UAE IT professionals assert networking technology must evolve in the next five years

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Juniper Networks, a provider of secure, AI-powered networks, announced the preliminary findings of an international research project that demonstrates a highly positive mindset and attitude among IT decision makers and the UAE workforce toward networking technology’s strategic influence in leading the experience-first digital economy.

Vanson Bourne conducted the research on Juniper’s behalf, surveying 650 IT decision makers and 1,200 office workers from key sectors of the economy in eight countries, including the UAE. Respondents from the IT decision-making group are directly involved in their organization’s digital strategy, technology investment plans, and development. The study gauges the sentiment and perceptions of IT decision makers and the UAE workforce in the context of the UAE’s Centennial Plan 2071, which prioritizes digitisation.

“The UAE remains the hub for technology advancement and innovation in the Middle East region and is on its way to reaching its goal to become a global benchmark. As more and more organisations amplify their digitisation efforts across the customer journey, it is key for them to understand the role intelligent networking plays in all aspects of business, from operations to customer interactions. This research affirms that organisations and the workforce in the UAE are aware that succeeding in the experience-first economy will require openness to change. With transformation also comes challenges, but by leveraging the capabilities of a network-driven digital strategy, the possibilities are endless to unlock enterprise value, enhance experiences and help meet the objectives of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071,” said Yarob Sakhnini, Vice President, Emerging Markets, EMEA at Juniper Networks 

The findings shed light on three topics: intelligent networking, security challenges, and networking sustainability.

Intelligent Network in building a resilient digital strategy:

Emphasizing the strategic importance of an organization’s network in successful digital transformation is viewed as critically important/important by 93 percent of respondents in the UAE, with 87 percent indicating that their views will change in the next two years. In terms of the elements that motivate investment in developing a network-driven digital strategy, 38 percent agree that the UAE Government’s digital vision and guidelines are the primary motivators, while 25 percent believe that organizations in other industry sectors succeeding through digital influence their leadership.

Narrowing it down to whether leadership of an organisation is willing to embrace network-driven digital transformation, 92 percent of IT decision maker respondents in the UAE said their organisation’s leadership will be able to do so in the next five years. In addition, 98 percent of these respondents believe that networking technology approaches will need to radically evolve within the same timeframe.

However, only 28% of UAE respondents believe that the single greatest opportunity provided by a digital strategy is the ability to create and deliver new service offerings. Twenty-two percent of respondents stated that digital strategy is important for providing consistent customer experiences, while nearly as many (20 percent) stated that it helps to maintain market relevance and build competitor differentiation (also 20 percent).

Security in the era of experience-first economy: 

As new workplace trends emerge, so do new security challenges. The research found that 64 percent of IT decision maker respondents in the UAE consider keeping company data and assets secure over non-corporate networks as a top networking challenge for hybrid working. Furthermore, 73 percent of office workers expect a conflict between the need for increasingly stringent security policies and having seamless access to the network. Notably, while there are challenges to build a resilient security framework, sustaining new technology trends and pressures, network-driven technology and security transformation is top of mind for a significant number of organisations in the UAE.

Sustainability in networking:

In terms of environmental sustainability, 92 percent of respondents in the UAE believe networking is important for contributing to climate change mitigation measures. In addition, 91% of respondents expect their organization to take more action in the next two to five years.

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