Top 3 Drivers of Digital Transformation in MEA

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Top 3 Drivers of Digital Transformation in MEA


The MEA region faces a unique set of challenges and possibilities. With GDP from oil plummeting, these countries have turned to technology to help revitalize their economies. Digital transformation--a term used to describe the use of digital technologies to perform tasks--has the potential to help reframe these areas as world leaders in innovative tech and development.

Countries like Saudia Arabia are leading the way with ambitious programs designed to adopt and adapt to a digital lifestyle. The need to find ways to upgrade efficiency, unlock mobile access, improve customer experiences, add transparency to processes and stay at the front of innovation are all part of the digital transformation movement. In the MEA region, the primary factors behind this key switch are threefold: economic, social, and cultural.

Economic Indicators Point to Digital Transformation

By some estimates, an investment in digital transformation could add more than 1 percent to a countries GDP, helping to offset negative trends from the falling price of oil, rapidly. This is particularly true in sectors that adopt leading-edge technologies like AI to handle repetitive manual tasks. Modern AI can already use sensors to gather input data, analyze the information as it comes in, request human guidance when needed and take the appropriate action. In use, this could mean automated scheduling software for businesses and government agencies or putting in a purchase request. By automating many core processes, companies gain immediate upgrades to efficiency and productivity.

Younger Societies Adopt Technology More Quickly

Speed is another primary driver for digital transformation. The modern business needs to react to market shifts in real time. Strategic planning can no longer go through tiresome, iterative cycles. Instead, it often needs to be done on the fly and the go. A younger workforce is an integral part of easy adoption for this new mindset. Digital transformation often requires a complete redesign of business processes. While long-lasting employees bring a wealth of institutional knowledge, they can also be a roadblock to the changes needed for successful digital transformation. Younger populations in many areas of the MEA make it easier to build this idea of constant innovation into business models.

A Culture of Mobility

Another major shift can be traced directly to smartphone adoption. While many MEA families still lack a home computer, smartphones are ubiquitous. The United Arab Emirates is second only to Singapore in adoption levels, and the entire MEA region is not far behind. Massive investments to cellphone infrastructure have extended technological capacity out into rural areas, and today's users expect digital access. From services to stores, high customer expectations lead to a need for more digital investment. In addition to what customers expect, digital transformation also offers added transparency both under the hood of business processes and into customer behavior. By tracking what customers do and how they operate, businesses arm themselves with the right information to make a sale.

Simple Factors with Complex Digital Solutions

While the economic, social and cultural shifts in the MEA may be the main factors driving the move toward digital transformation, the implementation is more complicated. Governments use digital transformation to deliver services better or connect with constituents. Businesses use the same technology suites to reduce overhead, expand margins, and react to shifts in real time. As AI, digital twinning, quantum computing, and digital product management all become part of the transformation, the potential for growth is explosive.

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