The technology landscape in the MENA region is constantly changing. Whether it’s AI and machine learning, cloud technologies or blockchain, organisations in the region are taking advantage of these emerging technologies. The result? New innovative ways of operating business, long-term business growth, and tech leaders having more influence over overall business strategy.
By embracing digital transformation, countries in the MENA region can diversify their economies and move away from being so heavily reliant on oil and gas production and exports. As governments in the region prepare to regulate emerging technologies, tech organisations are well positioned to gain more control over the digital economy.
For the most part, it’s an incredibly exciting time for the technology industry. New technologies mean organisations - big and small - can gain a competitive advantage, streamline the user experience, and deliver business operations more effectively - and at scale! However, embracing digital transformation could be a challenge. Tech leaders may be forced to reconsider their priorities if they are to succeed in this new era of digital transformation.
That said, we’ve put together 6 top tech trends of 2023 that technology and IT leaders should capitalise on.
Advanced Cloud Technologies/ Cloud Implementation
Now more than ever Cloud computing is shaping the future of the technology sector in the Middle East, whether that’s because of hybrid working or enterprise applications rapidly moving to the Cloud to enable a distributed and secure workforce.
According to the Impact of Hyperscale Cloud on UAE SMEs and Start-ups report, by 2030 hyperscale Cloud computing is expected to create a staggering 133,000 direct and indirect jobs in the UAE. Equinix’s Global Tech Trends Survey also highlighted the most in-demand tech employees include Cloud computing specialists (26%).
That said, if tech leaders are to remain agile, resilient, and overcome any long-term skill gaps, they will need to fast-forward their digital transformation and formulate a cohesive strategy with the Cloud at its core.
AI and Machine Learning
By 2030, Middle Eastern countries hope to place AI technology at the centre of all national economic strategies. According to a report by IBM, AI’s significant positive impact on Middle East DGP indicates its contribution to be more than USD 300 billion by 2031.
When it comes to customer engagement, AI and machine learning are at the forefront of its transformation. New algorithms allow organisations to gather customer data and identify new opportunities, whilst tailoring experience to suit individual preferences.
However, despite Equinix’s Global Tech Trends Survey highlighting AI and Machine Learning as one of the most in-demand tech employee skills (26%), IT leaders anticipate the gaps in AI and ML tech skills will become even more prominent in the future.
Improved customer-facing technology
The spike in demand for improved customer-facing technology comes as no surprise, when you consider that a staggering 91% of the MENA population made an online purchase in 2022. Accelerated by the pandemic, better customer-facing technology is crucial for organisations to remain competitive, with customers now expecting engagement at every touchpoint, as well as 24/7 customer service and identity management.
However, not all organisations have the budget to invest in advanced customer-facing technology. That’s why it’s not only important to choose your tech wisely to ensure return on investment (ROI) but to ensure you have invested resources into training and recruiting staff to address any talent gaps when it comes to this technology.
Blockchain, quantum computing and robotics.
Across the MENA region, countries are adopting blockchain and moving towards new and innovative economic models. This comes at a time where organisations continue to face increasing challenges, and the only way to overcome some of them and stay competitive may be to build tech strategies and deploy emerging technologies including blockchain, quantum computing and robotics across the value chain.
Although these emerging technologies all remain in the initial stages, they are still driving positive transformation and strategic decision making. CIOs and tech leaders will have to keep a close eye on their development this year, as they are bound to have a hugely transformative impact on business.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Throughout the MENA region, the demand for Internet of Things (IoT) technologies continues to grow. Whether it’s because of increasing digital transformation and datafication or the disruption caused by the pandemic, IoT continues to accelerate innovation and renewed economic growth.
According to research by Vodafone, adoption is rapidly increasing, with over a third of organisations across the region embracing the opportunities it has to offer. Businesses across the tech sector that can adopt IoT and deploy Industry 4.0 at scale will not only drive efficiency and growth across their operations but be able to overcome the toughest challenges of today and tomorrow.
Enhanced employee technology
The MENA region is witnessing a huge shift in the talent landscape. In today's climate, keeping up to date with employee management technology will be essential to attracting and retaining talent as well as achieving your company goals.
Employee expectations have rapidly changed, particularly during the ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon. Investing in the latest tech to maximise employee experience will be essential. Not to mention, collaborative technology is becoming a vital component for any organisation practising remote working, whether it’s wide-scale adoption of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, or OneDrive. After all, having an engaged and productive workforce made up of the best tech and IT talent will be your organisation's biggest competitive advantage.
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