91% of Saudi Business Leaders Agree Technology is Crucial to Company Growth

Leading KSA Businesses Reveal IT Ambitions atSAP Value Academy Program in Riyadh

RIYADH, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaA staggering 91% of Saudi business leaders have identified technology as critical to their company growth strategy, according to a survey conducted at recent SAP Value Academy sessions in Khobar, Riyadh and Jeddah.

The results form part of a dramatic trend in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to embrace IT as key component in the country’s astonishing transformation agenda.

KSA has the largest IT market in the Gulf region with a forecast value of US$3.6bn this year, and expectations of a rise to US$4.9bn by 2015 largely driven by a youthful, growing and increasingly technology-savvy population.

Sameer Areff, Managing Principal, Value Engineering, SAP MENA

Furthermore, mobile penetration exceeds 177%, internet penetration is forecast to rise to 66% by 2015 and there is a growing demand for cutting-edge technology such as tablets, which sold 190,000 units last year.

“IT will prove to be the beating heart of KSA’s growth ambitions, both in-country and on the world stage,” said Ali Al-Mezrawi, Vice President, Shared Services, Astra Industrial Group.

“As business leaders, we must adopt the latest technologies such as mobility and business analytics and successfully implement solutions that enable end-to-end visibility, sustainable business practice and swift decision-making.

“KSA has world-class aspirations and IT technology absolutely holds the key to their realization and success. Without fully understanding on how IT relates to today’s most pressing business needs and requirements from sales, communications and procurement to customer service and rapid-deployment solutions we will suffer as businesses and as a nation,” Al-Mezrawi added.

“The business clubs community in KSA are well aware of this imperative and we are now witnessing a dramatic and drastic shift whereby the cutting-edge becomes an expected norm.”

The SAP Value Academies provide a forum for business leaders to learn the strategic approaches that enable companies to become best-run businesses. Companies consistently delivering on their commitments have used a value lifecycle to plan, build, attain, sustain, and improve their performance. The lifecycle requires discovering value potential, translating strategy to execution, realizing the value and finally optimizing performance and investments.

Other key observations from the event included the fact that while 69% of attendees do not use any formal value management practices, an overwhelming 97% viewed them as essential to supporting business and IT strategy alignment.

“The Value Management methodology is intended to keep companies focused on choosing the right projects, clearly defining ownership and accountability for business results, and delivering on these agreed upon commitments.” said Sameer Areff Managing Principal, Value Engineering, SAP MENA.

By hosting the SAP Value Academy in KSA we are demonstrating the importance we place on assisting companies in the country to embark on technology projects with a strong focus on their business objectives, emphasizing the importance on the overall business outcome and realizing the expected results”

“The awareness and willingness of top business leaders in this country to embrace cutting-edge IT is tremendously exciting. Game-changing innovations like in-memory computing, mobility and cloud provide real-time data that will transform government, businesses and improve people’s lives. This will help make citizens safer and grow the local knowledge-based economy. SAP is honored to be playing a key role in driving this change.”

SAP, ranked as the number one enterprise application software provider in the Middle East region by an IDC 2010 market report, has been a longstanding champion of business and knowledge creation in KSA.

Recent SAP projects of note in KSA include contracts to improve the operational efficiency of entities like Arabian Amines, alfanar , Saudi Arabian Airlines, Mohamed Yousef Naghi Group, Shaqra University, Tasnee Company, National Petrochemical Industries Co. (NATPET), Almarai Company, Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporations (SPIMACO), Consolidated Can Manufacturing Company Ltd, Ismail Ali Abdudawood Trading Company (IATCO), along a range of major oil, gas and chemical companies.

During the past twelve months, SAP has also launched a Center of Excellence for Saudi Arabian chemical companies, while King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, Jabail Industrial College, Yanbu Industrial College, King Fahd University and Shaqra University have signed up for the knowledge and vocation-inspiring SAP University Alliance Program.

About SAP
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