RIYADH: In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, the push for transformative strategies has become a cornerstone for businesses across Saudi Arabia, according to a top PwC Middle East executive. 

Following the launch of the firm’s latest report – “Digital acceleration: Fueling the ambition for transformation success in Saudi Arabia” – Marwan Khamis, a partner at PwC Middle East, emphasized to Arab News the pivotal role of emerging digital technologies in achieving sustainable growth and strategic objectives for organizations within the Kingdom.

Khamis highlighted that organizations are actively pursuing transformation initiatives at the halfway mark to Saudi Vision 2030, with a keen focus on leveraging emerging technologies like generative artificial intelligence, referred to as GenAI, to enhance decision-making, efficiency, resource utilization, and compliance.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Global Project Management Forum in Riyadh, he said: “AI is coming into play. According to a recent survey that we have done, 73 percent of CEOs in the Middle East that were surveyed believe that they need to adopt AI within the next three years in order to make sure that they are delivering outcomes to their beneficiaries.”

GenAI offers significant promise in automating routine tasks and streamlining project management processes, the report added.

This automation liberates organizations to concentrate more on strategic growth initiatives and cultivating robust client relationships. 

By integrating real-time data and advanced training programs, GenAI empowers businesses to analyze extensive datasets, identify operational efficiencies, and redefine industry best practices.

According to the report, resource availability and timely decision-making emerged as the primary challenges for C-suite executives, cited by 90 percent of respondents, a fact that can be supplemented through the use of emerging technologies.

This was closely followed by resistance to change, at 80 percent, and data availability, which was cited by 7 percent of respondents.

Therefore, overcoming these hurdles requires a strategic approach, one that embraces technological advancements while addressing cultural and economic factors that influence the pace and scale of transformation.

Khamis highlighted the critical importance of project management in the transformation journey of entities, saying: “As organizations are moving into their transformation journey, project management is becoming more and more important as a key driver for them to move into that transformation.”

The executive also addressed the growing recognition of the need for advancement among Middle East CEOs, stating, “According to the recent CEO report that we’ve published in PwC, 48 percent of all Middle East CEOs believe that their businesses need to transform within the next few years.”

In order for these sought-after transitions to come to life, Kamis outlined the most result-proven strategies based on PwC research.

“The most effective transformation management offices and project management offices usually focus on two things. One is fostering a positive work culture where all project managers and experts collaborate effectively. The second is the adoption of digital solutions within the transformation journey,” he said.

Khamis further emphasized that as it pertains to the Saudi market, specifically as it nears the 2030 mark, quality execution has become paramount in achieving successful transformation across both public and private sectors.

The success story of the Saudi National Events Centre, known as NEC, serves as a testament to the transformative power of digital technologies. 

Leveraging PwC Middle East’s Transform Hub, the NEC has emerged as a frontrunner in delivering world-class events and experiences in Saudi Arabia and the region. 

This underscores the potential for digital innovation to drive operational efficiency, innovation, and long-term success in the Kingdom’s dynamic business environment.

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