Siemens, Strategy& define digitised roadmap for GCC businesses

The report revealed that governments and consumers lead the digital uptake in the GCC

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Siemens, Strategy& define digitised roadmap for GCC businesses
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  December 6, 2016

Siemens and Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) have revealed that only 3% of organisations believe they are at an advanced stage of their digital transformation process.

The joint report, "Preparing for the digital era: the state of digitalisation in GCC businesses", highlighted that out of the 300 companies surveyed, 60% believe that digitalisation has the potential to create new business models or lead to a more open culture of innovation.

The survery found that GCC companies are lagging behind their government and consumer counterparts when adopting digital technologies, plus only 18% are using the cloud and 30% are using big data and analytics.

Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE, said: "Many companies in the region have some catching up to do, and our research suggests there is still work to be done to encourage the understanding that digitalisation is a transformation journey, requiring a holistic approach. Companies must develop a business strategy for the digital age, and finding the right partners is essential."

The report revealed executives have a narrow view of digitalisation which often ignores the far-reaching benefits that moving towards digital can bring, such as problem solving, reinventing business models, reimagining the customer experience, inspiring trust and accelerating change.

While many organisations are gradually building technology capabilities, some lack the vision and the necessary leadership to drive their digital transformation. Taking practical steps forward can often be beset by internal obstacles, be they cultural, organisational, people-related or financial. For example, 40% of companies in the region have allocated less than 5% of their total investments to digitalisation activities. Only 37% of companies have a strategy for going digital, and less than 1% of companies have a chief digital officer.

Samer Bohsali, partner with Strategy& in Dubai, added: "Executives in the GCC are excited by digital. They recognise its benefits, such as stronger customer orientation and increased efficiency, which is vital in an era of budget constraints. Many companies, however, perceive the process of going digital as the adoption of a specific technology, rather than a transformation journey."

GCC governments have acknowledged the economic and social benefits of digitalisation, incorporating them into their ambitious strategies. Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and National Transformation Plan 2020, Smart Dubai, Qatar's Connect 2020 ICT Policy, and Oman's digital strategy e-Oman all stress the importance of the use of digital technologies.

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