Organisations across the UAE and the region will continue to increase their investments in technology, especially as they focus on their economic recovery plans in 2021, experts said.
“There is no doubt that the Covid-19 crisis has fast-forwarded the adoption of digital transformation via new government mechanisms and brought about a sea change in the way companies across sectors and regions do business,” said Amin Al Zarouni, CEO, Sahab Smart Solutions. “Digitisation of the customer and supply-chain interactions, as well as of internal operations which would have probably taken a few more years to come to effect, are now the norm.”
He also noted that the share of digital or digitally enabled products in company portfolios has accelerated. The important fact, he pointed out, is that most of these changes will be long-lasting and many entities are already making the kinds of investments that render them permanent.
“There has been a quantum leap in digital adoption at both organisational and industry levels,” he explained. “In fact, funding for digital initiatives has increased more than any other expenditure. Staying competitive in this new socioeconomic environment requires new strategies and practices. Most entities are acknowledging technology as a strategic and critical component of the business, not just a source of cost efficiency. Customers too have moved towards online channels and companies and industries have responded positively to this shift.”
According to the recent Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2020, almost half of UAE respondents expect a slow recovery and are implementing a flexible, experience-centric technology transformation to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis. The KPMG study notes that UAE digital leaders outperformed their global counterparts when it comes to investing in customer experience and engagement. Close to 30 per cent of the UAE’s digital leaders thought they were extremely effective in implementing enterprise-wide digital strategies, against the global average of 17 per cent.
In addition, almost two-thirds of UAE digital leaders stated that the pandemic has likely permanently increased the influence of their role. As technology has become increasingly important over the last six to eight months, so has the role of the technology leader. According to 70 per cent of those surveyed by KPMG in the UAE, the pandemic has fostered a culture of inclusivity in technology teams – a full 20 per cent higher than the global average.
“The coronavirus pandemic disrupted every sector around the world, and has catalysed digital transformation. While the pandemic may not have necessarily altered business strategies, it has reaffirmed the importance of data, cloud and cybersecurity. Technology is thus helping businesses to adapt and anticipate better in a volatile business environment,” said Farhan Syed, partner, head of Advisory at KPMG Lower Gulf.
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