Dubai. Photo credit: Ben Mack
“Smart city” initiatives, upcoming mega-events such as Expo 2020 Dubai, and the growth of intelligent enterprises are – of course – rapidly driving the UAE’s IT market skyward. How skyward are we talking? Try 20 billion dirhams – or about US$5.5 billion – per year at present, at least according to global technology company SAP’s new United Arab Emirates managing director.
According to Julien Bertin, UAE organisations are increasingly becoming “intelligent enterprises,” using innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics to disrupt industries, improve productivity with data, foster a digital workplace, and deliver seamless experiences. “Winners in the UAE’s digital economy will be organisations that gain a first-mover advantage, adopt ‘next practices’ that allow them to innovate faster than the competition, and become better, faster, and more out-of-the-box than ever before,” he says. “We’re co-innovating with UAE organisations across all sizes and verticals to run at their best and improve people’s daily lives, especially in enabling smart cities and connected mega-events.”
Sounds pretty exciting, but Bertin says these things are happening now. In the UAE, he says that the government and public sector, banking and finance, healthcare, and energy and natural resources are seeing the fastest digital transformation. Organisations like SAP are also playing a role, with the company recently unveiling a five-year, US $200 million investment plan.
“Our UAE investment plan, and expanded intelligent enterprise solutions, are supporting the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan and Expo 2020 Dubai, helping to drive digital business innovation, growing our channel partner ecosystem, and enhancing our corporate social responsibility initiatives,” says Gergi Abboud, senior vice president and general manager of SAP Middle East South.
Summary: to the surprise of precisely no-one, IT is big bucks in Dubai. And, it’s going to keep getting bigger. Choice.