RIYADH: Digital transformation is seen as a critical business driver for economic growth in Saudi Arabia as 90 percent of organizations in the Kingdom have fast-tracked their digital transformation programs over the past year, according to a study done by Dell.
“This is compared to the global benchmark of 80 percent, suggesting that organizations across the region have shifted their digital transformation programs into high gear,” Rola Dagher, global channel chief of Dell Technologies, told Arab News in an exclusive interview.
She attributed this to “powerful technologies,” including artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G, storage and cloud which are ushering in new and competitive risks and opportunities.
“Modernizing infrastructure, migrating to multi-cloud, building connected workforces, securing critical assets and more are all elements that will lay the groundwork for a successful digital future.”
The Dell executive pointed out that the company’s goal is to give customers the freedom to scale resources in ways that work best for them, “so they can quickly respond to changes while focusing more on their business needs.”
This comes as Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index study found that there is an as-a-Service awakening, with more than six in 10 Saudi firms believing aaS would enable their organizations to be more agile, seamless and cost-effective.
However, Dagher cautioned that talent scarcity is a concern for the tech industry and its customers.
“Making sure that you have the right people with the right talents and skills to meet the needs of the future will be a challenge for Saudi Arabia and across the globe,” she said.
Dagher reiterated that keeping partners trained and up-to-date on the latest technologies is one way to ensure that their talented teams remain at the forefront of innovation.
Making sure that you have the right people with the right talents and skills to meet the needs of the future will be a challenge for Saudi Arabia and across the globe.
Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies global channel chief
“This, in turn, helps alleviate any talent scarcity their customers may have, allowing them to focus on allocating their resources to other strategic initiatives,” she explained.
Dagher pointed out that Dell’s partners have deep knowledge of their customers and understand what they need to keep their doors open and their businesses running. “In turn, our partners work with Dell Technologies to craft and deliver the right solutions when and where our customers need them the most,” she said.
Having been present in Saudi Arabia for more than 20 years, the Dell executive insisted that the Kingdom is a priority market for them.
The company is focused on supporting the Kingdom on its diversifying journey under the Vision 2030 program and working closely with the public and private sectors to bring this vision to the forefront through its end-to-end solutions.
“As the region upgrades to smart and digital infrastructures, it will prompt new models of business and services and act as a driver of economic momentum,” Dagher said.
She added: “This digital evolution will open broad spaces for new services as well as consumption in a variety of industries, elevating organizations and helping them become more resilient in the face of transformation.”
Dell Technologies which provides comprehensive hardware and software solutions, including platforms, she said, is ready for emerging technologies such as 5G, Edge, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
From Dell workstations to Dell PowerEdge Servers to Dell PowerScale Storage and more, Dagher stressed that their “state-of-the-art technologies enable every organization to have access to the transformative power of artificial intelligence/machine learning and deep learning and more.”
Fostering Saudi talent
Dagher reiterated Dell’s commitment to making real transformations for organizations in Saudi Arabia as the company has been instrumental in supporting its customers to innovate for their digital futures.
According to Breakthrough, a Dell Technologies commissioned study, 72 percent of Saudi employees are keen to upskill themselves to focus on more strategic opportunities within their organization.
“Investing in local talents is a key priority and we support the Saudi government initiatives in training Saudi nationals and equipping them with the skills they need to join the future workforce,” said Dagher.
She added: “Through our Academic Alliance Program, we partner with over 15 universities to offer curriculum-led IT training. We also have our own local graduate hiring program where we train and hire fresh graduates every year.”
With the current macro-economic trends impacting business and technology, she said customers want to ensure they are making the right technology investment and that their investments last longer and deliver solid returns.
“We have the capabilities, solutions and people to help our customers, whether they want to control expenses with an aaS solution, protect themselves from cyber threats, or supplement their IT department,” Dagher added.
She went on to say that “customers are increasingly doing business with companies committed to delivering positive impact for people and our planet while driving long-term value for all stakeholders. Environmental, social and governance is not a ‘nice to do’ but a ‘must do’.”
In fact, Dell is seeing that 95 percent of its customers include ESG criteria in their requests for proposals and bid requests.
“Our partner community is uniquely positioned to deliver solutions that address both customer’s IT needs and create a positive impact on humankind and the planet,” Dagher explained.
She added: “Through our Partner Program, partners can leverage our ESG strategy, pillars, and goals of advancing sustainability, cultivating inclusion, transforming lives and upholding ethics and data privacy to deliver greater impact to their customers and their communities.”
Key tech trends
Talking of top tech trends for this year, Dagher said, “Innovation will continue to be a driving force in technology, taking us to new and exciting heights.”
“There are so many exciting new frontiers ahead of us, with everything aaS continuing to expand, artificial intelligence and machine learning, 5G and Edge solutions,” she continued.
Dell has accelerated its innovation engine and wants to make sure its partners are ready to join them on this journey.
“I believe that aaS will continue to grow in importance for the channel and our customers,” Dagher said.
“It provides flexibility and growth which is especially important for companies who want to grow their business and are also concerned about rising costs,” she summed up.