A number of mega projects were implemented during the year, delivering multiple new requirements.
The Group offers a wide range of products and services to its market participants and acts as a link between investors and issuers. The Group’s activities facilitate the growth of the Saudi Exchange and support the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, which include increasing the contribution of the private sector to the economy, attracting more foreign investment, and developing the small and medium enterprises sector. The Group has developed its current products and services in line with the increasing demand of the Saudi Exchange and continues to monitor and develop its products and services with the increasing demand for them by market participants.
The Saudi Tadawul Group has overarching ownership of the unified technology and operational strategy of the Group. It plays a major role as an information technology enabler for the Group through its reliance on the latest technologies and best practices that contribute to the Group’s success and ensures the highest level of reliability and service delivery, maintenance, and enhancement. The Group also provides value-added solutions and services that increase the efficiency and quality of service to internal and external clients, enabling them to achieve the best results.
This centralization enabled the Group to achieve outstanding achievements in 2021, in terms of performance development, scalability, availability, and new applications. A number of mega projects had to be implemented, which involved delivering multiple new requirements and change requests. The requirements had to be completed within tight time frames, with necessary technical support provided to users for setups and implementation. We also participated in several exercises and requirements definitions in collaboration with both internal and external parties.
Initiatives to drive growth
The following are some of the IT initiatives that have been implemented in 2021. These initiatives have been crafted based on organizational needs, hardware, and the most appropriate and cutting-edge technology.
System efficiency and readiness
The new functions and enhancements implemented during the year under review have brought increased traffic, which in turn created demands on system efficiency and readiness to preserve business continuity, and prevent downtime and interruptions.
The IT Team achieved the following performance enhancements.
- Leveraging the latest technology to achieve greater performance and scalability as evidenced by:
- Average enhancements in daily database tasks – 286%
- Average of measured performance gains in reporting, analytics performance, and response time – 2,100%
- Average of measured performance gains in daily and weekly data saving (backups) – 1,289%
- Increased operational efficiency with less complexity in terms of easier upgrades, tuning, and patching.
- Increase cost effectiveness by use of less hardware and fewer licenses; 188% reduction of required number of CPU cores and licenses.
- System downtime has been reduced by utilizing built-in redundancy, and also by major improvements in database failover. The need for failover in case of hardware failure has been minimized. The points of control to monitor and maintain data access has been reduced, which has also contributed to reducing system downtime.
- Tadawulaty AGM capacity was increased by 390% on average, providing more flexibility to satisfy AGM capacity requirements and achieving a maximum number of AGMs per day.
The following are some quantitative measures of system performance and availability.
Core system availability
Non-core system availability
Efficiency and effectiveness index (successful changes and releases)
Internal stakeholders satisfaction
Delivery of post-trade and funds distribution
Completion of milestones of IT projects
Cybersecurity is a major concern for the Group as attempts at breaching security have been observed on several occasions. However none of these attempts have been successful, which demonstrates the robustness of our cybersecurity precautions.
IT Efficiency & Risk Management
- Major transformation and upgrade to ISO20000, and successfully passing the annual surveillance on ISO20000:2018 and ISO9001:2015 certifications for the year 2021.
- Successful Compliance reviews on NCA Cybersecurity Regulations.
- Major Business Continuity, Cybersecurity, and Enterprise Risk Management activities were completed successfully.
- Continuous review on IT vendors performance and their quality of services.
- Continuous internal/external quality and risks reviews.
A number of initiatives are planned to be executed in 2022. Among these strategic projects are the Saudi Tadawul Data Centre Strategy and Members Connectivity Technology Enhancement Project.
The Post Trade Technology Program (PTTP), being executed in cooperation with Nasdaq, is still ongoing. It impacts the Exchange, Edaa and Muqassa. Another derivative product, single stock futures, will be implemented when the PTTP is completed. The PTTP will also enable us to look at possibilities of further automation, and help us to improve our operations with the new functionalities as they come on stream.
We look forward to technology and innovation making a greater contribution to the market and the Group in the years to come. We anticipate major contributions from WAMID in this direction. The Group has a journey ahead towards becoming a global exchange, and technology is a major driver of our progress.