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19 Dec 2017

ICT Decision Makers Gather in Riyadh for IDC Saudi Arabia Government Congress 2017

Riyadh – More than 100 influential public-sector ICT leaders today gathered in Riyadh for the IDC Saudi Arabia Government Congress 2017, hosted in partnership with the Kingdom's National Digitization Unit. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya hotel, the event explored the theme of 'Government 2030: Innovation-led Digitization' and examined the critical role that digital transformation is set to play in diversifying Saudi Arabia's economic interests in line with the National Transformation Program and overarching Saudi Vision 2030.

Featuring unique insights from senior government leaders, respected industry analysts, and pioneering IT vendors, the IDC Saudi Arabia Government Congress 2017 examined the lessons learnt from the groundbreaking transformational initiatives that the Kingdom has already put into place, and provided in-depth insights into the challenges, best practices, and success stories that have characterized the early stages of the program's implementation.

"Digital transformation is not a simple piece of technology that governments can implement overnight to solve all their challenges; it is a continuous journey of improvement," said Hamza Naqshbandi, IDC's principal analyst for Saudi Arabia, as he got the day's proceedings underway. "As such, governments must develop comprehensive, long-term plans if they are to facilitate countrywide digital transformation and ensure that innovation proliferates across all sectors of the economy. Saudi Arabia has wisely put this theory into practice with the development of its National Transformation Program, and the fruits of this approach are already being seen."

Naqshbandi followed up his opening address by chairing an insightful panel discussion that explored the current state of the digitization in the Kingdom's public sector and served up expert insights into the associated challenges, early success stories, and future plans. The panelists for this session included Dr. Talal H. Maghrabi, general supervisor for electronic services at the Ministry of Education; Ahmad AlHedaithy, general director of ICT at the Ministry of Health; and Osama I. Al-Dosary, ministerial advisor at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

This was followed by a series of vendor-led presentations that addressed some of the common challenges associated with the digital transformation journey. Faris Yousef Albaitouni, technical consultant at Aruba, discussed the secure mobility solutions that government organizations should be implementing to appease a more demanding user base; Yigit Karabag, director of business solutions at SAS, offered advice on unlocking the value of data using advanced analytics; and Paulo Pereira, Director of Systems Engineering at Nutanix, outlined strategies for making infrastructure more agile by embracing cloud and optimizing existing IT frameworks through the consolidation and convergence of datacenters.

The final session of the day focused on the implementation of digital transformation across Saudi Arabia's healthcare sector, with Dr. Mustafa H. Qurban, consultant and CIO at King Fahad Military Medical Complex, explaining how emerging technologies such as RFID, IoT, and cloud are enabling a new generation of healthcare services to be delivered to patients and revolutionizing the way in which healthcare services are provided.

IDC's partners for the Saudi Arabia Government Congress 2017 included the National Digitization Unit as Government Partner; Aruba as Premier Partner; SAS, Nutanix, and NXN as Platinum Partners; CarbonBlack, Sonicwall, and Qlik Profile as Exhibit Partners; and Eye of Riyadh as Media Partner.

To learn more about the role that digital transformation will play in diversifying Saudi Arabia's economic interests in line with Vision 2030, please visit to view IDC's dedicated report titled 'Envisioning an ICT-Led Approach to the National Transformation Program'.

For more information about the IDC Saudi Arabia Government Congress 2017, please visit Alternatively, you can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #IDCGOVERNMENT.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC

IDC in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey

For the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey region, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Istanbul, with a regional center in Dubai. Our coverage couples local insight with an international perspective to provide a comprehensive understanding of markets in these dynamic regions. Our market intelligence services are unparalleled in depth, consistency, scope, and accuracy. IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey currently fields over 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region. To learn more about IDC MEA, please visit You can follow IDC MEA on Twitter at @IDCMEA.


Regions Covered

Saudi Arabia

Topics Covered

Digital transformation

For more information, contact:

Sheila Manek
+971 4 446 3154