‘Data is the oil of the 21st century’ was a poignant statement made by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) last year when the government body announced the value of the Kingdom’s data and AI economy to be $4-5 billion. With an opportunity to generate an additional $10 billion, and a further $135 billion to be achieved through the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), the scale of the Kingdom’s digital ambition is monumental.

Huge strides have already been made and the benefits of national scale digital transformation are cascading into every level of society from global business operations to our daily lives as citizens and residents. From cashless commerce to the safe exchange of data at a cross-department governmental level, digital transformation is shaping the ways we live and work in the Kingdom. The empowerment and development of young national capability is critical to Vision 2030.  

Digital leaders in all industries, in all roles, are undergoing a voyage of growth and discovery to embrace transformation, adopt digital mindsets and drive value from digital investments.

It is against this backdrop that this guide aims to support the development of digital leaders, and in doing so, support the wider goals of transformation – to improve education and employment opportunities for young people and to create businesses that are stronger and more resilient in the public and private sectors.  As part of this, KPMG will deliver an immersive program for future digital leaders.

Digital leadership

In this new study, we delve into to characteristics of authentic digital leadership. The fundamental premise of this paper is that digital leadership is not just the mandate of the chief digital/technology officer but something that should be cascaded through all divisions of the organization. This publication conceptualizes what it takes to be a digital leader in a modern organization.

Digital leaders

Immersive guide

This study is also available as KPMG digital leadership immersive guide, bringing to life the modes of thinking and organizational dimensions that every digital leader needs to master.

Maz Hussain

Head of Digital Lighthouse

KPMG in Saudi Arabia