2023 Digital Transformation Trends to Anticipate in Saudi Arabia
Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Ameer Hamza
Recent reports have shown that Saudi Arabia has the biggest Information and communications technology (ICT) market in the Middle East and North Africa. Boasting a market value of more than $32.1 billion, the country is fast approaching becoming a technology service and cloud hub. It has access to global connectivity through the Red Sea and the Gulf, with a huge potential to serve European, Asian and African markets.
Moreover, the government is doing its best to integrate digital technologies and bring digital transformation in Saudi Arabia and throughout all business areas. But the government has confirmed that more strategies for digital technologies are in the works. This article will take a deeper look at the digital transformation predictions in Saudi Arabia for the coming year.
Significant Advances Made in Digital Transformation in Saudi Arabia
In a survey conducted earlier this year, 92% of Saudi Arabia’s government IT decision-makers have concluded that digital transformation has accelerated following the Covid 19 pandemic. The KSA is in the midst of a large-scale phase of digital transformation both in the public and private sectors.
Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, has entered many deals to boost the country’s tech goals. The country has also made billions of investments in technology. It is projected to spend about $24.7 billion by 2025 and $6.4 billion on future technologies.
Many organizations are tapping into digital transformation throughout the Middle East to drive results and reach a large audience of digitally informed consumers. The Digital Government Authority in Saudi Arabia officially released its 2022 digital transformation measurement reaching 80.96% compared to 69.33% in 2021.
The announcement also coincided with the launch of the first Digital Government Forum in Riyadh, under one of the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, to continue the digital transformation in Saudi Arabia journey. Eng. Ahmed Al-Suwalyn, Governor of the DGA, said two additional indicators are set to be launched in 2023.
He shared that the government is looking forward to unifying shared services and providing one unified access for all government platforms and websites. The DGA also agreed that the government payment channel must be one, adding that their goal is a 75% compliance rate by 2025.
Additional digital transformation in Saudi Arabia aims to provide better services and fewer digital platforms. For instance, many analysts have suggested reducing the number of digital platforms by 50%, from 818 in 2021 to 409 by 2025. Several government agencies and ministries have also contributed to achieving these digital transformation goals for the coming year.
However, industry experts have cited the need to promote digital literacy and train youth to take over these technologies. Hattan Saaty, an ex-advisor to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development of Saudi iterated this when he said that digital jobs such as AI, digital transformation and big data specialists will be highly in demand by 2025. Hence, necessitating major efforts to re-skill the present workforce.