Open source to drive digital transformation in Saudi Arabia

Ali Al Shami

RIYADH — Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, has released breakthrough research unearthing the nexus between the innovative propensity of enterprise open source software and digital transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). These findings are backed by increased global adoption of open source solutions as cost-effective, flexible, reliable, secure, and alternative foundational systems to drive innovation and digital transformation.

Globally, Linux-based open source software is becoming progressively present within end user and vendor IT stacks as they pursue innovation, operational objectives, and cost-effectiveness. This adoption of Linux is expected to drive digital transformation initiatives, with Linux-based expenditure forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% over the next five years.

As KSA’s key enterprises embark on a transformative array of strategic objectives derived from the nation’s leadership agenda for digitalization, Red Hat is delivering a wave of cutting-edge solutions to redefine the country’s global competitiveness and boost its drive towards establishing a robust, knowledge-based economy in the decades to come. The real world enterprise use cases of open source in KSA are fueling the enablement of next generation IT infrastructure modernization, application development, application integration, digital transformation, and application modernization. This is coming to life in the Kingdom, with e-Government program, Yesser, and the National Transformation Plan highlighting the need for open source initiatives. Additionally, the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has been handed the mandate to establish a regulatory framework to promote open source software.

The dramatic shift to open source in KSA is being facilitated by Red Hat’s cutting-edge solutions portfolio, which is rising as a trusted and transformative alternative to conventional systems in the Kingdom. The rise in popularity for KSA IT leaders and enterprises to opt for open source innovation to drive their organizations’ strategies is in line with government mandates for economic empowerment.

Elucidating results from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) ‘The Business Value of Red Hat Solutions and Cost Relationship to Unpaid Alternatives’ white paper, Red Hat’s open source opportunities stand to deliver global enterprises 368% three-year ROI, decrease three-year cost of operations by 35%, and enable 5 months to payback, amidst a host of other business value insights. Red Hat’s enterprise open source innovations are also empowering entities to lower infrastructure costs by 32%, increase IT infrastructure teams’ efficiency by 38%, and drive 21% more productivity from development teams.

These significant findings are backed by an enterprise-wide sentiment, which highlights:

  • 89% of IT leaders say enterprise open source is important to their organization’s strategy
  • 68% of IT leaders reported an increase in use of enterprise open source over the past year (29% stayed the same & 3% decrease)
  • 59% of IT leaders plan to increase their use of enterprise open source in the next year (29% stay the same & 2% decrease)

The business value of open source in KSA is enabling clients a variety of open source industry-specific applications in several key business areas. These include website development, cloud management, security, big data and analytics, and databases to name a few.

IT leaders and enterprises in KSA are also optimizing open source capabilities to achieve scalability of cloud, big data and analytics, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and blockchain. This is a powerful value proposition given these nascent technologies will fuel immense growth for digital transformation akin to KSA’s National Agenda.

Ali Al Shami, KSA Country Manager, Red Hat, said: "KSA is emerging as a formative leader in the adoption of technologies to enhance the country’s competitive drive and economic stimulation. The future of enterprise is indefinitely open, and, as KSA unlocks the door to open source, Red Hat is proud to be empowering customers with ICT advancements to herald a new dawn for open ecosystems in the Kingdom.” — SG