In the previous article we talked about how Dubai is making major strides towards Digital Transformation. This article will analyse how its neighbor, Saudi Arabia, is also taking similar steps.
Economic transformation has become a rallying point for enterprises around the world. Digital Transformation is a manifestation of that however many entities, from the national governments to the smallest of business are endeavoring to formulate clear strategic goals to enable such a transformation.
Saudi Arabia’s leadership has taken a unique step of articulating a clear vision for the country by drafting a comprehensive strategic plan to achieve these goals. The National Transformation Plan (NTP) is the Kingdom’s commitment to driving change and has the potential to cement Saudi Arabia’s position as global markets face uncertainty
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative is a long-term economic blueprint designed to curtail the country’s dependence on oil. The initiative outlines the regulatory, budgetary and policy changes that will have an impact on all major aspects of the Saudi economy.
Digitization will also play a central role in achieving the milestones of the NTP. The program identifies a number of digital transformation areas to support the NTP’s initiatives, including five common digital platforms, 29 essential digital initiatives for key sectors, and a number of national digital assets that may be developed to support government digital transformation.
Where Vision 2030 describes the ambitious economic and societal goals for Saudi Arabia, the National Transformation Program (NTP) provides detailed roadmaps – based on milestones and targets – to get there. The NTP is one of several executive programs supporting Vision 2030.
Other programs include:
- Saudi Aramco Strategic Transformation Program
- The Public Investment Fund Restructuring Program
- The Human Capital Program
- The Strategic Partnerships Program
- The Privatization Program
- The Program for Strengthening Public Sector Governance.
Technology will be a key enabler and driver of the numerous changes envisaged by Vision 2030, with the goal of developing the nation’s digital infrastructure and stimulating the related economic sectors, industries and private sector entities.
Key sectors that will have a profound impact from the inititative are listed below
Manufacturing: The Internet o f Things (IoT for short) will enable manufacturers to drive innovations for their products through IP-enabled connectivity. ICT (Information Communication Technology) will play a crucial role in automating end-to-end business processes across the entire supply-chain. In this process an entire amount of data will be created and captured by customs and regulation processes and as such ICT will play a crucial role in improving supply chain performance.
Healthcare: Saudi Arabia’s healthcare industry is poised to embrace emerging technologies in order to improve upon the services that are already being offered. By enhancing collaboration across the ecosystem of formal and informal caregivers, the healthcare services will be integrated, thus delivering considerable benefits while reducing costs, especially in long-term care. IoT could be a key enabler in the development of monitoring and personal wellness services, and it will improve access to healthcare. Such initiatives will enable the Saudi government to increase the life expectancy of its citizens from 74 to 80 years, keeping in line with the objectives of vision 2030.
Tourism: Today, tourism authorities worldwide are embracing digital initiatives. Through location-based services, and with augmented reality on the horizon, the smartphone has become an indispensable tool that incentivizes tourists to spend more money during their stay and offers a wide range of entertainment irrespective of location, thereby creating opportunities to maximize tourist activity and revenue. An Omni-channel tourism strategy that involves every major player in the ecosystem will encompass social networks as well as mobile technologies.
Small Industries: Both Vision 2030 and NTP are also focusing on developing the Kingdoms Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). At present Saudi Arabia’s SME contributions are lagging behind when compared with other markets globally, contributing to only about 20% of the GDP. Vision 2030 calls for this figure to increase to 35%. This will be a major contributing factor that will increase employment and increase women’s participation in the workforce.
Both Vision 2030 and NTP both share a common goal achieving economic and social progress with digital transformation at its heart. Along with Dubai, Saudi Arabia among the first countries whose governments have undertaken major efforts to integrate digital transformation into their mainstream policy.
The Digital Transformation Show is a series of shows being held across the Middle East and Asia is once such event where these expert advisors and strategic vendors will meet. The show connects CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, CDOs, and business owners with international digital strategy gurus and global innovators who are showcasing their attest and the most developed strategies in recent years.
Trescon is hosting a series of events under the umbrella of ‘Digital Transformation Show’ across strategic locations in the Middle East and Asia. The Kingdom Digital Transformation Show is the second of the series that is taking place on 20 – 21 November 2017 in Riyadh.