RIYADH, Asharq Al-Awsat – Saudi Arabia’s public sector is making world-leading use of IT and network technologies to improve services to citizens, a survey has found.
The 2005 Net Impact study, carried out by Momentum Research Group and released today, compared government and healthcare operations and services in Saudi Arabia to other countries in Europe in 2004 and found Saudi organizations to be leading in most areas.
According to the study, the use of technology had helped Saudi Arabian public sector departments boost customer satisfaction by 44 percent in the last year. The number of inquiries that employees were able to resolve had risen by 38 percent and the number of citizens using services had gone up by 34 percent, all higher figures than found in Europe. At the same time, the country’s public sector outpaces European countries in the adoption of technologies such as content caching (seen in 50 percent of cases), IP telephony (47 percent), remote disaster recovery sites (45 percent) and voice over IP (34 percent). Saudi Arabian departments were also leading the way in the adoption of technology ’best practices’, with 95 percent using finance and accounting applications and 79 percent having a Web interface for workforce collaboration and training.
All this is in the face of a generally poorer infrastructure environment than is generally found in Europe. A quarter of the organisations studied only had 99 percent or less network availability and nearly half had 128 kbps bandwidth or less.
“This research clearly demonstrates that various public sector organisations in Saudi Arabia are advanced in many aspects of networking and technology, said Mohamed Jamil Al Mula, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Saudi Arabia. “These examples of best practice are focusing on accelerating the speed at which their organisations operate and on expanding citizen-services capacity using existing resources. We must all aim to follow these examples to drive the productivity of our nation and keep on investing in our infrastructure and our citizens.”