Saudi Arabia has become one of the fastest growing IT markets in the Middle East. Furthermore, it is projected to account for around 50 percent of the GCC’s total ICT investments during 2010 to 2012, according to a report from RNCOS, a research solutions company.
Government organizations are among the largest IT service providers in the Kingdom. With 22 objectives with 46 supporting initiatives, the Second National e-Government Action Plan is a fully formed project able to take the Kingdom’s e-government performance to the next level.
There are four strategic themes to the new plan — build a sustainable e-government work force, improve the experience of the public in their interactions with Government, develop a culture of collaboration, and improve government efficiency — all resulting in the efficient and immediate delivery of services and goods to Saudi citizens.
The 3rd Annual e-Government Summit, organized by business information company naseba and being held yesterday and today in Riyadh, presents the new initiative in detail. The welcome address was given by Mamdouh Khawaji, vice president of IT at SEDCO, who examined the need for public awareness in e-government initiatives. He noted the “United Nations defines e-government as the employment of the Internet for delivering government information and services to the citizens: Hence citizens are a key component of this service.”
With the implementation of the Second National Plan, the government also hopes to increase collaboration with private companies as a way to ease project workload and to further develop Saudi Arabia’s economy by creating jobs.
The first panel of the day was an in-depth case study on countries such as Singapore who have adopted public-private partnerships (PPP).
It was led by industry leader Abdulaziz Al-Mulhem, assistant minister and CIO of planning at the Ministry of Culture and Information, Saudi Arabia. He cited how constraints on resources – coupled with wealth in the private sector and bureaucracy in the public sector – means PPP is a much needed tool to facilitate opportunities such as jointly owning technology or services. He concluded by saying “e-government means the engagement of people, government and PPPs – which creates people-public partnerships – it is the people who are the most important.”
Alexander Zarovsky, international business chief at InfoWatch, led a panel discussion on national digital information traffic monitoring, data loss prevention, social media monitoring and other topics. In it, he stated the timeliness of the summit, highlighting how 92 percent of security incidents online are now related to personal data – for example, credit card numbers, bank accounts and personal emails, which can lead to company-level hacking. He concluded “compliance and risk management are the leading drivers for the national program and this summit allows us all to come together and discuss these issues.”
Other panels included dialogue on digital security threats and solutions, e-participation – which involves connecting people and politics through the internet – and a panel discussion on effective ways to implement e-government interoperability.
From : Arabnews