90% of UAE, Saudi firms say facing digital challenges

Survey shows 90% of businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are seeng major obstacles in their digital transformation efforts
90% of UAE, Saudi firms say facing digital challenges
The Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index said nearly 60 percent of regional businesses intend to invest more in cybersecurity while 52 percent intend to invest in Internet of Things technologies.
By Sam Bridge
Thu 25 Oct 2018 02:06 PM

Ninety percent of businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia say they are facing major obstacles to their digital transformation efforts.

More than a third (37 percent) fear they will get left behind while only four percent see themselves as digital leaders in their market, according to a new report.

The Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index (DT Index) also said nearly 60 percent of regional businesses intend to invest more in cybersecurity while 52 percent intend to invest in Internet of Things technologies.

It added that a small number of businesses are even planning to experiment with nascent technologies - 21 percent will be investing in virtual reality, 20 percent in quantum computing, and 11 percent in blockchain.

Dell revealed the findings of its DT Index, which was completed in collaboration with Intel and maps digital transformation progress of mid to large-sized companies.

Based on responses from business leaders in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, 87 percent agree or strongly agree that digital transformation initiatives need to be even more widespread throughout their organisations.

According to the research, 90 percent said they are facing significant roadblocks to their digital transformation initiatives, with data privacy and cybersecurity concerns topping the list.

Other issues include the lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise, information overload, regulation or legislative changes and a lack of budget and resources.

Mohammed Amin, senior vice president, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Dell EMC, said: “The inputs from the UAE and Saudi Arabia paint a picture of a region that is well-aware of the criticality of transformation, and vocal about the need for more widespread transformational initiatives across their organisations.

"While the challenges ahead are acknowledged and focus areas are prioritised accordingly, the overall view towards technology and its potential for the region remains optimistic.”

The research also indicated that businesses are taking steps to overcome their barriers, and only 32 percent strongly agree they’ll disrupt rather than being disrupted within five years.

According to the DT index, 52 percent of firms are using digital technologies to accelerate new product/services development while 48 percent are striving to develop the right skills sets and expertise in-house, up from 31 percent in 2016.

However, 46 percent of businesses are building security and privacy into all devices, applications and algorithms, down from 53 percent in 2016.

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