Saudi firms must tailor for future workforce, survey finds

Employers in the Kingdom will need to tailor their approach to talent management for catering to the fast-changing technology landscape

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Employers in Saudi Arabia will need to tailor their approach to talent management for catering to the fast-changing technology landscape, according to a new survey by Oxford Economics and SAP.

IT spending in the Kingdom is increasing at the fastest rate of any country in the Middle East and Africa, from $11.5 billion in 2014 to $14.2 billion in 2017, according to the IDC report “Saudi Arabia Vertical Markets 2013-2017 IT Spending Forecast,” as organizations embrace emerging technologies including big data and analytics, mobility, cloud and social networks.

As a result, the Kingdom’s employers are rapidly gearing up their staff to meet the demands of the technology-infused future.

In the Kingdom’s results in the global "Workforce 2020" survey, which surveyed 5,400 executives and employees in 27 countries, 60 percent of respondents in the Kingdom said analytics skills will be needed in three years’ time, while 44 percent of respondents also saw the need for cloud capabilities as being important in the next three years. Likewise, only 25 percent of employees said they have access to the latest mobile and social media technologies today.

Access to the latest technologies is likely to increase exponentially over the next three years, keeping in line with the growing IT spend in the Kingdom.

“The emergence of cloud, mobile, big data and social media technologies will have a transformative effect on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Organizations must seize the moment and adapt now to this fast-changing technology landscape so they can leverage the new business opportunities it offers and prepare for future growth,” said Ahmed Al-Faifi, managing director, SAP Saudi Arabia. “These new technologies can enable them to create unprecedented ROI – but only if they harness give their employees the right tools to deliver growth.”

This story was originally posted on the Saudi Gazette on Dec. 24, 2014.