By: Ali Al Shami, KSA Country Manager, Red Hat
When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) launched Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan 2020 (NTP) in 2016, a progressive roadmap was put forward presenting a mandate for the technology sector to lead the propagation of the nation’s digital economy. With innovation in its sights, KSA has since begun opening its doors to the economic allure and future possibilities that new technologies convey for the digital transformation journey ahead.
However, the nation’s enterprises and IT leaders are on the cusp of opening up to, quite possibly, the most disruptive digital transformation movement yet: enterprise evolution spurred by open source innovation.
Digital innovation is the future wealth for enterprises, governments, and nations like KSA to redefine their global competitiveness and boost initiatives and projects that establish knowledge-based economies in the years ahead. And enterprise open source is the key to facilitating enterprise customers’ digital transformation journeys to achieve nationwide transformation directives.
Globally, Linux-based expenditure is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.9% globally over the next five years. This is concurrent to enterprises’ growing needs for real world solutions such as cost-effectiveness, flexibility, reliability, agility, and security. Surprisingly, only 37% of companies across the world have open source programs to establish organizational processes, best practices, and toolsets for how open source is adopted across their business. This signals significant room for growth towards the adoption of alternative foundational systems to drive innovation and digital transformation in emergent market economies like KSA.
Open source is pertinent to projects and initiatives that will drive innovation. As a movement and an emblem of the future of IT, open source is being used in a growing number of leading international businesses, operating in enterprise sectors as diverse as telecommunications and healthcare, to financial services and defense. With a majority of global IT leaders and enterprises observing enterprise open source as an important element of their organizations’ strategies (89%), 68% of IT leaders reported an increase in use of enterprise open source over the past year, with a further 59% of IT leaders noting they plan to increase their use of enterprise open source. As a rapid answer to solving real world challenges and opportunities, enterprise open source solutions are becoming sought after, as they are effective in fueling the enablement of next generation IT infrastructure modernization, application development, application integration, digital transformation, and application modernization.
Disruptive tools lead to disruptive ideas. As a bridge between open source communities, which create open source software, and the enterprises who use it, Red Hat is a major advocate for pooling open source environments to create vibrant and diverse ecosystems that redefine the way applications are built in the open hybrid cloud. This notion is coming to life in the Kingdom.
Enterprise open source software is the nexus between KSA’s digital transformation aspirations and the economic empowerment of the country’s ambition to be globally competitive and digitally inclined. With the launch of KSA’s push to a digital economy, the country is cultivating a landscape of opportunity that is opening up significantly for open source endeavors. As KSA’s enterprise sphere embarks on achieving strategic objectives derived from the nation’s leadership agenda for digitalization, Red Hat is delivering a suite of cutting-edge solutions to redefine the country’s global competitiveness and boost its drive towards establishing a diversified economic future centered on knowledge.
This vision is thriving in the Kingdom, with e-Government program, Yesser, and the NTF highlighting the need for open source initiatives. Additionally, the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has been handed the mandate to establish a regulatory framework to promote open source software. While emerging technologies provide the tools for digital transformation, enterprise open source is the force de jour for collaborative and open ways towards approaching digital transformation.
IT leaders and enterprises in KSA are also optimizing open source capabilities to achieve scalability of cloud, big data and analytics, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and blockchain. The business value of open source in KSA is enabling enterprises a variety of open source industry-specific applications in several key business areas. These include website development, cloud management, security, big data and analytics, and databases to name a few. Globally Red Hat’s open source opportunities stand to deliver enterprises 368% three-year ROI, decrease three-year cost of operations by 35%, enable 5 months to payback, lower infrastructure costs by 32%, increase IT infrastructure teams’ efficiency by 38%, and drive 21% more productivity from development teams. This is a powerful value proposition for open technologies to fuel further digital embodiment in line with KSA’s National Agenda.
While more can always be done towards shifting mindsets and enlightening enterprises on the intrinsic benefits of open source, Red Hat’s blueprint to open source innovation is creating the foundation to real world innovation and digital transformation through open source culture, open thinking, open technology, and open solutions ecosystems.
It’s just a matter of time before more of the Kingdom’s enterprises join the open movement. The open source way is the future for KSA, and Red Hat is proud to be a vital part of the equation.