The Governor of Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Dr Abdul Rahman Al-Ja'fari has predicted a 50% increase in IT spending from SR22 Billion to SR37 Billion by 2014.
However, that upward shift in IT spending will also require an increase in the number of qualified IT staff to support the growth. Mr Al-Ja'fari and his deputy Governor for Information Technology Affairs, Dr Sulaiman Mirdad have both emphasised that there was a shortage of skilled IT workers in Saudi Arabia, with as much as 50% of the Kingdom's companies experiencing IT skills shortages today.
The skills shortage could be plugged by a concerted effort by the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, the Ministries of Education, Higher Education and the private sector, enabling 30,000 IT jobs to be filled by Saudis. This would go some way to help realise the kingdom's Saudization strategy which, according to Dr Mirdad, currently stands at just 21% in the IT sector.
I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.