Public cloud spending in KSA expected to reach $138.2m in 2018, says expert

Updated 23 May 2018
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Public cloud spending in KSA expected to reach $138.2m in 2018, says expert

  • Oracle Saudi has trained 40 co-op students from more than 35 universities
  • Oracle and the Misk Foundation will explore potential collaboration opportunities to create entry-level and professional training programs

RIYADH: The International Data Corporation (IDC), a global provider of market intelligence, estimates that public cloud spending in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach $138.2 million in 2018, said Abdul Rahman Al-Thehaiban, senior vice president for tech in Middle East and Africa at Oracle.
He told Arab News the IDC estimates that Saudi Arabia will spend $11 billion on information technology in 2018.
“These are encouraging trends and a clear sign of the government’s focus toward driving cloud-led digital transformation,” he added.
“Public and private sector organizations in Saudi Arabia have initiated major digital transformation initiatives and the focus is firmly on creating a digital infrastructure that enhances the fundamental competitiveness of the Saudi economy,” said Al-Thehaiban.
He said Oracle is also expanding its footprint in the Kingdom by introducing the latest cloud solutions; creating a robust support infrastructure; and implementing a series of programs and initiatives aimed at driving digital skills among Saudi youth to prepare them for the digital economy in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
Oracle’s memorandum of understanding with the Misk Foundation has gained big attention. It focuses on developing the IT skills of young Saudi nationals to prepare them for a career in the modern digital economy.
“Under this agreement, Oracle and the Misk Foundation will explore potential collaboration opportunities to create entry-level and professional training programs; offer internships; develop training material and help develop an active community of technology professionals for the sharing of best practices,” Al-Thehaiban said.
Oracle has been present in Saudi Arabia for nearly three decades. Its long-term commitment has translated into a massive investment to help organizations of all sizes, in the public and private sectors, to achieve strategic objectives with digital transformation.
“Saudi Arabia is a priority market for Oracle and over the past year alone, it has introduced applications based on artificial intelligence (AI) for finance, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, commerce, customer service, marketing, and sales professionals. The new Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps are built into the existing Oracle Cloud Applications to deliver the industry’s most powerful AI-based modern business applications.
“Oracle has been experiencing strong customer demand for its cloud services in the region, which has led us to have data center facilities in Saudi Arabia very soon. With a focus on empowering organizations to move workloads to the cloud while keeping their data on their own premises, Oracle has launched the innovative cloud for customer solutions in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Oracle has launched several initiatives in Saudi Arabia to develop new talents and engage Saudi youth, especially women, in the labor market.
“We have different programs such as an annual cloud internship program to encourage young Saudis to undertake a career in the IT industry; a graduate workforce development program, which focuses on developing marketable competencies of students and fresh graduates; and the Oracle Cooperative Training, a program that helps students to apply their academic knowledge in a practical ‘real-life’ environment which leads to graduation,” the Oracle official said.
“Since 2013, Oracle Saudi has trained 40 co-op students from more than 35 universities, and computer science in schools and universities. Oracle supports 30 Saudi educational institutions across 10 cities through which we are able to reach 70,000 students with the Oracle Academy program,” Al-Thehaiban added.


Forum aims to boost Saudi-Japan trade ties

Updated 18 June 2019
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Forum aims to boost Saudi-Japan trade ties

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.