Supporting the digital future of Saudi Arabia
Speaking with Channel Post MEA, the vice president of Cisco Middle East and Africa, Reem Asaad highlights the importance of Saudi Arabia and about how LEAP provides Cisco an excellent platform not just to showcase and demonstrate their technology prowess but also helps them to connect with partners and customers at the same time
How would you describe the technology landscape in Saudi Arabia?
The Saudi Vision 2030 has laid out a comprehensive digital transformation agenda, which requires both innovation and investment to drive it. On the road to executing its ambitious vision with economic diversification at its core, the Kingdom has put digitization at the forefront of the progress it seeks. This has been driving rapid changes to the social and economic landscape that are linked to how technology is used.
Several outstanding achievements have enabled the Kingdom to make significant progress in global indicators, ranking 2nd globally among the G20 countries in the Digital Competitiveness Report, issued by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness.
We see the government extensively focusing on deployment of digital technologies across all major industries and sectors. While the thriving private sector is focused on harnessing the power of the knowledge-based digital economy, giga-projects are also setting the stage for ICT service proliferation. IoT, sensors, apps, and cybersecurity needs are boosting demand for better and faster connectivity, while a move to cloud services is occurring nationwide and has only been spurred by the pandemic.
Cisco’s commitment to the Saudi market has led us to invest in several initiatives across the Kingdom. Since 1997, Cisco has worked side by side with government and enterprise sectors in Saudi Arabia on multiple projects of national and economic importance while developing young talents and preparing them for the labour market to support the development agenda in the Kingdom.
How would you evaluate LEAP and what was the main reason for Cisco to participate in LEAP this year?
During the debut of LEAP in 2022, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated its commitment to technological advancements on an international scale, supported by local and international leaders in the industry. It has provided us with a unique opportunity to meet with leaders in the country, our industry peers, and customers to discuss how we all can play a part in turning the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision into reality.
For the second time, our participation at LEAP is providing us with the perfect platform to engage with our partners and customers, while demonstrating our commitment to innovation in the Kingdom and in the region.
What products or solutions will you be exhibiting at the show?
This year, we are looking forward to returning to LEAP and expect to see themes such as digital agility, security, and sustainability top-of-mind for IT decision-makers across the Kingdom. We will be showcasing our latest solutions designed to accelerate public and private customers’ agendas for a digital and green future, under the theme of “Powering A Connected and Sustainable Universe”.
Visitors to our booth will experience these technological trends that we have identified through the following pillars:
- Future of Work, which will remain hybrid and will enable more equitable, inclusive experiences.
- Security Resilience, which will evolve to include anomaly detection, zero trust frameworks and behavior patterns through the use of AI and machine learning.
- Simplifying and Automating Infrastructure, which will witnessnetworks become more experience-centric with increasing capabilities to predict potential issues and provide problem-solving options.
- Accelerating the Cloud Experience, which will see a noticeable shift in how companies leverage multi-cloud architectures.
- Internet for the Future, which will be built to maximize operational agility and future-proof infrastructure.
- Sustainability and Journey to Net Zero, which will seeNet Zero will drive common standards to meet sustainability goals with advancements in Power Over Ethernet (PoE) design and hardware to transform data centers for a more sustainable future.
With the depth and breadth of our hardware, software, silicon, and optics solutions, we are supporting our customers to adopt modern application architectures, shift to hybrid work and hybrid cloud, help secure their enterprise, and help meet their environmental and sustainability goals.
Which are the major trends influencing the technology market in the KSA?
Several critical trends and transitions are converging on this moment: hybrid work, hybrid cloud, security, 5G, WiFi 6 and 400G, full-stack observability, IoT, and edge; and we are excited about the opportunities that these trends provide to the region, as we focus on driving increased digital agility for our customers.
In fact, we are seeing many technology trends on the rise for 2023 in the areas of security, responsible AI, hybrid work, multi-cloud architectures, increasing network efficiency, and sustainability. These technology trends are shaping the future of every business across all industries, driven by ambitious national visions that are putting technology at the heart of governments’ initiatives in Saudi Arabia, and in the Middle East.
One of the key highlights we’re also witnessing is that businesses today are considering the social context of their actions, with increased focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) in their operations.
What does your company hope to achieve at the end of the show?
For the last 25 years, Cisco has been at the forefront of delivering technology and innovation to the Kingdom focusing on bridging the digital divide across industries integral to the economic development of the country. We have been contributing to the Kingdom’s journey through initiatives such as our Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program and Cisco Networking Academy.
At LEAP, we are highlighting our commitment in supporting Saudi Arabia in reaching its goals for Vision 2030, by facilitating discussions on how the continued adoption and deployment of intelligent, innovative technologies and upskilling the next generation of talent remain key pillars for us to support the Kingdom’s digital future.
Where can visitors find you at LEAP?
The Cisco booth at LEAP is located at Stand C50, Hall 02.