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Friday, 07 May 2021 11:06 GMT

Saudi GDP can spike on automation


(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Intelligent automation offers the potential to double the economy of Saudi Arabia to $1.6 trillion, adding an additional $293 billion by 2030, according to new research commissioned by Automation Anywhere.

The report identified three critical enablers to accelerate intelligent automation, including speeding up the digital transformation of government entities and private enterprises through the cloud; increase training and development in digital skills and support a stronger ecosystem of startups, enterprises, government; and academia to drive innovation.

'The economic disruption of Covid-19 caused a temporary slowdown. However, our customers have used this opportunity to accelerate their digital transformation journey and made their business more resilient with our award-winning cloud RPA [robotic process automation] platform, said Milan Sheth, executive vice-president, for IMEA at Automation Anywhere. 'We agree with the projections of the report and strongly believe that intelligent automation is the first step in a digital-first mindset and has the potential to act as a key lever in realising Saudi Vision 2030 goals to diversify the economy and build the skills of the future.

Saudi Arabia has an opportunity to drive technology-led productivity through intelligent automation deployments. Intelligent automation is a combination of RPA and artificial intelligence to accelerate digital transformation, says Results of the Saudi Arabia: Showing way to the world research from Ernst and Young.

'Intelligent automation will serve as a virtual workforce executing the repetitive and mundane tasks, allowing organisations to redeploy their workforce with improved skills and advanced productivity than ever before. Thus, we envision building a centre of excellence on process automation through the adoption of emerging technologies in intelligent automation to help accelerate and achieve our transformation goals and objectives in line with the overall bank's strategy, said Faisal Al Rashoudi, vice-president and head of digitisation and automation at Bank Aljazira.

Saudi Arabia has laid strong foundations by actively promoting private and public partnerships for Vision 2030, a strategic framework to reduce it's dependence on oil, diversify its economy and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.

According to the new research, industries, which include government services, the public sector, banking, insurance, energy and materials, offer the best opportunities to maximise intelligent automation while achieving the Vision 2030 goals.

Ali Shabdar, regional director Middle East and Africa at Zoho, said: 'We see an even greater potential, especially post-pandemic, for Saudi Arabia to be in the forefront of digital transformation and technological advancement across the sectors. This is further fuelled by strategic resource allocation, young local talent and the strong presence of global technology leaders.

Saudi Arabia's digital transformation efforts are being driven by a strong leadership and the Kingdom's Vision 2030 programmes which aim to provide a higher quality of life for residents, in addition to the development of smart cities, smart governments and eventually, a smart economy.

Alain Penel, regional vice-president for the Middle East at Fortinet, said: 'The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of innovative solutions to accommodate the need for social distancing while maintaining business operations. Technologies such as AI, ML and RPA are playing a crucial role in accelerating the current and unprecedented digital transformation efforts in the Kingdom. This is also paving the way for enabling entrepreneurship and innovation in the country.

Mohamed Abdallah, regional director for Middle East, Turkey and Africa at SonicWall, said: 'Saudi Arabia is making huge digital leaps across industries. Innovative 5G, AI and cloud technologies, which are all part of the Saudi 2030 vision is leading the kingdom from smart cities and 5G-enabled oil and gas campuses to smart metering, smart water management, smart healthcare, and distance learning enabled by smart education. As the country adopts to digital transformation, there will also be an increased need for visibility, security and bandwidth across a distributed organisation.

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