Saudi technology leaders chart digital transformation strategies at Huawei KSA Day 2020
Ain Alalam – Rashad Iskandrni
Government ministers, industry leaders, and technology partners explore new avenues of cooperation to support national ICT Strategy 2023 and Vision 2030
Riyadh, KSA: A historic convergence of new technologies will see Saudi Arabia’s digital economy become the main driver of future economic growth and diversification, according to industry pioneers at this week’s Huawei KSA Day 2020 conference. The annual event brings together leaders from across the public and private sectors to encourage business and strategic dialogue in building Saudi’s ICT ecosystem in line with the ambitions of the national ICT Strategy 2023 and Saudi Vision 2030.
Held under the slogan “Creating New Value Together”, this year’s conference included senior-level discussions by Huawei’s leadership team as well as market intelligence firm IDC, and representatives from the Royal Commission of Riyadh City, NEOM, and others.
According to the forecast report provided by IDC, by 2023, digital transformation investment will account for 50% of government and enterprise ICT investment. By 2030, three cities in Saudi Arabia will be ranked among the top 100 cities worldwide, with the Kingdom having a non-oil economy that accounts for 50% of GDP. Government efficiency in Saudi Arabia already ranks among the top 20 worldwide, with 16 smart cities already built or planning to be built in the Kingdom.
Keynote speaker Terry He, CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, said: “Organizations across Saudi Arabia today are seeking new opportunities and new collaborations to embrace the digital economy and a smart society. Cooperation across the ICT value chain is pivotal to realizing this new value in the Kingdom. It is why Huawei KSA Day is designed to open the door to new possibilities in the digital world.”
Event participants felt strongly that the best time to make digital leaps is now, making changes together across industries and society. According to Saudi Vision 2030, innovative 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud technologies are helping to lead governments and enterprises into a more intelligent era. The Kingdom is already witnessing the rise of game-changing applications of these technologies, from smart cities and 5G-enabled oil and gas campuses to smart metering, smart water management, smart healthcare, and distance learning enabled by smart education.
The foundation of the future digital economy is connectivity and computing, according to Huawei experts at the event. Connectivity technologies include 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine-to-machine communications, whereas computing technologies are represented by cloud and AI. It is the synergy across connectivity, cloud, computing, AI, and industry applications that will transform communities within Saudi Arabia; from government to energy, healthcare, education, transportation, and finance, creating new value for society.
With this in mind, event participants explored use cases of smart cities from around the world, as well as other innovative digital applications specific to different industry scenarios. The Huawei CLOUD was also unveiled to participants for the first time in the Kingdom. It is the world’s fastest growing ultra-hyper scale public cloud, with HUAWEI CLOUD collaborating with more than 23,000 partners around the world. Other new connectivity and computing products were also unveiled during this year’s event.