As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to transform its economy and society in the next 12 years, the Kingdom has been working on moving its economy away from dependency on oil and petroleum-related industries towards instead a knowledge-based economy, on that will be pivotal in achieving sustainable development and future growth for the county. By embracing technology and innovation while focusing on economic diversification, Saudi Arabia is looking to create more job opportunities for its young population, a goal that is already in the process of materializing.
A recent report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that Microsoft's technology ecosystem and the growing popularity of its cloud services will create over 63,400 jobs in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2022. The research, which also looked at other regional markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Turkey, highlighted the fact that Vision 2030 and other initiatives created by Saudi Arabia that focus on banking, healthcare, transportation and education has already led to a rise in IT spending and employment. In addition, the Kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission's efforts to organize the cloud services have contributed largely to burgeoning job opportunities.
As reported by Khaleej Times, the ecosystem, which comprises companies that sell, service, deploy, or otherwise work with Microsoft products, supported a significant 71,250 workers in 2017 alone. With regards to the near future, the report estimates that the digital transformation being embarked by Saudi companies today will lead to further lucrative results.
Spending on public cloud services in Saudi Arabia is projected to almost quadruple over the next five years, from 427.68 million Saudi riyals (in 2017) to 1.57 billion riyals (in 2022). Through the increased investments in public cloud adoption services, as well as private and hybrid cloud solutions, a staggering SAR 26.04 billion is set to be generated in net new revenues in the next five years, according to a report by Saudi Gazette. In addition, by the end of 2022, the adoption of cloud services is projected to create nearly 55,000 new jobs (net) and the Microsoft technology ecosystem will add 8,400 jobs (net) for a total of 63,400 in net job creation.
Dr. Mamdouh Najjar
Speaking to the news site, Dr. Mamdouh Najjar, the national technology officer at Microsoft Arabia, said, “Digital transformation has the power to engage customers and citizens, empower employees, optimize operations and reinvent products and services […] IDC's report clearly shows that private and public organizations have realized these benefits, and are directly or indirectly creating jobs as they invest in their futures.”