Riyadh, 03.03.2024

Technology leaders in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are determined to keep their organizations’ digital transformations on track, KPMG said in its latest tech report on Saudi Arabia.

Despite the headwinds of global economic uncertainty, digital transformation leaders committed to their innovation priorities continue to realize value at pace,” said Robert Ptaszynski, Partner and Head of Digital & Innovation, KPMG in Saudi Arabia. “By aligning investment in technology with their strategic ambitions, these businesses are upholding momentum,” he added.

The report is based on a survey of 2,100 executives from 16 countries, including 70 in Saudi Arabia, and conducted in-depth discussions with industry experts. It is launched ahead of LEAP 2024, the annual tech convention held in Riyadh from March 4 to 7.

Nearly 79 percent of the surveyed technology leaders in Saudi Arabia are expected to do accomplish more with smaller budgets than last year. Saudi companies most self-aware of the productivity impact and financial costs of their existing technology are in the energy (82 percent), tech (75 percent) and industrial manufacturing industry (60 percent), leaving behind financial services and consumer retail at 43 and 50 percent respectively.

Despite some budget constraints, 82 percent of respondents believe their current technology stack can power their organization’s growth.

While 65 percent of international organizations report a significant increase in profitability and performance from investments in data and analytics, tech executives in Saudi Arabia noted an 83 percent increase.

The research respondent base shows that progress is faster in some areas than in others.

Businesses in Saudi Arabia are excited about the potential for artificial intelligence (AI), but they are still in the early stages of using it.

“Just 21 percent have reached a stage where they are progressing proactively in delivering their AI strategies,” Ptaszynski said.

Despite challenges, almost all surveyed companies have successfully used digital transformation to enhance profitability or performance over the past two years.

“Today, that track record is paying off as buy-in from senior leaders for deploying emerging tools and technologies has almost quadrupled,” he added.

“Agility is crucial. Not every experiment pays off, but nimble businesses can adjust at speed, responding to internal drivers and the changing environment around them to optimize outcomes.”

The most successful deployments can be expanded, while less-rewarding experiments are placed to one side, Ptaszynski concluded.