KPMG, Oracle partner in push to help Saudi digital transform
KPMG and Oracle have partnered to accelerate adoption of cloud-based emerging technologies in Saudi Arabia.
In line with Saudi Vision 2030, supporting the growth of the country’s digital economy, this collaboration – KPMG’s Insights Centre and Oracle Innovation Hub in Riyadh – will give organisations across the Kingdom's private and public sector the chance to fully explore the impact of cloud-led digital transformation across their business.
Fahad Al Turief, VP and Country Leader for Oracle Saudi Arabia explains that adoption of emerging technology was already on the rise in Saudi Arabia with companies realising that they could achieve higher ROI, explore new avenues of growth, drive innovation, deliver new services, save costs and ensure robust cyber security with the cloud.
And the pandemic has further accelerated this push to digital transformation. A recent report by KPMG, the CEO Outlook, revealed that due to the pandemic, digital transformation has become a pressing necessity rather than a long-term aspiration, as it accelerating digital strategy would help countries and businesses alleviate the impact of economic crisis.
Customised approach to cloud-based technologies
This collaboration will offer organisations in Saudi Arabia access to KPMG’s expertise in helping companies kickstart a culture of innovation using service design and latest cloud led technologies from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure including AI, IoT and Machine Learning to initiate customised digital transformation for specific goals.
Oracle is the first public cloud vendor with a Cloud Region in Saudi Arabia.
“There are several trends pushing business across all industries toward the cloud technology in Saudi Arabia” and for many organisations, “the current way of doing business might not deliver the agility to grow or provide the platform or flexibility to compete”,” states Al-Turief. “Our collaboration with KPMG will further support the digital transformation efforts of Saudi organisations as they explore newer ways of supporting customers, deliver vital citizen services and ensure business continuity.”
KPMG and Oracle Saudi Arabia executives will also organize joint seminars, virtual events and sessions with global experts to highlight best practices, discuss case studies and offer guidance on digital transformation initiatives.
Oracle expanding presence across Middle East
In 2019, Oracle opened a first of its kind innovation hub in Riyadh dedicated to the implementation of emerging technologies in Saudi Arabia, and over the past few years, the Oracle Innovation Hub has initiated numerous mentorship and training programmes, expert workshops with the Kingdom’s leading public and private sector entities to help them explore the true impact of digital technologies for the success of their organisation.
With the rapid adoption of Oracle Cloud in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East, Oracle is planning a second Cloud Region in Saudi Arabia (the first is in Jeddah) and second one in UAE (the first is in Dubai). This represent Oracle’s commitment to the Gulf region, a part of the world that’s been underserved by other cloud vendors. Oracle is the first public cloud vendor with a Cloud Region in Saudi Arabia.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”