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Publication date: 12 Jun 2023

IDC to Explore the Future of Saudi Arabia's Digital Economy at CIO Summit in Riyadh


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Riyadh – Spurred by a growing influx of foreign direct investment and a $7 trillion development plan for the Kingdom's giga projects, ICT spending in Saudi Arabia is poised to top $34.5 billion this year. That's according to the latest forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC), with spending on software (including cloud) and IT services set to increase at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 11.4% and 8.7%, respectively, over the 2022–2026 period.

The government sector will be the country's biggest IT spender in 2023, with spending on AI, IoT, cybersecurity, and big data analytics alone set to exceed $574 million as innovative technologies become foundational to the aim of building an ‘Experience Economy’. Finance, communications, energy and resources, and manufacturing will be the Kingdom's other top spenders in 2023, although the fastest growth over the next five years will be seen in the healthcare, finance, retail/wholesale, professional services, and education sectors.

"To harness the full potential and widespread benefits of the digital economy, governments and businesses must implement strategies to measure and cultivate it," says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa. "Creating regulatory environments and nurturing talent will be critical to success. Today, technology plays an ever-increasing role in enabling, measuring, and reporting on sustainability initiatives and diversity and inclusion drives, with government and business leaders prioritizing these issues on their digital agendas."

Such issues will sit at the heart of the agenda during this year's IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit, which will take place at the Fairmont Riyadh on September 13-14. Addressing the theme 'Enabling the Digital Economy's Leaders', the event will bring together the Kingdom's foremost IT and telecom leaders, digital government pioneers, regulators, and industry thought leaders. Expert speakers will assess the current state of the digital economy, evaluate its ongoing impact on citizens, customers, employees, and operations, address key challenges, and outline proven best practices and strategies to drive future success.

IDC's chief research officer, Meredith Whalen, will open the day's proceedings with a keynote titled 'Strategies for the CIO and Enterprise Innovation', during which she will highlight IDC's latest research findings on building a culture of trust, examine the move toward industry ecosystem innovation, and highlight the impact of tech decentralization.

"CIOs are no longer just technology leaders," says Whalen. "They are strategic partners who have a critical role to play in driving enterprise-wide growth and it is important that they fully understand what needs to be done now — and in the future — to create an environment for long-term sustainable innovation. The IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit is the perfect place for CIOs to learn from their peers, network with industry leaders, and get the insights they need to succeed in the digital age."

The agenda will also feature a series of dedicated CIO-led panel sessions and technology focus groups addressing topics such as:

• Talent Development and the Demand for New Skills: Optimal Team Structuring

• Sustainable Strategies and Technologies: Operationalization, Impact Measurement, Business Value Creation

• Vendor Selection and Management: Best Practices and Considerations

• Cyber Protection for the Threats of Today and Tomorrow: Dynamic Security Strategies to Minimize Risk

• Connecting the Distributed Cloud: From Edge to Core

• Enabling the Data-Driven Enterprise

  • Transitioning Through AI and Analytics: How to Win in the Intelligent Economy

To learn more about the IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2023, please click here or contact Sheila Manek at / +971 4 446 3154. You can also join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #IDCSAUDICIO.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.

IDC in the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa

For the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa region, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Istanbul, with a regional center in Dubai. Our coverage couples local insights with international perspectives to provide a comprehensive understanding of markets in these dynamic regions. Our market intelligence services are unparalleled in depth, consistency, scope, and accuracy. IDC MEA currently fields over 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region. To learn more about IDC MEA, please visit You can follow IDC MEA on Twitter at @IDCMEA.