GCC region could lead digital transformation in a few years, says EY
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Despite the slow implementation of digital transformation strategy, public and private sector organizations in the Arabian Gulf have the potential to be at the forefront of digital transformation in the next few years, EY noted in a report on Sunday.
Apart from a few government entities, some regional banks and a handful of retailers, most GCC organizations are still at the stage of thinking and planning when it comes to intelligent automation and digital transformation, said the report ‘The power of intelligent automation’, while acknowledging that the Arabian Gulf Region has recognized the potential of intelligent automation.
“Governments see it as a way to improve the efficiency of government services and increase citizen satisfaction while creating attractive jobs for nationals and boosting the competitiveness of the private sector,” it said.
Several governments in the region have announced large-scale initiatives to leverage artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and digitalization.
“From Saudi Arabia’s offer of citizenship to a robot to the nomination of a Minister of Artificial Intelligence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), these moves have created a stir,” it added.
However, the report said, implementation is still in its infancy.
“Outside of a few government entities, a number of regional banks and the odd retailer, most GCC organizations are still at the stage of thinking and planning,” it noted.
Nevertheless, the report adds, there is a window of great opportunity over the next few years for both public and private sector organizations to accelerate development and be at the forefront of digital transformation, especially in customer-facing operations.
The report focuses on how three customer-facing sectors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — government services, retail and financial services — are using intelligent automation to transform interaction with their customers and ensure they are fit for the future.
GCC governments, led by the UAE, are taking a strategic, top-down approach to intelligent automation. But there are still relatively few live projects and collaboration with the private sector will be the key to delivering. Governments must focus on building home-grown data science talent to improve service efficiency and fuel private sector innovation, EY said.
For financial services, partnerships with telecommunications and retail organizations are the key to building a detailed view of the customer for personalized interactions.