Agile Digital transformation

Internet of Things (IoT)

In compliance with the strategy of the Kingdom to move towards smart governance adopting high technology applications for the well being of citizens, digital transformation considers development and adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) applications and use cases a necessity to make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a leading country in this field. In pursuit of these goals and others, public consultations and expert opinion have been explored leading to the development of a draft Regulatory Framework on Internet of Things (IoT), that includes with it the special conditions for class licenses and other needed technical specifications.

Global Worldwide IoT spending has been increasing year-over-year by at least $40 billion since 2018. In 2020, IoT spending reached $749 billion, and expected to grow to $1.1 trillion in 2023.Various industry segments are at the early stage of adopting IoT solutions driven by technological advancement as well as initiatives undertaken by government agencies, such as the Saudi National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), which focuses on Industry 4.0, Smart City transformation driven by giga construction projects, and Smart Meter solutions being undertaken by utility service providers. Adoption of Industrial Use Cases (IUC) is expected to be the biggest IoT growth driver in the Kingdom over the next several years.

Based on the survey study, Saudi companies realize the business benefits of IoT solutions as well as the strategic impact on their revenue streams. By the end of 2022, 82% of medium and large organizations in the Kingdom are expected to adopt an IoT solution for their business. The top three drivers for adopting IoT solutions by businesses are; a) Improved production efficiency, b) Customer experience improvement, and c) Enhanced Security. Customer focus and cost efficiencies are among the key priorities driving IoT adoption in the Kingdom and early adopters are at different stages of IoT deployments. IoT deployments include more than thirty-two different use cases which have been implemented by the companies included in the survey study. 

Adopting IoT solutions by some of the enterprises in the Kingdom resulted in early success in sectors of education, energy, environmental management, health care, open data, smart cities, smart manufacturing, and is anticipated to reach its full potential over the coming years. Some of the major benefits that IoT adopting organizations have realized are: Enhanced Productivity, Safety and Security, Improved Asset Management, Real-Time Analytics, Cost Optimization, and Enhanced Customer Service.


  • Internet of Things (IoT) Regulatory Framework: The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has adopted the Internet of Things (IoT) Regulatory Framework to regulate the issues for the IoT service provisioning requirements, the requirement for obtaining CITC certification for IoT equipment, IoT identifiers which uniquely identify objects to simplify communications with, such as IP addresses, and data management requirements. Also, the Framework outlines other general regulations for IoT service providers, which include communication with end-users regarding the importance of the network and data security and recommendations to protect data.
  • Regulatory Sandbox for delivery applications: The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) launched a Regulatory Sandbox for delivery applications. The initiative comes as part of the authority's mandate to regulate and supervise the postal sector, which includes the licensing and regulation of delivery apps operating in Saudi Arabia. This regulatory sandbox has been specifically crafted to support, enable, and sustain the growth of the Kingdom's delivery app ecosystem, for the benefit of all sector stakeholders, including consumers, producers, and delivery drivers. Specifically, it aims to reduce time to market for apps and potentially lower the cost of service delivery. It will also give app designers the ability to test innovative products and services in a controlled environment. By doing so, and providing better access to financing, CITC will help to develop an ecosystem conducive to innovation.
  • MOI Security & Surveillance Regulation: Ministry of Interior mandates all commercial premises to be equipped with smart CCTV Security and Surveillance.



Several large diversification projects are rapidly catalyzing the uptake of IoT solutions and services. Key projects include:

  • Riyadh Metro and Riyadh Rapid Bus Transit System: This new public transit system provides citizens with advanced solutions for moving around the city easily. It allows driverless train cars equipped with cutting-edge technologies and WiFi. The users will be able to feel the new century with this new revolutionary transit system. Riyadh metro project offer users integrated solutions starting with car parking spaces, multi-line bus network, and cutting-edge metro equipped with the latest technology and much more exceptional service. The project has a state-of-the-art center for controlling and operating trains and surveillance systems for: stations, lines, and other facilities.
  • Intelligent Transport System: The Ministry of Transport is actively seeking to implement intelligent transport systems on its roads to enhance road safety and improve traffic management. In this regard, "the smart transport systems expansion and integration" plan was completed in December 2011 in Saudi Arabia. This plan outlines the main framework to apply the intelligent transport systems projects on the roads for the Ministry of Transport which can be implemented in the future.
  • NEOM : NEOM is a new vision of what the future could be. It's an attempt to do something that's never been done before and it's coming at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solutions. Simplified, NEOM will not only be a destination, but a home for people who dream big and who want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living. NEOM will also be a hub for innovation, where established global businesses and emerging players can research, incubate and commercialize groundbreaking technologies to accelerate human progress. Commerce and industry will be integrated into community centers to build supply chains that facilitate innovative and efficient operations.
  • Amaala: The Public Investment Fund (PIF) Development Management Organization established the blueprint for AMAALA as an ultra-luxury destination along Saudi Arabia's northwestern coast. With initial seed funding provided by PIF, private sector companies and market investors are invited to invest in the destination and operate its facilities. The development broke ground in 2020 and all phases will be completed in line with the realization of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.
  •  Qiddiya: Qiddiya will be a disruptive destination recognized on the world stage as the home of the most innovative and immersive experiences. It will have a wide range of offerings based on five cornerstones: Sports & Wellness; Nature & Environment; Parks & Attractions; Motion & Mobility; and Arts & Culture, making Qiddiya the capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts, not just in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but of the world.
  • Red Sea Project: The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) was established in 2018 as a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia to drive the development of The Red Sea Project. The Red Sea Project is the world's most ambitious luxury tourism development, offering an exclusive experience of unparalleled diversity for discerning global travelers. 
  • Saudi IoT: Saudi IoT is the flagship event focusing on the growth and development of technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region. The aim of Saudi IoT is to shine a light on the enormous potential offered by the growth of online technologies as well as applications and services built around IoT platforms. Saudi IoT is a tribute to the Kingdom's 2030 Vision, which sees Emerging technologies as a necessity and the key to finding smarter ways of doing business and adding value to the economy.
  • “Make it & Play it”: The Kingdom launched the “Make it & Play it” competition for the youth to encourage them to be innovative and develop electronic games, highlight their capabilities and skills, invest their energy in training programs and e-game developments and raise awareness of the risks of cyberbullying. The competition generated +3,000 participants, +60 awards, +40 local and international instructors, +30 training hours and 10 workshops.
  • Video game development bootcamp: The Kingdom launched the video game development bootcamp, to build the nation’s digital capabilities in video game development through training, targeted at students, small and medium companies, and university graduates. The competition generated +52 direct training hours, +56 references and registered lessons, 13 intensive studying weeks, direct support, and guidance around the clock, and 1,000 participants.
  • “Promising Programmer”: The Kingdom launched the “Promising Programmer” competition, which was established as a partnership between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Ministry of Education and Tatweer Educational Technologies Company. The competition generated 17,450 students and 32 students who won from 8 teams.
  • “Game Changes": The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched the “Game Changes” program aimed at developing the gaming sector in the Kingdom by supporting local development and building the capabilities of human cadres working in the digital transformation field.
  • “Hope Hackathon”: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched the “Hope Hackathon” virtually, in cooperation with 25 local and international partners, dedicated to empowering local and international talents to develop digital business solutions and address the challenges caused by COVID-19. This generated +70 local and global mentors, +15 specialized workshops, +79 countries, +15,247 participants, +4,945 shortlisted ideas and +15 winning teams.

Leading IoT use cases can be found in manufacturing, freight management, fleet monitoring, production asset management, and public safety and emergency response. These areas are expected to lead to IoT technology uptake in the KSA over the next five years.


Data and Privacy Protection Strategy


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has put in place strong personal data protection laws and policies to safeguard Users' privacy and sensitive data.  The Unified National Platform (GOV.SA) is aware of the importance of privacy and personal data; therefore, it is committed to keeping all sensitive information and data of all Users safe, secure, and confidential. In fact, Detailed policies and regulations are adopted by the Government, with particular focus on privacy and data protection, Users Data Collection, Terms of Use, Copyright Notice.

As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is moving forward towards a new era under the National Vision 2030, progress is being achieved in enhancing Government effectiveness and transparency, fostering economic diversification powered by digital and data, playing a larger role in the global economy, and nourishing public trust and international partnerships. Consequently, the National Data Management Office (NDMO), as the national regulator of data in the Kingdom, has developed the framework for national data governance to set the policies and regulations required for data classification, data sharing, data privacy, Freedom of Information, open data and others in anticipation of necessary legislation. Considering the relationship and interdependencies of these policies and regulations as presented in Figure 1 below across the data lifecycle, NDMO has collated this Interim Regulations document to cover rules and obligations related to data classification, including data sharing, data privacy, Freedom of Information, and open data.

The privacy policy and procedures of the GOV.SA is governed by the Personal data protection law (Royal Decree No. (M/19) dated 1443/2/9 AH), the Main Principles of Personal Information Protection and the Main Principles and General Rules for Sharing Data issued by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and National Data Management Office (NDMO).

The Personal Data Protection Law and its executive regulations set the legal basis for the protection of your rights regarding the processing of personal data by all entities abroad , as well as all entities outside that process personal data related to individuals residing in the Kingdom using any means, including online personal data processing. The fundamental principles of our data protection policy include accountability, transparency, choice and consent, access to data and data quality and monitoring and compliance with data controller's privacy policies and procedures. 


Artificial Intelligence


It is estimated that by 2025, global revenues from AI are expected to rise to $90 billion, growing on average by 45 per cent each year. Beyond this, longer term estimates project AI contributing to a 14 per cent growth of global GDP by 2030, ‘the equivalent of an additional $15.7 trillion’. The government of Saudi Arabia has realized that Artificial Intelligence represents a very significant commercial opportunity, and by pulling together trends and networks in this technology, Vision 2030 seeks to diversify the Saudi economy. 

The kingdom has established in 2019 a government authority called the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA). It is recognized as the owner of the national data and AI agenda to help achieve Vision 2030’s goals and our Kingdom’s highest potential. It includes sub-entities NDMO, NIC, and NCAI – working to deliver on the promise to create a data-driven and AI-supported government and economy.

One of the initiatives of the Saudi Data & AI Authority, the leader of many promising and distinguished programs and activities, SDAIA  Academy aims to support and develop national competencies and prepare them for the labor market in cooperation with several local, regional and global leading entities in the fields of data and artificial intelligence.

The Kingdom has established several government authorities mandated to work on the national agenda for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

  • Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA): established to drive the national agenda for Data & AI to elevate the KSA as a global leader in the elite league of data-driven economies.
  • National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI): founded as a government agency responsible for driving the national AI strategy execution, AI innovation and, capabilities building.
  • AI Center for Energy: established as a joint initiative between the Saudi Ministry of Energy and the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA). The aim is to support integration between the ministry and SDAIA to achieve their common goals in supporting, developing, reviewing, and implementing data and AI strategies in the energy and gas sectors.

Specialized Strategies and regulations have been adopted for data and AI:

  • National Strategy for Data and AI: Saudi Arabia launched its first AI Strategy to become a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and data by 2030. The objectives include training for 20,000 specialists and experts, a minimum of 300 active startups and attract $20 billion in national and foreign investment in data and AI.
  • Strategic objective: To enact the most welcoming legislation for Data & AI businesses and talents: Saudi Arabia aims to develop welcoming, flexible, and stable regulatory frameworks and incentive schemes to attract companies, investors and talents. Regulations will also focus on developing adaptive policy frameworks and standards on Data & AI, including the ethical use of AI. These policies will provide direction to key stakeholders and certainty over Data & AI activities.

Several projects were planned and implemented in this regard, which include the following:

  • Talent Excellence: Talent excellence's initiatives aim to focus on building the Kingdom's future expertise in the field of artificial intelligence through pioneering in training and education. The center aims to be a global and sustainable center for excellence in collaboration with academia and public and private sectors.
  • Driving AI Entities: National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) leads AI and directs its strategy for all sectors interested in harnessing technologies and solutions; it aims to unite efforts among them all and support their applications and ecosystems.
  • Research and Development: It aims to develop both basic and applied knowledge to become the national reference for research and innovation in the field of AI. In addition, NCAI plans to be the unified regulator that organizes and improves knowledge and research, transforming ideas into deliverable products. The center also aims to excel in providing solutions that invest in national capabilities and contribute to building a knowledge-based society and economy.
  • Innovation Hub: Achieving one of its strategic objectives, NCAI has initiated this hub to encourage innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. It aims to provide and develop AI applications and solutions for various government entities either directly or through partnerships and incubators. The center also plans to facilitate achieving the ambitious goals of anyone interested in data and AI. Further, the Innovation aims to qualify startups established through innovation and scientific research in the field of data and AI, enabling them to contribute to the development of the Kingdom's economy and bridge the gap between education and the job market.
  • AI Oasis: In its attempt to enhance the Kingdom's standing and support its digital transformation, NCAI establishes the AI Oasis. This oasis aims to host art, digital, and educational exhibitions and create a unique educational and entertaining experience. AI Oasis will also enrich their experiences by providing Saudi Arabia's history and culture in a unique way that encourages youth to learn more about data and AI.
  • Global AI Summit: The Global AI Summit, organized by Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA), was held virtually in its inaugural edition on October 21st-22nd, 2020. The world's premier platform for dialogue that brings together stakeholders from the public, academic and private sector, including technology companies, investors, entrepreneurs and startups, to shape the future of AI.
  •  “Discover Open-Source Capabilities": The Kingdom also launched the “Discover Open-Source Capabilities competition, which contributed to developing technology, promoting local content, and stimulating digital innovation. The Kingdom also launched three locally developed open-source solutions that were developed by local companies and technology groups, including open-source AI system, open-source Resource Management system, and Open-source Human Resources Management system .

Big Data & Open Data

Key government ministries, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Finance, generate immense open data and have begun to share extensive data sets on the Open Data portal –  Such datasets provide the public with a wide variety of opportunities. By utilizing data analytics techniques, they can potentially boost local manufacturing, design better services for citizens, increase R&D capabilities, amongst other applications.

The increased use of Big Data and analytics is identified as one of the Technology drivers by the Smart Government Strategy (2020-2024). It recognizes the potential of Big Data, Machine Learning, & Predictive Analytics for decision-making and to predict potential non-compliance in any focused area (e.g., tax).
Institutional Framework
National Data Management Office (NDMO): National regulator of data in the Kingdom.


National Data Governance Interim Regulations: The Regulation sets the standards, rules and obligations related to Data classification, Data sharing, Data privacy, Freedom of Information, and Open data.
Data Management and Personal Data Protection Standards: The standards are defined for 15 domains as per the Data Management and Personal Data Protection Framework and are intended to be adopted by all Public Entities within the Kingdom. In addition to Public Entities, the scope of the National Data Management and Personal Data Protection Standards also extends to business partners handling government data.


Estishraf is the analytical arm of the National Information Center. It enables decision-makers and government officials to unlock the powers of data science to drive factual decision-making. Estishraf employs an elite multidisciplinary team to apply advanced analytics and artificial intelligence technology to the centralized big data in the Data Bank to produce valuable business insights and to tell domain stories.

NEOM: NEOM is a new vision of what the future could be. It's an attempt to do something that's never been done before and it's coming at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solutions. Simplified, NEOM will not only be a destination, but a home for people who dream big and who want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living. NEOM will also be a hub for innovation, where established global businesses and emerging players can research, incubate, and commercialize groundbreaking technologies to accelerate human progress. Commerce and industry will be integrated into community centers to build supply chains that facilitate innovative and efficient operations.


Block Chain Applications

Saudi Arabia is among the first countries globally whose institutions started to experiment with the use of the blockchain and allowed international firms wishing to test new digital solutions in a 'live' environment to deploy them in the KSA in the future.



SAMA Regulatory Sandbox: Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has designed a Regulatory Sandbox that welcomes local as well as international firms wishing to test new digital solutions in a 'live' environment with a view to deploy them in KSA in the future. The objective is to understand and assess the impact of new technologies in the KSA's Financial Sector market and help transform the Saudi market into a smart financial center.


Blockchain for the Financial Sector: The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA)  is among the first Saudi government authorities and central banks in the world that announced the deployment of blockchain technology for money transfer. In June 2020, SAMA piloted blockchain technology for money transfer to deposit part of the SR50 billion ($13.3 bn) of the liquidity that it had previously announced to inject into the banking sector. While still in a test phase, this pilot study enabled SAMA to speed up its efforts in exploring and assessing the impacts of the emerging technologies on the financial sector.

Fintech Saudi: Fintech Saudi was launched by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) in partnership with the Capital Market  Authority in April 2018 to act as a catalyst for the development of the financial services technology (fintech) industry in Saudi Arabia. The objective is to transform Saudi Arabia into an innovative fintech hub with a thriving and responsible fintech ecosystem by supporting the development of the infrastructure required for the growth of the fintech industry, building capabilities and talent required by fintech companies and supporting fintech entrepreneurs at every stage of their development.

Blockchain for cross-border trade: A key player on the Saudi trade and logistics landscape, Saudi Customs Authority is testing the use of blockchain to create a real solution for a fragmented peer-to-peer business ecosystem in solving complex problems such as platform challenges, business challenges, data interoperability, and solution construction.

The Saudi Customs Authority, in cooperation with the IT partner Tabadul, oversaw the integration of FASAH with TradeLens in December 2018, a blockchain-enabled global shipping solution jointly developed by Maersk and IBM. FASAH is Saudi Arabia's national platform which connects all Government and private entities involved in cross-border trade.‬ The pilot aimed to link FASAH with TradeLens for selected services to ensure immutability, traceability, reduced reconciliation, auditability, and compliance. Through its adoption of blockchain, Saudi Customs aims to be the first in the region that is able to provide remarkable customs services that will see the Kingdom become a global logistics hub. The first shipment that was launched using blockchain technology was from the King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam to the port of Rotterdam on May 13, 2019.

5G - Based Technology Policies

Strategy and Regulations


  •  National Spectrum Strategy 2025

A strategic pillar of the National Spectrum Strategy 2025 is Foster Commercial and Innovative Uses (Drive 5G+), stating that it'll "push 5G+ deployment to position Saudi Arabia among leading nations in unlocking innovative high-performance use cases and applications based on 5G. With a focus on giving timely and sufficient spectrum access to operators in a way that will allow them to meet the quality-of-service objectives in terms of mobile services' preseance, cost, and coverage, with the aim of deploying private 5G networks for industry verticals."

  •  5G Spectrum Outlook for Commercial and Innovative Use 2021-2023

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) adopted the 5G Spectrum Outlook for Commercial and Innovative Use to provide transparency and predictability for all spectrum users in the Kingdom, providing spectrum users certainty over the amount of spectrum available in different bands and the terms and regulations governing access and usage. The key regulatory changes that are proposed in the document are:

  • To introduce innovative approaches to spectrum management using databases to deliver greater sharing and more flexible access.
  • To introduce spectrum trading in a measured manner to allow the market to change ownership and, in some cases, the use of spectrum.
  • To seek a balance between complementary technologies in those cases where the market cannot deliver this.
  • To monitor spectrum utilization as a way to provide more evidence for our decision-making.
  • To assist innovation by making a variety of bands available for new concepts in a range of different manners from trial licenses to shared and short-term access.


The Kingdom was ranked second among G20 countries in the allocation of frequency bands. This was due to the implementation of digital transformation by developing a National Frequency Plan (NFP), contributing to the achievement of the 4th position globally in terms of 5G deployment, increasing internet speed by more than 400%, which improved the quality and speed of mobile internet services in the Kingdom, and improving the quality of telecom services provided to citizens by telecommunication operators.

The growth of 5G mobile services in the country plays a crucial part in the KSA's plan to modernize and digitize its economy as part of Vision 2030. The disruptive capabilities of 5G pave the way for new innovative and disruptive applications that the current LTE technology cannot support.

The CITC announced that Saudi Arabia would be the first country in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to make the full 6 GHz frequency band available for WiFi use.

That means there are now 150% more open airwaves that routers can use for the new generation of WiFi networks. By allocating 1,200 MHz of the radio spectrum for the WiFi6e, Saudi Arabia has now made 2,035 MHz of spectrum available for the new generation of WiFi and other license-exempt technologies - more than any country in the world. 

In terms of internet speeds, Saudi Arabia retained its place as the 7th fastest country globally for mobile internet speeds, averaging 109.48 Mbps in Q4 2020, and 4th in the world for 5G internet speeds with an average of 264.7 Mbps.

The world's fastest 5G peak download speed of 862.6 Mbps was recorded by Saudi 5G users, surpassing South Korea in second place by 11%.
In 2020, 5,358 new 5G towers were deployed across the country, bringing the total to 12,302 5G towers by the end of the year. This number is set to grow as the allocation of spectrum for commercial uses continues to increase, as does the demand for faster internet services.

The Kingdom was ranked first in download speed rates for 5G services and excelled in average 5G download rates with speeds of up to 377.2 Mbps, followed by South Korea, the leading country in 5G network coverage rate with speed of 336.1 Mbps.

WiFi 6e will also enable future network applications across a wide range of uses, including the Internet of Things, smart homes, and virtual reality applications. WiFi 6e will also increase the efficiency of wireless applications in the education, health, and entertainment industries by connecting WiFi networks with fiber optics to allow faster data transmission. WiFi 6e also paves the way for WiFi 7, the next generation of WiFi.
For more information, please visit the CITC website.

 Regulatory Sandbox

Several Government authorities in the Kingdom have established regulatory sandboxes in using digital technologies to allow startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under a regulator's supervision. These initiatives include:

  • Saudi Central Bank has designed a Regulatory Sandbox that welcomes local and international firms wishing to test new digital solutions in a 'live' environment with a view to deploying them in the Kingdom in the future. The objective is to understand and assess the impact of new technologies in the KSA's Financial Sector market and help transform the Saudi market into a smart financial center.
  • The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) launched a Regulatory Sandbox for delivery applications. The initiative comes as part of the authority's mandate to regulate and supervise the postal sector, including the licensing and regulation of delivery apps operating in Saudi Arabia. This regulatory sandbox has been specifically crafted to support, enable, and sustain the growth of the Kingdom's delivery app ecosystem, for the benefit of all sector stakeholders, including consumers, producers, and delivery drivers. Specifically, it aims to reduce time to market for apps and potentially lower the cost of delivery services. It will also give app designers the ability to test innovative products and services in a controlled environment. By doing so, and providing better access to financing, CITC will help to develop an ecosystem conducive to innovation.
  • In November 2021, the Digital Government Authority (DGA) launched the regulatory sandbox initiative for government technical companies to find organizational solutions in the field of digital platforms and services. The initiative aims for governing and enhancing digital government services in Saudi Arabia and preparing the necessary regulations to improve the business environment, in addition to addressing the challenges facing companies and institutions in digital government services and improving the beneficiary’s experience.

Robotics & Automation

Robotics & Automation are high on the Kingdom's Government agenda in line with the efforts, initiatives, regulations, and institutional framework for Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and Big Data. The Kingdom has already established dedicated institutions, such as the Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA), National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI), andNational Data Management Office (NDMO), as well as adopted a regulatory framework for the use of robotics and automation (National Data Governance Interim Regulations, Internet of Things (IoT) Regulatory Framework).


  • Citizenship to "Sophia": Saudi Arabia is the first country globally to grant citizenship to a robot in October 2017. Sophia, a humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics, has subsequently represented the Kingdom at events, including a UN summit on "AI for Good" in Geneva (Switzerland) in May 2018.

Government Cloud Applications As A Service (AAAS)

The Kingdom embarked on a major technology project to institutions cloud computing in the government. Originally projects in cloud computing focused on developing government cloud in partnership with potential stakeholders. The Kingdom launched Alibaba Cloud Center for cloud computing in Riyadh, which contributed to achieving digital sustainability, developing and training local talents, accelerating the growth of the local economic ecosystem, raising the rates of Saudization of technological jobs and building a strong national economy over the next five years.

The Kingdom launched the largest advanced cloud center in the Kingdom as part of the strategic agreement signed by Saudi Aramco Co, and Google Cloud. The partnership supports entrepreneurs and companies by reducing efforts by 70%, reducing costs by 30% and providing innovative solutions in the 4th industrial revolution, data, and artificial intelligence. Along with this project, major concerns were addressed through cloud regulatory guidelines and frameworks. Among these are the Cloud Computing Regulatory Framework of the Communications, Space and technology Commission, and the KSA Cloud First Policy of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. 

Currently (spring 2022), KSA Government entities have a fragmented information technology infrastructure with >400 data centers spread across entities, and a relatively low utilization. Cloud computing will enable a more centralized infrastructure with mega data centers serving all Governmental entities that are highly utilized and more efficient. In the current set-up, cyber security is the responsibility of individual Governmental entities. Cloud computing will enable a more coherent and robust cyber security framework through adopting best practices in cyber security across Governmental entities. 

The impact of Cloud computing will go beyond the Government ICT sector, it will accelerate the digital transformation in the Kingdom through integrating state-of-the-art technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, 4th Industrial Revolution technologies, etc. Citizens’ satisfaction will be enhanced through innovation of online services. In fact, Cloud computing in the Kingdom will help leapfrog efficiency and effectiveness of IT investments in the public sector.

Examples of Success Stories in KSA

Several government entities have adopted ET as part of their digital transformation. Below is an overview of ET adoption cases across 7 different government entities.
Use Case
Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority
Experimenting with Blockchain in container tracking 
Artificial Intelligence
Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence
Tackling a global pandemic with contact-tracing
Advanced Analytics
Ministry of Health
Facing public health threats with prescriptive analytics 
Artificial Intelligence
National Health Information Center
Patient readmission prediction 
Artificial Intelligence
Education and Training Evaluation Commission
Monitoring remote tests 
Artificial Intelligence
General Directorate of Passports
Automation of passenger entry and departure processes 
nternet of Things
Riyadh Municipality
Remote lighting control and monitoring system

To discover the Guidelines for Emerging Technology Adoption, click here.

GovTech radar

In order to empower government resources to accelerate the adoption of new technologies and innovative solutions to shape the future of governance, the GovTech radar provides a glimpse into insights and research services that will be made available for government entities to help them conduct future scoping exercises and identify technologies for potential use cases and future solutions.

The present visualization tool contains 106 technologies assessed according to NASA’s Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to evaluate their technological development level. From 1 (the lowest level of technology maturation) to 9 (technology is already being fixed and incorporated into new systems), all technologies included in this project intend to serve as a benchmark for future versions of digitized governance.

All technologies were analyzed according to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to strengthen the relationship between technological developments and sustainable practices. Each technology added to the radar was tagged according to its taxonomy, from software, hardware, systems, and materials to business models and policies.

Ultimately, these technologies were clustered into seven affinity groups containing essays disclosing the most significant technological impacts produced in key public sectors, including Healthcare, Education & Training, Urban Mobility & Smart Cities, Travel, Tourism & Culture, Social Development & Justice, Energy & Natural Resources, and Trade, Finance & Economy.