Saudi Arabia has called on the private sector, specifically communications and information technology contractors, to join the Saudi Digital Investment Frontier (SDIF) to accelerate the pace of digital purchases in the next stage.
SDIF, which was launched last year by the Digital Government Authority (DGA), aims to enhance the means of joint work between the public and private sectors, increase the efficiency of the private sector’s participation in digital government projects, and encourage local and foreign investment in digital government.
According to official information, the DGA directed the Federation of Saudi Chambers to request communications and information technology contractors to call on all relevant companies and institutions to join the SDIF platform to enable them to win government tenders.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Eng. Mansour Al-Obaid, Chairman of the Information and Communications Technology Committee at the Riyadh Chamber, underlined the importance for contractors to register on the platform in order to obtain a classification certificate approved by the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, and then access government procurement tenders.
He added that the benefits of the platform also include access to government procurement information, including tender notices, contract opportunities and supplier evaluation criteria.
Al-Obaid added that the main objectives of the program are to improve the efficiency of digital government procurement, by developing a central procurement platform that provides training and support to public entities, as well as increasing private sector participation in digital government projects to create a more favorable investment environment.
According to Obaid, SDIF also seeks to raise the work quality of providers and operators of digital government services, and to stimulate foreign and local investment.
The Saudi government launched the SDIF program to enhance investment and efficiency of government spending in the field of digital government, improve budget planning and avoid duplication of projects.
SDIF falls within the DGA’s initiatives aimed at leading the digital government of Saudi Arabia. It was announced during the first quarter of 2022.
The DGA has recently issued the Readiness to Adopt Emerging Technologies Report 2023, which measures capabilities related to “Research, Communication, Proof, and Integration.”
The report is designed to assist government agencies in determining their readiness levels, exploring gaps and optimization opportunities and providing plans for capacity building in a manner commensurate with requirements, as well as ensuring the achievement of desired benefits.
According to the report, the overall score for assessing the readiness of government agencies to adopt emerging technologies reached 60.35%, at the “Competent” level.
The participating agencies have shown progress in most of the capabilities related to adopting emerging technologies, as well as remarkable potential for excellence and achieving an integrated creative experience, the report added.