An analysis of the role of competitive intelligence (knowledge management and business intelligence) in globalisation of Saudi Arabia ICT firms.
Alarjani, Hasan Mesfer Falah.
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This study explored the role of technological, organisational, environmental and attitudinal factors in facilitating the globalisation of Saudi Arabian ICT companies. In particular, the study focused on identifying the drivers of globalisation, especially knowledge management and business intelligence, and steps Saudi ICT companies should take before expanding their businesses outside of Saudi Arabia. A mixed-methods approach was adopted. A total of 81 ICT companies registered with the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) in Saudi Arabia participated in this study, including the three largest ICT operators in Saudi Arabia, namely STC, Mobily, and Zain. Publicly available data from the Saudi stock exchange and other sources were analysed in respect of the three large ICT companies. The CITC organisations were surveyed via questionnaires. A quantitative analysis of the survey data viewed through the lens of the Technology, Organisation, Environment (TOE) framework and the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) model was undertaken, while a qualitative analysis of the documentary data from the three large companies was viewed through the TOE lens only. It was identified that the efficiency of software used in organisations helps them to globalise at any time and that competitive intelligence tools (KM and BI) are also very important. The organisational context is important; large ICT companies can globalise their activities while smaller companies have difficulties in doing so even though they recognise the potential economic benefits of regionalisation and globalisation. Regarding the environmental context, a country’s legislation helps and supports companies to globalise their activities. This is clearly noticeable in the three telecommunications operators, which have no obstacles to prevent them from operating in any country in the world. Finally, ICT and the attendant networked applications have accelerated the integration of the world’s economy through the globalisation of businesses. These effects are also felt by Saudi ICT companies, which are reconsidering their roles as regional economic players.