JEDDAH — Only 42% of businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia exhibit a strong growth on their journey to digital readiness, according to a new research by Dell Technologies.
Furthermore, emphasizing on the overall regional capabilities, the research states that businesses in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region are maintaining an average pace of digital adoption (41%), as compared to their counterparts in the Americas that present a marginally higher level of digital maturity (45%).
The findings result from an independent survey by Vanson Bourne of 4,000 business leaders – from mid-size to large enterprises – across 16 countries, including UAE and Saudi Arabia, and 12 industries. As we stand at the threshold of post-oil economy, the survey reveals how many businesses view technology and digital leadership skills as requisites to succeed and ensure sustainable business growth.
While the telecommunication and technology industry rise to the forefront of digital transformation at 46% and 45% respectively, the public healthcare sector lags behind in embracing the new digital wave (37%). This points to a bigger issue – digital transformation is not a central strategic pillar to many organizations. The survey also highlights that only 4% of the many businesses surveyed in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are capable of acting digitally. While the vast majority admits to barriers, such as lack of digital expertise, hindering their progress towards becoming future-ready.
Reflecting the growing digital skills gaps, more than two-thirds (65%) of the respondents agree that lack of in-house digital expertise and budget constraints hinder the advancement of their digital initiatives. To remedy this situation, 28% of the businesses are acquiring skills through mergers & acquisitions and joint ventures, whereas 27% are investing in digital skills. To supplement these efforts, half of the businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are integrating digital goals across all departments to measure the level of digital preparedness. Likewise, two in three (45%) businesses are creating digital profit & loss statement and 38% have invested in a dedicated executive committee to assess their digital transformation progress.
Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Dell EMC, said: “We believe the next industrial revolution is ripe with new opportunities and will fundamentally transform every industry. We are already experiencing this change with the rise of digital start-ups and innovative business models. Therefore, it is imperative for every business to keep pace with the momentum by undertaking digital transition. It is critical for every business leader to invest in digital talent and advanced technology to stay relevant and competitive in this rapidly contesting marketplace. As an industry leader, Dell EMC is strongly positioned to provide organizations, regardless of their size, with the essential technology and infrastructure to modernize their business and support them at every step of their digital roadmap.” — SG