Five trends are shaping the future of the technology industry that are creating opportunities and challenges for effective communication, said Apco Worldwide, a strategic communications consultancy in a new report.
The Apco Mena Tech Trends Report examines the most consequential technology trends currently shaping the future.
The Mena region has recently witnessed a substantial surge in the adoption of technology as a means of powering growth. The UAE Vision 2021 and Saudi Vision 2030 as well as other regional strategic blueprints and initiatives are spurring technological progress and made it a top-of-mind priority across the region.
Sharon Alvares, Technology Practice Lead at Apco Worldwide, said: “As the volume of information and the complexity of science and technology continue to surge, communication and policy experts need to think as much about solutions to the range of challenges their clients encounter, as about the medium- and long-term questions that contribute to building and sustaining a future-proof organization.”
Dr Abdullah H. Sahyoun, Head of AI & Digital Transformation at Apco Worldwide, said: “Today’s business heads and executives need to understand how to utilize the capabilities of big data and artificial intelligence. The right use and application of these technologies can significantly improve business operations.”
Alexander M Wegner, Account Director at Apco Worldwide, said: “Discussions about maximizing human potential tend to revolve around software upgrades; in other words, around upskilling and going the extra mile. But the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of hardware, meaning the structures we work and live in, the processes we abide by, and the tools we leverage." He added: "Getting ahead is indeed not about reinventing the wheel, but about having the courage to do away with it, the creativity to envision something altogether different in its place, and the foresight to see opportunities where others see risks.”
Notable highlights from the Apco Mena Tech Trends Report include:
The new era of medicine
The medical industry is turning to new technologies to augment (and replace) human effort. AI-driven systems are now diagnosing patients faster and with greater accuracy, on occasion, even before they reach the emergency room. This trend looks set to continue as the global telemedicine market is expected to reach $185.6 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 10.8% over the next five years in the Mena region.
The future of computing
Today, the cost of building factories to manufacture microchips amounts to billions of dollars, resulting in significant barriers to the entry and centralization of the chip-making industry, making it crucial for key players in the industry to cooperate with one another. Currently, the market capitalization of the world’s listed chipmakers exceeds $4 trillion - a fivefold increase since 2016.
AR, VR, and MR technologies are proliferating and will have a significant impact on marcomms for organizations across sectors and industries. Therefore, understanding consumer preferences and leveraging this understanding to effectively reach and impact key stakeholders will be critical for organizations.
The future of mobility
In global indices, like KPMG’s annual Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index, the UAE and Saudi Arabia frequently rank high among other major global players including Singapore, the Netherlands, Norway, and the US. Looking ahead, to ensure a smooth start for autonomous vehicles on the region’s roads, regulators must be prepared to address the complex moral challenges that come with the self-driving vehicle territory.
Distributed clouds and serverless ‘servers’
Serverless cloud has witnessed growing uptake around the world due to its scalability, pay-for-value model, and versatility, enabling companies to build more agile and innovative solutions. More than 50 percent of data generated by enterprise business will be held and processed outside a typical single cloud or central data center environment by 2022.
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