SURE INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Saudi Arabia 2020 | DIGITAL ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Basem bin Abdullah AlSallom, CEO of SURE International Technology on digital economy sector.

Basem bin Abdullah AlSallom
BIOGRAPHY
Basem bin Abdullah AlSallom was appointed CEO of Sure International Technology in 2018. AlSallom is one of the distinguished young leaders with a career including several leadership positions in the public and private sectors. He has worked as an agent for the Governor of the General Investment Authority and vice president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation’s institutional communication and marketing operations. He also served as the executive director of digital marketing at Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily). He holds a master's degree in information technology consulting from University of Kent, in addition to a number of specialized degrees in leadership from the University of Oxford, Harvard Business School, and London School of Economics.

How is SURE International Technology positioning itself within the digital transformation of the Kingdom?

Since 2004, SURE has been acting as a system integrator, having developed more than 2,400 e-services for various government agencies, from ministries to universities and hospitals, as part of the country's digital transformation. More recently, we have entered the financial sector and are facilitating the growth and contribution of SMEs in line with government directives through new products and business units. With Vision 2030 and NTP 2.0, the government is investing a lot of capital in building a solid infrastructure. One of the main focuses in this sense has been cloud computing, and we seek to take advantage of this trend to act as a migrator for both governments and companies. At the same time, we are making considerable efforts to develop new partnerships with local and international players to introduce security products to the market. There is an urgent need to protect access to data and reduce the adverse effects because external actors constantly threaten Saudi cyber infrastructure. As far as 2019 is concerned, we expect to expand internationally, grow our business, serve a new customer base, and continue building many partnerships with vendors, suppliers, and clients.

Within these three business units, how do you expect demand to evolve in the short to medium term, and what trends will drive this evolution?

In the fintech arena, there is definitely a push from a regulatory perspective, with lot of focus coming from SAMA, CMA, the Saudi Fintech Initiative, and from companies interested in entering that market. The authorities are pushing banks to move toward a cashless society and embrace electronic payments, e-wallets, and digital wallets, and all these initiatives will intensify the market. At the same time, there are many efforts that seek to reduce the entrance barrier for start-ups and SMEs to ensure Saudi Arabia's standards are on par with other global markets. At SURE, there is a strong willingness to enter this market, since even the enterprise companies need to upgrade their systems to cope with new technology trends.