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Organisations face challenges turning data into solutions

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on April 6, 2021
Around 85 per cent of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia admitted to re-inventing their business model as a result of disruption

Studies show that 90 per cent of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have fast-tracked, at least, some of their digital transformation to accomplish in a few months what would normally have taken years

Organisations across the UAE and GCC region are aware about the importance of data, but are finding it challenging to turn it into good business solutions, experts say.

According to a study commissioned by Alteryx, despite the current economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are investing in data-driven transformative technologies to make informed decisions for the future.

The results of the study showed that despite 30 per cent of organisations in the Gulf reporting revenue decreases by up to 40 per cent due to the pandemic, 58 per cent are still prioritizing investments in data reliant technologies of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic process Automation (RPA) and Analytics. In addition, 53 per cent of CIOs have expedited their transformational initiatives to meet the new needs of their customers and bring in operational agility, while 23 per cent are investing in technologies such as Data Analytics that enable their organisations to better understand their customer data.

The results also showed that 44 per cent of organisations believe that upskilling their employees, and enhancing their employee engagement, will empower them to contribute to the digital innovation. However, despite all this, 84 per cent of organisations are unable to realise the relationship between their enterprise data and business decisions.

“Despite the varying levels of maturity in Process Automation and Analytics across industries in the Gulf region, we are slowly starting to see a shift in the perception,” said Abboud Ghanem, regional vice president for the Middle East and Africa region at Alteryx. “The pandemic has forced organisations to adopt new models to ensure business continuity that will extend even beyond this unprecedented health crises. The road to recovery from here requires analytical precision and data automation.”

While data is important, he explained, its use is limited without empowering the workforce to affect business-change with data analysis. “Anyone can upskill themselves to deliver business outcomes. With continued high stakes, there is no room for error, making it imperative for businesses to be equipped with human-centred data-driven insights to make the right decisions. If workers have the right technologies that are easy to use, combined with access to the data, magic can happen.”

Dell Technologies’ recently released ‘Digital Transformation Index 2020’ revealed that organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to digital transformation. According to the study, 90 per cent of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have fast-tracked, at least, some of their digital transformation to accomplish in a few months what would normally have taken years. This is compared to the global benchmark of 80 per cent. In fact, 85 per cent of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia admitted to re-inventing their business model as a result of disruption, compared to 79 per cent of organisations globally.

When comparing the results from the last Digital Transformation Index in 2018, the UAE and Saudi Arabia saw a six per cent rise in the number of ‘Digital Leaders’, which are defined as the most digitally mature organisations. ‘Digital Adopters’, which are defined as the second most digitally mature group, grew from 27 per cent in 2018 to 31 per cent in 2020. The study also shows that organisations in the UAE and KSA are keeping pace with global investment levels in newer technologies, being six per cent ahead of their global competitors when it comes to investing in 5G infrastructure.

Richard Boxshall, senior economist at PwC Middle East, said that the post-Covid-19 world will present many opportunities for the region. “We believe that governments and businesses in the Middle East must use this period to explore the latest technologies such as blockchain, which can potentially have a significant impact on the region’s economy. Implementing blockchain particularly in the areas of provenance, payments, and credentials can provide opportunities for growth and improving efficiencies. The GCC countries have taken encouraging steps to embrace technologies such as blockchain and are in prime position to reap the efficiency gains the technology has to offer.”

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.





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