The GCC and MENA region at large are witnessing a digital transformation across sectors, with traditional ones such as banking, retail and government, leading the way. According to a survey by advisory EY, almost half of banks in the GCC have a planned budget of between $5 and $20 million over the next five years to enhance their digital capabilities.
Around half of all organizations are already spending on digital technologies, with 48 percent of respondents in the UAE and 53 percent in Saudi Arabia actively investing in this sector, according to a survey by Accenture.
Some of the most important leaders of these digital changes will be coming to ArabNet’s Digital Summit on May 30 and 31, including guest speakers Rogier Croes, chief digital officer at MEC Global; Stefano Maruzzi, vice-president EMEA at GoDaddy; Hannes Liebe chief operating officer of SAP MENA; Assem Hijazi, vice-president ICT & Smart city Division of Al Ahli Holding, and Jane Zavalishina, CEO at Yandex Data Factory; amongst others.
“Today’s surge in ICT spending by organizations across the region is predicted to topple $260 billion in 2016 as those in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa embrace digital transformation initiatives,” says Omar Christidis, CEO of ArabNet.
According to IDC, the total market value for Internet of Things (IoT) technology and applications in the Middle East and Africa is increasing from $5.81 billion in 2015 to $7.03 billion in 2016. Christidis continues, “The UAE places amongst the top countries in digital adoption today, with 91 percent mobile penetration, and ranking fifth in the world in social media use, before the US and UK, and sixth worldwide with respect to national Internet penetration.”
The UAE government is heavily investing in key transformative and digital programs, in line with its position as a world leader – having ranked third globally in 2014 in digital government performance, according to Accenture. The UAE is pushing strongly ahead, with its 2020 vision thanks to institutions and initiatives such as Smart Dubai that is aiming to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. As enterprises and governments invest heavily in mobile and social integration to improve efficiency, service and quality, digital business transformation is but a prerequisite to survival in a fast-paced digital world.
Several UAE and Dubai government officials are also expected to join the conversation at the ArabNet Digital Summit 2016 that will be held on May 30 and 31 at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference and Events Centre in Dubai.
To learn more, visit www.arabnet.me/conference/summit