Smart technologies up Saudi employees’ productivity satisfaction

Updated 18 August 2019

Smart technologies up Saudi employees’ productivity satisfaction

Saudi Arabia’s growing appetite for technology is evident from the fact that today the country is the largest IT market in the Middle East. 

A recent research conducted by Avaya, polled employees (both males and females) across 9 countries — Saudi Arabia, UK, Italy, South Africa, UAE, Singapore, Germany, Australia and France — has found that an overwhelming majority of Saudi respondents (84 percent) agree that technology-assisted workplaces help them increase their productivity. 

While it can be expected that younger employees and tech-savvy millennials would be most in favor of using technology to aid their job functions, an interesting finding was that it was actually the age group of 55 years and over that showed the highest agreement (95 percent).

Seventy percent of the survey’s Saudi respondents stressed the importance of enhancing communications and collaboration systems in their organizations. This figure places Saudi Arabia first among the nine countries included in the research. It is an indication that organizations in the Kingdom need to pay urgent attention to the needs of these employees.

Besides increasing job satisfaction among this large group of employees, the investments that Saudi organizations make to enhance the communication and collaboration tools could go a long way in optimizing operations. 

There is a clear need to do this as presently, a surprisingly large number of Saudi employees (85 percent) report loss of work time due to poor communication.

According to Zuhair Diab, managing director of AVAYA, Saudi Arabia, such productivity losses can be easily avoided through the use of smart technologies. 

“Take video collaboration for example. Today, broadband internet and easy-to-set-up-and use conferencing solutions are conveniently available to businesses across the Kingdom,” said Diab.

He added: “Together, these facilitate instant connectivity for teams, leading to enhanced collaboration, rapid sharing of ideas and information, and reducing the need to for business-related travel. It should come as no surprise that our research found that the large percentage employees, especially women (80 percent), expressed their desire for desktop video conferencing technologies.”

Going a step further, Saudi companies could also look to converge their customer and workforce experience solutions. 

“This would not only enable them to maximize the value of each customer interaction but also increase the productivity of their workforce. Furthermore, a converged customer and workforce solution can bring simplicity to business processes, lower total cost of ownership and ultimately deliver a faster and higher return on investment.”

Companies that can effectively align their technology investments with the current market need for enhanced customer and employee experiences will be in the leading position in the Saudi market.

ICD & We-Fi empower women entrepreneurs

Updated 18 September 2019

ICD & We-Fi empower women entrepreneurs

With the aim of discussing how the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) can expand their relationship and integrate the gender themes into ICD’s operations and businesses, a meeting was held between Ayman Amin Sejiny, CEO of ICD; Wendy Teleki, head of We-Fi secretariat; and Samir Suleymanov, director strategic initiatives, World Bank, at ICD’s premises in Jeddah recently. The parties discussed the development and promotion of women’s entrepreneurship through innovative sustainable solutions to increase women’s access to economic opportunities in developing countries. 

Teleki highlighted the main objectives of We-Fi, which is to support women entrepreneurs around the world through programs that provide financing, capacity building and also promote enabling environments that allow women to become entrepreneurs and grow their businesses. We-Fi uses an ecosystem approach to develop programs at the country level that will break down barriers and create more opportunities for women.

During the meeting, Ayman said: “ICD and We-Fi are working together to enhance their initiatives and mandates in supporting the female society in all ICD’s member countries. We want to ensure that our lines of finance and our relationship with the 102 directly connected financial institutions we are dealing with will further enhance the funding, training to women entrepreneurs and to provide the required necessary support to women in all our member countries.”

Teleki said that We-Fi has six implementing partners (IP) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is one of them. “IsDB, along with ICD is supporting women entrepreneurs in fragile countries. In Yemen, they have a very interesting ongoing program named BRAVE Women. They target to train up to 500 women to learn to develop business plans in fragile and high-risk contexts and up to 400 of them will get access to funding on a matching grant basis. This program aims also to develop the relationship between those women entrepreneurs with the local banks and also lead companies to make sure those women have access to finance and markets to grow their businesses. Moreover, the IsDB and ICD will be implementing soon this BRAVE Women program in two other countries to improve the women’s entrepreneurship potential in key economic sectors and we look forward to seeing those programs happening in future,” she said.

We-Fi is a global platform that seeks to support over a 100,000 women around the world in the next five years and mobilize at least $2 billion from the public and private sector for further activities.