Analysis, Interviews, Opinions

Digital technologies key to sustainable Saudi growth: report

Emerging digital technologies are pivotal to achieving transformative strategies and sustainable growth for organisations in Saudi Arabia, enhancing decision-making, efficiency, resource use, and compliance, says a report.
The report, ‘Digital acceleration: Fueling the ambition for transformation success in Saudi Arabia’ by PwC Middle East, surveyed Saudi executives leading transformation strategies in their organisations to identify the most significant implementation challenges. 
At the halfway mark to Saudi Vision 2030, organisations within the kingdom are actively pursuing transformation and reinventing their business by embracing emerging technologies, such as GenAI, while recognising the need to build climate resilience and improve the energy efficiency of their operations, according to the report.
PwC Middle East’s survey results show that 90% of respondents identified resource availability and timely decision support as the main challenges for transformation, followed by resistance to change (80%), data availability (70%), resource capability (55%), time and digital limitations (50%), and financial constraints (30%). Additional challenges include the need for skilled labour, overcoming cultural barriers, and global economic fluctuations, all of which influence the pace and scale of the transformation.
Danny Karam, Transformation Management Unit - Digital & Technology Lead Partner at PwC Middle East, said: “As the Kingdom and the wider region pursue long-term sustainability and development, effective transformation strategies are crucial to navigate the complexities of modern global markets, harnessing opportunities, and overcoming challenges for sustainable growth. Our research highlights that achieving these goals is not simple. This is where digital technologies, particularly GenAI, can play an influential role in streamlining decision-making and execution processes.” 
With GenAI, routine tasks are automated and project management processes are streamlined, enabling companies to focus more on strategic growth and client relationships. This shift in focus from daily operations to long-term strategic initiatives marks a significant leap towards higher productivity and better business outcomes, the report says.
GenAI also enables the strategic integration of real-time data and advanced training programmes, an important factor in transformation strategies. Additionally, it helps analysis of extensive datasets, identifies key operational efficiencies and trends, redefining industry best practices.
Beyond organisational strategies, GenAI is instrumental in enriching the workforce by providing access to training and continuous learning opportunities. This helps employees master new technologies and industry trends, elevating individual performance and aligning team capabilities with evolving business demands. This ensures that the entire organisation is equipped to drive forward and achieve corporate success, the report notes.
The report cites the success of the Saudi National Events Centre (NEC), which is effectively integrating digital technologies to enhance transformational success. The NEC has leveraged the capabilities of PwC Middle East's Transform Hub to drive innovation and transformation, becoming a frontrunner in delivering world-class events and experiences in Saudi Arabia and the region. 
To harness digital technologies as transformation accelerators PwC Middle East recommends organisations to invest in robust digital infrastructure and promote a culture of innovation. This can drive operational efficiency, innovation, and long-term success in the region’s dynamic digital landscape. Additionally, they must ensure that this infrastructure is designed for seamless system integration and flexibility, enabling it to scale capabilities and bandwidth to meet future demands, it adds. - TradeArabia News Service