SAP announces SAR 285 million Saudi Investment Plan to support Vision 2030
SAP announced a plan to launch the SAP Cloud Hub, in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Communication and Information Technology represented by the National Digitisation Office, to support the acceleration of Saudi Vision 2030 and meet the Kingdom’s digital transformation goals.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was witnessed by His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, during her trade mission to the Kingdom.
The investment of SAR 285 million will happen over a period of four years, and the SAP Cloud Hub will comprise of four key pillars: the establishment of a public cloud data centre in the Kingdom; an open platform for local developers; a co-innovation centre to support Saudi startups and customers from both large enterprises and small- and medium-sized enterprises, and further localization of SAP solutions to support Saudi’s economic diversification goals and government investment.
“Saudi’s public and private sector organisations need to adopt latest technology innovations to enable new digital business models and enhance the Kingdom’s economic competitiveness. In a digital economy era, more public-private partnerships and co-innovation are crucial to fuel a diversified economy and spark the next wave of Saudi talent and entrepreneurship,” said Deema Al-Yahya, Acting Head of the National Digitisation Office.
Saudi Vision 2030 and National Transformation Programme 2020 call on government agencies to deliver and use more online and mobile technology solutions, especially in the areas of enhancing the citizen experience, talent development, and procurement.
In this context, the National Transformation Programme outlines SAR 285 billion in government spending by 2020, driving public sector cloud adoption. Cloud solutions, running on a pay-as-you-go OPEX model, will be essential for driving internet of things and smart cities innovation across smart utilities, traffic, and security and defence.
“With the SAP Cloud Hub, the Kingdom will accelerate government-led digital transformation and diversified economic growth. SAP is leveraging global best practices in supporting the Saudi government and organisations of all sizes and industries to use secure, localised cloud solutions to simplify operations, cut costs, and drive agile business models, and unprecedented collaboration,” commented Ahmed Al-Faifi, Managing Director, SAP Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen.
As part of the announcement, the Ministry of Economy and Planning and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology represented by the National Digitisation Office will work with SAP to explore integrating the SAP Cloud Hub into the planned government cloud, in order to further enhance government efficiency, employee productivity, and citizen services.
The Middle East and North Africa’s public cloud services market will grow by 22 per cent, to SAR 4.5 billion in 2017, according to projections by research firm Gartner.
Organisations running solutions on the SAP local data centre can securely analyse data in-country for real-time decision-making. Analysts agree the data centre will make a major impact in supporting the transformation of Saudi industry verticals such as banking and finance, construction, manufacturing, public sector and retail.