CEO + CIO: Saudi Arabian ICT reaches board room discussions [Mid-East.Info]
(Mid-East.Info Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ICT is also a social and corporate responsibility not merely a departmental duty
Executives everywhere are under pressure to improve the bottom line and build the right strategy for their organisations. There is a growing trend of outsourcing ICT, whether as part of business process outsourcing, near-shoring or far-shoring. The outsourcing market is enabling companies to reduce costs while also improving efficiency and allowing them to focus more on strategic planning and core competencies.
Last year in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, over 30% of the ICT budget totaling around SR28.1bn (US $7.5bn) was spent towards outsourcing processes, infrastructure and operations. Currently, the Kingdom is spending around SR112.5bn (US $30bn) in 2013. In an effort to become a regional leader of information and communication technology, outsourcing is proving to be the key.
To address this growing demand, Saudi Computer Society (SCS) and French business information group, naseba hosted the ICT Outsourcing Summit as part of SCS's 4th annual CIO meeting. Held under the Auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the summit is strategically supported by Yesser, the Kingdom's e-Government programme.
The summit was opened by the Director General of Yesser, Eng Ali Bin Saleh Al Soma. Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, he said "There is a need to plan for a win-win model where both the company and solution providers are happy. Currently there is a lack of local talent and companies in the IT sector; despite there being good growth in other sectors like telecom, IT has lagged behind."
Leading international associations such as International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), National Outsourcing Association (NOA) and European Outsourcing Association (EOA) partnered with the summit to promote the expertise and services of their members from their region and across.
"Saudi Arabia, as such a dynamic region, could benefit hugely from outsourcing expertise from other regions, helping it further fuel its high level growth. Coupling that with the opportunities of working with the Kingdom as a route into the regional business market, the opportunities for collaboration are huge. We sincerely hope to see a lot of high level partnering between the UK, Europe and Saudi Arabia," noted Kerry Hallard, Director of NOA.
A panel discussion featuring Dr Sami Al-Homod, Deputy Minister of Labor, Eng Suhail Al Almaee from Yesser and Saudi Telecom Company's VP, Corporate Strategy and Development Dr Fahad Al-Mushayt shed light on the challenges generally faced by the CEOs, CIOs, CFOs and the management. Organisational efficiency through ICT outsourcing may not be achieved by only aligning it with the business goals and objectives, and corporate strategies, but by also preparing for risk and challenges and planning smart entry and exit strategies.
Dr Sami highlighted, "Outsourcing is definitely a “C” level decision as it involves segregating what elements are constituent to business and what are not. A communication plan, both internal and external, is vital for organisational success and requires regular updating and stringent monitoring throughout the process."
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