Introduction

With the new vision for 2030 being initiated by the Saudi government, it brings a lot of opportunities and responsibilities on government organizations across the spectrum to deliver more value to its respective stakeholders such as citizens, residents, businesses and other govern- mental bodies in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Context

There is no doubt to the fact that technology is going to play a major role in supporting and helping government organizations be operationally more effective, efficient & resourceful, if steered in the right direction with the right push by CIO’s & Leadership.

In this blog we will discuss on what steps CIO’s & government leadership can take, starting now to support the ambitious vision 2030 and how these steps and initiatives can lead to realization of measurable value for every individual government body.

From a historical view, on technology advancements and maturity observed in Government organizations from around the world, the ones who act quickly and diligently in such opportunistic scenarios create a win that is sustained over a long period of time.

 

4 Key Technology Initiatives that support Vision 2030 & will lead to Long Term success.

 

Improved Business Processes

Government bodies should revisit their current business processes under the light of technology departments. This will help higher management  and leaders to look at improvement  & performance  parameters  through a wide array of components,  such  as: analysis, design, diligent observation, technology and control. Some of the advantages of prioritizing this task will lead to :

Improved Agility

An exercise to get a detailed scan & knowledge can allow government arms to understand the impact that any present and future change may have on their business processes. An organization that understands the impact modifying its business processes tends to be more agile and can take faster & informed decisions.

Better Visibility

Process automation will help understand how internal and external government processes function without requiring labor intensive manual monitoring techniques. This improved transparency can give top government officials better visibility and ability to make required changes for better outcomes.

Increased Accountability

One of the primary goals is to provide greater accountability for departmental functions across the government body. By documenting all business processes and working to optimize each one, the government body can minimize the potential for fraud, errors or loss and affirming that all employees are aware of their responsibilities.

Reduced Costs

Improved business processes can help government bodies trim down the costs associated to any business process execution. The decline in operational costs, may not be visible right away, but eradicating bottlenecks would cause remarkable improvements.

For instance, this could reduce lead time that can have a positive effect on how the organization delivers services to citizens & businesses. This may also mean that every relevant stakeholder will have more access to the services in unity to their needs within the shortest time possible.

Developing Key IT Skills for Future

In our recent study done with CIO’s from multiple government enterprises in the middle east, we have probably understood, one of the key criterion on how some IT departments are able to differentiate and create competitive advantage for their organization with a suitable design & structure for the future. At the same time are successful in keeping pace with changing times of how business is carried out today? And how technology is disrupting lives and organizations than ever?

Creating Innovation Teams

One of the most common observations of successful running IT Departments is the introduction of the innovation team which directly reports to the CIO, it does not necessarily mean that a new set of people should be hired for such tasks and activities. However Saudi millennial & generation Y are a close fit to such teams.

We have seen that if 20%-30% of their work time is allocated to innovative projects i.e. one project or initiative a year can create immense amount of value for the organization which can help disrupt legacy processes and work flows to save considerable amount of time for your organization.

Our recommendation would be to start small with a team of 2 people who are monitored by a senior resource and are asked to create or ideate new thinking from a business to technology perspective. This will help the CIO & Business to also differentiate and create competitive advantage for the government body.

Introducing Key Roles for Future

It is also crucially important for KSA Government IT Departments to create new roles which align business & IT departments, so IT is a key driver for the organization in future.

CDO (Chief Digital Office)

Many government organizations around the world are introducing this senior role formally & informally to look at the entire organizations workings from a technology + operation standpoint and we believe this role is here to stay for a long haul.

IT Department Evangelist (ITDE)

We have seen some remarkable difference in the way this role is being adopted by so many government entities as it is directly impacting 2 in- tangible parameters:

  • Demonstrating IT Organizations Culture internally &
  • Attracting great talent for your IT Department.

Business to Technology Collaborator (BTC):

Saudi government IT departments & CIO’s must employ internal role that can broker their idea to the management, end users and other internal stakeholders and deliver effective communications.

Business Insight Creator (BIC)

Almost every Saudi government organization is sitting on an abundance of data and information, BIC’s job and task is to look for historic & current data, understand decision making trends in the organization, so it can help contextualize insights which can lead to great management decisions.

User Experience Facilitator (UEF)

A need for user experience facilitator role in Saudi Government bodies, will make sure that internal end users & service consumers use the technologies provided to them more frequently with higher usage patterns.

Adopting Technology Procurement Best Practices

Saudi Arabia is the largest technology market in the GCC region and the government sector being the highest spender in the middle east region.

With new technologies being procured and adopted every year by Saudi Arabia government, CIO’s, CFO’s, Procurement & Sourcing teams, that are continuously facing challenges, because products and services are delivered in different ways, which changes their usage models, pricing structures, licensing policies, terms & conditions and much more. (Read BluMatter’s Blog : 23 Best Practices on Technology Procurement)

Assess & Justify Technology Investments Effectively

New technology’s introduction in your enterprise is preceded by management’s requirement to assess & justify the relevant initiative’s investments. CIO’s in government enterprises should demonstrate cost-benefit analysis & frameworks depending on

individual technologies to justify investments, define & propose alternatives, assess relative risks and obtain necessary approvals to proceed with the technology procurement process.

Manage Technology Vendor Relationship

It is crucial to leverage partnerships, and technology vendors are a crucial part to attainment of success of your enterprise’s goals. Government IT departments & vendor relationship management teams should be in a position to create vendor portfolio strategies, key supplier relationship strategies, assessment & influencing vendor performance and manage overall effective vendor communications, so these relationships can add greater value to the enterprise.

Improve Technology Procurement Processes

A great combination of technology know-how with legal and procurement expertise can improve governance, mitigate risks & build strong vendor  relationships.  KSA Government IT departments should create enterprise level consolidated technology vendor management office (VMO). This will not only help get the best value from the relationships, have flexible contracts and reduce supplier associated risks but also improve governance, quality management, audits and streamlining of technology procurement processes.

Technology Acquisition & Minimizing Your Risks

Technology landscape is constantly changing with multiple technology providers, who can add differentiated value to your enterprise. Government IT departments should diligently choose the right technology & local partnerships, assess proposed vendor capabilities, evaluate vendor proposals and negotiate contracts effectively with an approach that can be learned from private organizations from around the world, this will help save tangible capital & operating expenditures and minimize contractual risks radically.

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