Focused on moving jobs within the information technology field into Saudi Arabia itself, the 2030 vision aims to localise technology and knowledge knowhow, rather than export it to people and organisations from further afield.
There’s no escaping the fact that, currently, the majority of IT jobs are undertaken by non-Saudis. And the reason for this is historic – it certainly isn’t due to a lack of talent within the country.
So, how will the vision’s desire to divert more information technology jobs into Saudi resources help the IT sector in this great country?
Creating a digital infrastructure
The 2030 vision makes it clear that highly advanced digital infrastructure is vital to success with the innovative, sophisticated industrial activities of today.
The government is for this reason looking to partner with the private sector and, in particular, telecommunications operators, to support investments that will help develop information technology sectors in Saudi Arabia.
This injection of investment will help technology and telecommunication firms lead the digital economy.
The main area of focus will be on creating a digital infrastructure that improves the quality and coverage of high speed broadband. Improved regulations and the prospect of such connections proliferating in densely populated cities will provide the infrastructure people need to improve their IT skills base.
Good news for the government
The localisation of technology knowhow is expected to offer significant benefits for the government.
Typically an area which is hampered by old, traditional processes, the government will likely enjoy an injection of local talent within IT, aimed at positioning Saudi Arabia as a leader in e-government.
This will be achieved by expanding online services and building on the progress already made in online job searches, employment programs, passports applications and civil affairs.
Health care and education are also fields that will benefit significantly from localised technology knowledge, with processes likely to be streamlined and a far more diverse range of communication channels established.
Emerging, smart technologies
The development of so-called ‘smart cities’ isn’t specifically referred to in the 2030 vision, but it’s something that will inevitably result from building national expertise in information technology.
Emerging, smart technologies can only be fostered within the country itself if the jobs relating to such innovations are localised. In turn, this should enhance the government’s financial resources to allow for Saudi companies to invest in the development of emerging tech, rather than outsourcing it around the world.
SMEs and medium-sized enterprises will profit
It’s thought that small and medium-sized businesses currently only contribute to around twenty percent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP. In some countries, the figure hovers at about seventy percent.
This is often due to the fact that local IT knowledge can be hard to come by in Saudi Arabia, and the prospect of outsourcing technology requirements is usually burdensome on the budget.
The 2030 vision aims to remove these obstacles and revise laws and regulations to make technological growth for smaller businesses far more accessible.
It’s likely that the government will also establish new business incubators, and if that happens, the desire for people to invest their time in growing their information technology expertise should result in some very exciting start-ups and innovations in that field.
There has never been a bigger opportunity for Saudi Arabia to localise its information technology knowhow.
The potential for the 2030 vision to achieve its goals is significantly high, and that means a bright future for the country, it’s businesses and the markets they serve.