Digital Transformation Still A Concern For ME Biz Leaders

Business leaders in the UAE and KSA, while aware of the importance of digital technologies, are still concerned about their own digital readiness.

According to recent Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index (the DT Index), only 4 percent of these businesses see themselves as digital leaders. Around 87 percent agree or strongly agree that digital transformation initiatives need to be even more wide spread throughout their organizations.

The DT Index, which was completed in collaboration with Intel, maps digital transformation progress of mid to large sized companies and examines the digital hopes and fears of business leaders.

According to research, 90 percent of businesses in the UAE and KSA are facing significant roadblocks to their digital transformation initiatives today.

The top five barriers to digital transformation are:
#1. Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns (42%)
#2. Lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise (30.7%)
#3. Information overload (29.3%)
#4. Regulation or legislative changes (28.7%)
#5. Lack of budget and resources (26.7%)

“The inputs from the UAE and Saudi Arabia paint a picture of a region that is well-aware of the criticality of transformation, and vocal about the need for more widespread transformational initiatives across their organizations. While the challenges ahead are acknowledged and focus areas are prioritized accordingly, the overall view towards technology and its potential for the region remains optimistic,” said Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Dell EMC.

The research indicates that businesses are taking steps to overcome their barriers, and only 32 percent strongly agree they’ll disrupt rather than being disrupted within five years.

Although progress in these areas is slow in the UAE and KSA, some other findings are:
52% are using digital technologies to accelerate new product/services development (down by less than 1% from 2016)
48% are striving to develop the right skills sets and expertise in-house, such as teaching staff how to code (up from 31% in 2016)
46% of businesses are building security and privacy into all devices, applications and algorithms (down from 53% in 2016)
44% are embracing agile software development allowing them to code and securely launch new applications within much shorter cycles (an increase from 33% in 2016)

Companies are also turning to emerging technologies and cyber security to power and secure their transformation.

Planned investments within the next one to three years include:
58% of regional businesses intend to invest in cybersecurity
52% of businesses intend to invest in IoT technologies
45% of businesses intend to invest in Flash technology
21% will be investing in VR/AR
20% in quantum computing
11% in block chain

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