‘Technology can help MEA organisations create new economies’

anastasia dulgier OKOOGO578eo unsplashMore than 2000 technology leaders from across the Middle East and Africa came together online to discuss how to use technology to help organisations adapt and grow in today’s economies during Schneider Electric’s first Digital Innovation Day

Experts from across the globe shared insights on how organisations can best use technology to survive disruption and create opportunities for growth. According to the latest predictions revealed by International Data Corporation (IDC), manufacturing is estimated to invest US$6bn in digital transformation by 2023, while government enterprise IT will top spending at US$8bn in 2021, and annual security spending will top US$3.6mn by 2023 as digital trust becomes a priority.

Ziad Youssef, vice-president secure power Middle East and Africa at Schneider, said, “What we are living through is changing how we approach technology.

“Those organisations that will thrive have a clear understanding of technology innovation, an ability to develop a single, integrated strategy that is built around using IT to transform and have a clear understanding of the value of digital investments to employees, customers, and growth. We’ve often talked about what IT can do for business growth. Now, we’re seeing how companies with the best digital vision are pulling ahead and reshaping the business landscape.”

IT spending is forecast to increase due to the accelerated shift to digital driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, it is estimated that investments in digital transformation and innovation will account for 30 per cent of all IT spending in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) by 2024.

Schneider Electric’s Digital Innovation Day, featured discussions focused on real-world examples of how technologies can best help countries deal with disruption and quickly kick-start economic growth.

Daniel Joe-Jimenez, associate vice-president at IDC, spoke about how to build a digitally resilient enterprise. He shared insights on how organisations can evolve their technologies through three main steps: assessing the maturity of their digital transformation plans and benchmark against peers; set up the right metrics across the organization and measure digital success, and invest in digital technologies and skills.

Uptime Institute’s Lilia Severina shared examples of how technology innovation has already sped up. Globally and across the Middle East and Africa, telecoms firms are ramping up 5G investments to bolster broadband capacity, which in turn is fuelling the growth of new industries such as telemedicine and remote learning.

She also spoke of an increase in businesses that are looking to fully automate their plants and warehouses, and how consumers are increasingly accepting of innovations such as augmented and virtual reality as their ability to interact and travel changes.

In addition, Dr Fahem Al Nuaimi, CEO, Ankabut shared how technology is underpinning the country’s vision to be able to offer smart classrooms and online learning that’s accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now, Ankabut, the UAEs’ Advanced National Research and Education Network, offers 16 services online for students and teachers in tertiary learning.

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