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Reem Asaad

93pc organisations in KSA have an AI strategy in place: Cisco

RIYADH, February 21, 2024

Some 93% of organisations in KSA have an AI strategy in place or under development, while only 8% consider themselves fully prepared to deploy and leverage AI, says Cisco in its AI Readiness Index in Saudi Arabia.
 
Published ahead of LEAP 2024 technology conference in Riyadh, the Index surveyed over 8,000 companies across 30 countries, was developed in response to the accelerated adoption of AI. 
 
Improving the efficiency of and increasing productivity was ranked among the top outcomes that companies are looking to drive through adoption of AI, with 47% of respondents in KSA placing it on top of gains they expect from AI. Opening new revenue streams was the lowest on the list of expectations, as ranked by 30% of respondents.
 
Talent development
On talent development, 31% of KSA respondents ranked comprehension and proficiency of AI tools and technologies as the primary skill gap. The good news is that organisations are taking steps to address this gap. Among the organisations surveyed in Kingdom, 82% say they are investing in training employees in this area. 
 
On infrastructure readiness, the survey shows that a mere 12% of local organisations in KSA have networks that are fully flexible to handle the complexity of AI workloads. Cybersecurity also needs increased focus, as 70% of respondents fall short of being “fully equipped” to detect and prevent adversarial attacks on AI models.
 
Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia, said: “Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in recent years to establish itself as a leading player in the field of AI. The Kingdom recognises the transformative potential of AI and has placed it at the center of its Vision 2030”. 
 
Critical role of AI
He added: “Cisco believes in the critical role of AI to revolutionise industries and drive innovation, and it has been an important element across our portfolio for over a decade. As the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) is working to implement the National Strategy for Data and AI, the insights from the index can help inform the prioritisation across important pillars including strategy, infrastructure, data, governance, talent, and culture.”
 
This year, Cisco’s participation at LEAP is revolving around the theme of “AI Unleashed: Shaping Sustainable Digital Evolution”. Visitors will be able to engage with subject matter experts at Cisco’s booth and discover demos to harness the power of AI to enable a sustainable, securely connected future. The company will showcase its latest technology innovations, spanning networking, security, collaboration, and applications, besides industry use-cases alongside its channels and ecosystem partners.
 
Building talent pool
Reem Asaad, Vice President for Cisco Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, Romania, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), commented: “Cisco has a long-standing presence in the region, working to advance national digital economies, develop infrastructure, strengthen cybersecurity, and build the region’s talent pool. This year at LEAP, we are excited to demonstrate the power of our portfolio to support our customers and partners in Saudi Arabia and beyond in leveraging our latest technologies to increase efficiencies and drive innovation.”
 
LEAP 2024 will be held from March 4 to 7 at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre, Malham in Saudi Arabia. Cisco stand will be located at booth J10, Hall 1 – Big Tech. --TradeArabia News Service
 



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