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    Most investments in new technology in the UAE will be based on data


    Companies in the UAE are rushing to digitally transform themselves in an effort to be operationally efficient, more agile, create new experiences for customers and create new revenue streams.

    About a third of spending in third platform technologies (social media, mobile, cloud, big data and analytics and internet of things) in today's UAE is driven by digital transformation of projects, said Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and regional director from research agency International Data Corporation (IDC), to TechRadar Middle East.

    "Some traditional IT areas such as devices and infrastructure are slowing down and companies are using investments to encourage the acceptance of more disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, robot process automation, the internet of things, big data analysis, blockchain and cloud to save costs and more achieve efficiency. "

    Lalchandani said that many of the investments that the companies were making were around dashboards and helped sales and marketing teams.

    Data is the new oil

    "We see big data investments to generate new income streams. There is a lot of attention for mine data and organizations are looking at generating income with that data."

    He sees the opportunities for data-driven business models in the quality of data and interlocking data.

    "Data is the new oil. If organizations can get real value from structured and unstructured data (along with) data from various other sources, such as IoT devices and AI-based feeds, to identify and identify opportunities to stimulate the company. We believe that about 70% of investment in new technology will be on data, "he said. Prominent use cases are in retail, the public sector, transport and utilities, but he sees a scarcity of the right skills for this.

    Artificial intelligence

    In the Middle East and Africa, the AI ​​investment is expected to be $ 263 million this year, compared to $ 200 million last year. This investment is expected to grow between 25% and 30% annually.

    At least a quarter of the investment comes from the UAE, Lalchandani said.

    The AI ​​investment in the UAE is expected to be $ 56.03 million this year, compared to $ 37.54 million last year, with growth of more than 49%.

    The use cases include utilities, banks, fraud analysis, automated threat information, Dubai Department of Economic Development, land department, transport and public sectors.

    Moreover, he said that there are some interesting pilots taking place in healthcare.

    He believes that AI will be one of the most disruptive technologies in a wide range of sectors such as banking, retail, public sector, utilities and healthcare, etc.

    In the next three to four years, as (AI) technology evolved, he said that much more pressure will be put on the administration, public and private sectors to adopt rules and compliance regarding the use of data and AI set.

    "Great as a technology, there is a very thin line between ethics versus the use of this disruptive technology. We think there will be more oversight and regulation, but unfortunately this technology is faster than regulatory and compliance agencies can keep up with," he said.

    By 2022, IDC expects approximately 65% ​​of organizations to ask key information officials to modernize and transform AI-related policies.

    internet of things

    The IoT investment in the UAE is expected to increase by 17% to $ 672.75 million compared to $ 574.89 million a year ago.

    The use cases are in transport, smart grids, airlines, police using smart cameras, freight monitoring, production management, production activities, connected oil exploration, digital signage and smart home and wellness sectors.

    With the introduction of a 5G cellular network, more connected devices are expected to be connected to the network.


    IDC initially saw a big rise in blockchain in areas such as banks and financial services, trade financing, etc. Over the past few years, Lalchandani has said that public sector acceptance of blockchain is gaining traction and has seen use cases in education, real estate and utility sectors.

    "What we see is high-quality and low-volume transactions, but in the next few years we will see blockchain technology embedded in the computer world. There will be a number of sectors that will use the blockchain technology as early adopters. The movement that public sector in the blockchain is forcing many private sectors to follow. Dubai's paperless strategy is forcing everyone to implement blockchain, "he said.

    IDC sees a 110.9% growth in blockchain spending in the Middle East and Africa to $ 189.32 million compared to $ 89.77 million.

    • AI is the fuel to develop non-oil industries in the UAE
    • IT spending in the UAE is growing 2.5% this year to $ 16.77b
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