Technology will power MEA’s recovery and create new economies


With investments in transformative agenda expected to peak over the next four to five years, over 2,000 technology leaders from across the Middle East and Africa came together online to discuss how technology can be best used to help organizations adapt to and grow in today’s economies during the region’s first Digital Innovation Day, organized by Schneider Electric, themed Resilient Digital Transformation.

Experts from across the globe shared insights on how organizations 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 $6 billion in digital transformation by 2023, while government enterprise IT will top spending at $8 billion in 2021, and annual security spending will top $3.6 million by 2023 as digital trust becomes a priority.

 “What we are living through is changing how we approach technology,” said Ziad Youssef, VP Secure Power Middle East and Africa at Schneider. “Those organizations 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.”

Due to the accelerated shift towards digital driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, IT spending is forecast to increase. In fact, investments in digital transformation and innovation are estimated to account for 30% of all IT spending in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) by 2024.

In Asia, governments are accelerating the development of new infrastructure, such as 5G networks, data centers, the Industrial Internet and Edge computing as part of twin strategies to keep economies moving now whilst planning for future rapid growth. A number of global speakers at the event spoke about how organizations need to invest strategically in technology today to adapt to new economic realities.

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

Daniel Joe-Jimenez, AVP at IDC, spoke about how to build a digitally resilient enterprise. He shared insights on how organizations can evolve their technologies through three key 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, telecommunications firms are ramping up 5G investments to bolster broadband capacity, which in turn is fueling 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. Today, Ankabut, the United Arab Emirates’ Advanced National Research and Education Network, offers 16 services online for students and teachers in tertiary learning.

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