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Saudi Telecom Company creates cloud computing giant

The IT joint venture in Saudi Arabia will drive the digitisation of government services

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has partnered with state-owned IT company ELM and the National Information Centre to create the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, which will drive the transformation of government services.

By grouping resources and focusing on one objective through the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, the joint venture aims to provide all government services under one roof and provide users with a unified experience.

STC, ELM and the National Information Centre are addressing this with the alliance launching the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, said Tarig Enaya, senior vice-president of enterprise at STC.

“The Saudi Cloud Computing Company leverages the reach of STC’s networks, fixed and mobile, its interconnected datacentres, its experience in building cloud ecosystems, and its huge network of technology partners and suppliers,” he said.

STC said the deal is aimed at helping to power the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s digitalisation strategy and is in line with the country’s National Transformation Programme 2020 and Vision 2030.

Enaya said by having all government services under one roof, hosted locally, ICT infrastructure management is more secure and cost efficient.

“It is more secure because of the governance framework enforced by the National Information Centre, the physical security at the datacentres, the physical and information security enforced on the network interconnecting these datacentres, and how the cloud environment is spread out across several different locations with redundancy,” he said.

He added that there are two aspects to executing both the National Transformation Programme 2020 and Vision 2030. One is management based and involves restructuring and re-engineering processes inside the public sector, and the second relates to business automation and service digitisation.

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“For us, our contribution is to the service digitisation part, which involves adapting all the business rules inherent in government policies and processes into e-services,” he said.

The majority of government services are already online, but not all of these services are integrated. There is some integration between services, especially sensitive ones, but more can and should be done, said Enaya.

He added that the new company will be involved in every element of the digitisation value chain, starting from connectivity, IT infrastructure and systems integration. “In the past, we worked with government agencies and treated them as separate entities,” he said.

According to Enaya, ELM provides the venture with experience of addressing public sector digitisation projects. He believes the patronage of the National Information Centre is important because with it comes the required governance framework and integration with the Ministry of Interior’s identity management databases of citizen and resident data.

“It is these databases, which provide the trust and validation needed to guarantee the security of transactions run through government e-services,” he added.

Read more on Information technology (IT) in the Middle East

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