Seamless Saudi Software

As a former resident of the United Arab Emirates I’m always interested in what’s going on in the Gulf, especially when it comes to technology as my work out there was largely with the region’s largest technical publisher.As such, it’s amazing to see what has happened to the Saudi Arabian government’s Ministry of Hajj ‘offering’ which it labels as part of its e-government, well, ‘offerings’.

As a former resident of the United Arab Emirates I’m always interested in what’s going on in the Gulf, especially when it comes to technology as my work out there was largely with the region’s largest technical publisher.

As such, it’s amazing to see what has happened to the Saudi Arabian government’s Ministry of Hajj ‘offering’ which it labels as part of its e-government, well, ‘offerings’.

Hajj' Photo: Morguefile.com

Not much more than a decade back, the Kingdom was ahead of itself by virtue of the fact that it ran just about the only train service in the Gulf. Pilgrims from the world over were pictured every year hanging onto overfull carriages for dear life on their way to their destination.

Today, they host nearly six million Muslims every year in the holy city of Mekkah (it doesn’t matter how you spell it – it’s a transliteration not a translation) and manage all the visa, accommodation and travel needs via their web portal.

While much debate still exists on whether the UK government has managed to achieve so called ‘joined-up-ness’, I wonder if there are lessons to be learnt from a ministry that boasts of ‘seamless information-sharing between government agencies’…?

This is the stuff of business integration software, business process management tools and portal integration software. Mentioning no names (because we’ve all got access to Google) we know that this is powerful technology – but it’s not perfect.

Not that Gartner’s word is the gospel truth (bad choice of word there – sorry), but they do have plenty of info on their site with pertinent titles like: “Six Challenges for Government Business Process Management” so it’s pretty clear that this is not a done deal and there’s plenty of debate still to be had around this topic.

Go searching around the web and you’ll see plenty of info on this topic too of course.

So do the Saudi’s have a corner on the market for perfecting the implementation of this kind of software?

I’m not at liberty to say your excellency ☺