Bold investments forge a bright future for Saudi businesses
As business leaders, government ministers, and citizens of our respective countries, we have all been through a lot together these past three years.
While a public health crisis, supply chain hardships and economic volatility took their toll on us, we learned together that building digital connections among businesses and their customers, employees, suppliers and partners is critical. Being bold and not timid during recovery is the way to win.
Organizations burdened by the past three years of upheaval have found little respite from volatility. Yet the most resilient have invested in the technologies needed to emerge stronger than before.
This resilience has enabled Saudi Arabia to continue delivering critical services during the pandemic. Now the Kingdom is imagining an even brighter, post-pandemic future that puts citizens at its center.
Technology is playing a central role in Saudi Arabia’s plan to diversify beyond its rich oil and natural resources. The government’s Saudi Vision 2030 economic development strategy aims to supplement its natural wealth with a thriving digital economy to create even more expansion. Here at Oracle, we are excited to be engaged in this effort to make Saudi companies and their government leaders global in digital advancement.
Oracle has consistently invested in expanding its resources and infrastructure in Saudi Arabia to help accelerate cloud adoption and support the implementation of Vision 2030. Two years ago, we brought Saudi Arabia’s first cloud data center online in Jeddah. We have also announced a second planned cloud region in NEOM to meet the growing demand for the latest cloud technologies.
A great example of this is NEOM, a 100 percent renewable energy city being built near the Red Sea for an eventual population of 9 million people. It will boast high-speed rail connections and urban design innovations, besides protecting the nature reserve in the area. NEOM’s technology developers set up private cloud computing to help manage the city’s IT and automation features. It keeps data in the country, increase security and performance, all while cutting the cost of managing its databases by 80 percent.
Spending on IT and telecommunications technology in Saudi Arabia is forecast to reach $33.5 billion this year, as public cloud spending will surpass $1.25 billion, according to market researcher IDC. Cloud spending in the Kingdom is set to grow annually by 27 percent through 2026.
IDC characterizes Saudi Arabia as one of the Middle East’s fastest-growing tech and telecom markets. It has called the Kingdom’s pandemic response “one of the strongest and most robust” of any economy.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, one of the country’s top biomedical and clinical research institutions, implemented a cloud infrastructure to provide high-performance computing for its infectious disease research.
Similarly, the Saudi Arabia Agricultural Development Fund is also using cloud applications to collect farming data from around the country to direct investments to ensure a plentiful, quality food supply.
I am more optimistic than ever about the future of our industry and this region. I look forward to what we and our Saudi colleagues and partners can achieve as we work together to create a brighter future for the Kingdom.
- Safra A. Catz has served as the CEO of Oracle Corp. since 2014 and has been a member of the company’s board of directors since 2001.