable connectivity and digital transformation, through elements including IoT and the Cloud.

The results of the study showed that:

  •     When measured on Basic Needs, the Kingdom places in third position across the Middle East and Africa.
  •     For Business and Government Investment, Saudi Arabia places in 10th position regionally.
  •     When measured on Ease of Doing Business, the Kingdom positioned in 8th place across the Middle East and Africa.As the government continue to build a workforce encouraged to develop new skills within emerging fields, the nation’s Human Capital score places 6th within the region.
  •     For Startup Environment, Saudi Arabia is positioned in 8th place when measured against neighboring countries.
  •     The Kingdom’s ranking for Technology Adoption places it higher than the world average and in 5th position in the Middle East and Africa. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast predicts 30 million Internet users in Saudi by 2022.
  •     Saudi Arabia’s Technology Infrastructure places the in 2nd position regionally – the nation’s highest score across all criteria.

Since 2016, Cisco has been collaborating with the Saudi government and local industry to fast-track technology adoption and deliver impactful digital outcomes, as part of its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program which focuses on contributing towards many of the aspects explored in the Digital Readiness Index.

“Nations are fast realizing the benefits of digitization, from strengthening communications, to transforming industries and stimulating job creation. With our findings, we believe countries can gain a more accurate picture of their economic viability and can make informed decisions to stimulate growth,” said Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia.

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