Enterprise, Technology

UAE CEOs eye IT projects that bring cost savings: report

UAE management boards are enthusiastic about digital transformation in their organisations, according to the latest Harvey Nash/KPMG Chief Information Officer Survey.

Farhan Syed, Lower Gulf, CIO, IT projects
Farhan Syed, Lower Gulf

The report also revealed that UAE business leaders are especially interested in how digital technologies can increase operational efficiencies.

It also highlighted that the UAE is on par with global organisations when it comes to investing in digital strategies, with nearly half of UAE-based organisations employing a Chief Digital Officer or someone serving in that capacity.

According to the report, the UAE performs better than the global average in four out of five technology-related capabilities, including using suitable internal and external resources to access the right technology skills; changing ways of working to maximise value from technology; using cross-functional teams; and ensuring business leaders work collaboratively to deliver technology change improvements.

Farhan Syed, Partner, Digital & Innovation at KPMG Lower Gulf, said, “Our study shows that UAE companies tend to be more effective than their global peers across a range of digital-related capabilities. This is very encouraging, especially as the UAE has embarked on a long-term mission to transform the public and private sectors by adopting innovative digital strategies that improve the customer experience and drive business efficiency.”

When it comes to data security and trust, only 14 percent of UAE CIOs reported cyber-attacks in the past two years compared with 32 percent of global CIOs.

Furthermore, it showed that nearly all UAE CIOs feel their organisation is capable of dealing with cyber-attacks now and in the near future.

In terms of technology adoption, UAE CIOs are widely embracing cloud technologies (67 percent) and are increasingly implementing more emerging technologies such as robotic process automation (29 percent), and artificial intelligence/Machine Learning (24 percent).

Approximately half of UAE CIOs (49 percent) surveyed expect their IT budget to increase over the next 12 months, on par with global (52 percent). Notably, 33 percent of UAE-based organisations’ IT departments control all IT spending (versus 21 percent globally).

UAE-based decision makers are more concerned about leveraging digital innovation to drive down operational costs, while global organisations are more likely to invest in technology that generates revenue.

Complementing this finding, CEOs in the UAE are significantly more interested in IT projects which save money (53 percent in the UAE, 36 percent globally) rather than make money. This indicates that while IT may drive business model transformation in other markets, enterprise model transformation is key for organisations in the UAE.

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