Refreshing the national ICT strategy for a GCC government

The situation

A ministry within a GCC government was concerned with finding new avenues of socioeconomic growth as the country moves from a hydrocarbon-based economy to a knowledge-based one. The information and communications technology (ICT) sector seemed a logical choice to drive the economic diversification agenda and enable growth. However, the national ICT plan and policy were outdated and, according to the declining trend across various global indices, the country’s ICT sector was losing momentum. Ministry officials wanted a new five-year plan for the sector.

Strategy& was engaged to develop a refreshed national ICT plan and define the strategic objectives for the ICT sectors and subsectors for the coming five years, acknowledging the new national development aspirations and adhering to the delivery guidelines of the government.

How we helped

We adopted a holistic approach to deliver a blueprint the ministry could follow for the next five years. We started by conducting a comprehensive baseline assessment of the ICT sector in the country across infrastructure, ecosystem, and services. We also analyzed ICT strategies in a number of countries globally, assessing the themes in the various plans. Using a detailed econometric model, we assessed the economic impact of developing the ICT sector in the country, and articulated the sector’s positioning and its role in the overall economy. We defined the national ICT vision and strategy, and identified the focus areas for a national ICT ecosystem, as well as the critical conditions to make it competitive and sustainable. We also helped the ministry’s subsidiaries and affiliates to articulate their strategic direction, and develop their policy recommendations, in line with the national ICT blueprint. In particular, we conducted a detailed telecom market structure analysis, identified the optimal target structure, and identified the regulatory amendments.

Looking ahead to implementing the initiatives, we defined the overall ICT master plan and investment requirements, and defined the governance model for the strategy implementation.


We delivered a comprehensive national ICT vision, strategy, and master plan composed of five strategic themes, 14 objectives, 34 ICT programs, and 69 initiatives, which was endorsed by the minister. We provided an economic impact assessment of the ICT strategy, including a target ICT contribution to GDP in the next five years, and a clear idea of what the sector’s role would be in the overall economy. We also updated the operational plans for three key departments, produced a five-year operating budget, and conducted a deep dive in three focus areas within the refreshed strategy.

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