In order to get the power of the data, you need to really integrate it with artificial intelligence, analytics, IoT (the internet of things), so all these need to be integrated together in order to get the benefit of the cloud. There is a benefit by itself, but integrating all these things really leverages the power of the corporate or the entity.
The solutions are there, also: mainly data security. Most of the corporates don't know what kind of data that they can really put in the cloud, and what they are allowed to do and when they are allowed to do it.
The other challenge is that when you go to a cloud with one vendor you might be locked in and the next day you'll find out that they're going to increase their “operational prices” and then you cannot get out easily. We are adapting the multi-vendor cloud through our registered name CloudBlue. You need to protect your information, you need to do something about this.
It's a wave and you need to ride it otherwise you will be left behind.
We're doing digital transformation and part of this journey is cloud services, AI (artificial intelligence), the internet of things and data analytics. We're providing this through data centres, we're trying to move out from legacy systems like all the other corporates if they continue or they want to continue in the market.
They have to do something now otherwise they will be left behind.
The main challenge is connectivity, but we've seen during the pandemic that Saudi Arabia really overcame this obstacle. It became the first country in the 5G ranking. If you go, for example, in the manufacturing sector with the IoT, a lot of information that requires huge storage area and real data that gets in and goes out needs to be analysed. If you don't have this kind of connectivity then there's no benefit of spending that much money on the cloud or other than the cloud, even on premise.
The percentage of the young generation in Saudi Arabia, in general, is huge, and there are remarkable results that we've seen out of them through the national programmes that have been launched. For example, MCIT and NCSA – they're doing a great job.
We are concentrating on the local human being and we believe that they're our assets.
We need to encourage them: they are full of power to give to this country so we need to assist them to reach their goals and their dreams.