The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been vastly expanding on all fronts. Their latest successes stem from a digital transformation over the last decade and they are now reaping the rewards. Technology is utilised more and more in our day-to-day activities, whether in business or for efficiency to the everyday citizen. The UAE is at the forefront of technological investments, innovative ideas and a more efficient society. The value of innovative ideas in this digital age that we are living in can potentially provide cost-efficient solutions to everyday problems. The 2019 Harvey Nash/ KPMG Chief Information Officer (CIO) Survey contains a surplus of data that supports the UAE’s hunger for a digital transformation.
A Revelation for Business
One area of society that technology affects drastically is how business is carried out. Investing into the right areas can reform a business and provide positive and sustainable growth. The UAE focuses innovative learning and implementations in cloud technology, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence and machine learning. These factors provide a foundation for a business to effectively grow in an efficient manner.
“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.” –2019 Harvey Nash/ KPMG Chief Information Officer Survey
It is significant to understand that the UAE over-excels in regards to digitalisation of business, especially in comparison to the global average. In 4 out of 5 technological capabilities the UAE exceeds the global average, therefore, maximising the value from technological efficiency. However, with great reward comes great risk, newer forms of technology and digitalisation can provide companies with new means of instigating business, but there also lies newer means of threats, paralleling each innovative idea. Cyber security threats have majorly increased as a reaction to newer technology. However, CIOs in the UAE have only reported a mere 14% of cyber-attacks in the past 2 years, whereas the global comparison stands at a solid 32%. The majority of CIOs feel that their companies are capable of dealing with any potential threats.
“It’s therefore important that the CIO and their IT team remains at the heart of these new technologies, working with the business and helping shape the AI strategy. Innovation will be the lifeblood of any business, and IT will be its enabler.” –Albert Ellis, CEO, Harvey Nash
An Innovative Government for an Innovative Society
Digitalising a society is no easy feat, there is a lot of ‘nitty gritty’ when trying to transform a society, a way of life and a culture, however, with an efficient government and robust schemes, digitalisation can work and the UAE is a perfect example of success via inspirational and innovative governmental schemes. A country simply can’t jump from minimal technology to AI learning, there has to be a process in which the country can move forward together. In May 2013, the UAE set out a 2 year plan to make all the government services accessible via mobile and by 2015 96% of citizen services were mobile accessible, additionally, by 2018, 80% of citizens access government services via mobile. These progressive accomplishments were not by chance. The government carried out a series of programmes to inspire its citizens. For example, the introduction of an award programme for the best/most effective mobile application inspired citizens in a friendly form of competition. This plan was highly effective and it resulted in innovative applications. The Dubai Police app was one of the winning applications and it allowed citizens to pay fines and report crimes and traffic accidents. Within 1 year of the apps release, it had over 1.3 million users. The government introduced other schemes such as electronic voting (e-voting) to increase civic participation through easier accessibility and the results were excellent. Participation rates were around 35,000 in 2011 and rose to 79,000 by 2015 with great help from this e-voting programme. Additionally, the UAE aimed to improve its public services and be on par with the private-sector in regards to performance and quality. This desire led to the Star Rating Programme in an attempt to enhance the quality of service. It is a common belief and reality for most, when dealing with public services that the process can be slow, tedious and a bit confusing at times. Being based in Cyprus we know this feeling all too well. However, this programme gave a sense of direct democracy to the people, using measureable feedback from citizens with the focus on improvements. UAE entities are rated once every 2 years and receive a star rating with improvement tips and recommendations. These improvements, spurred on by the everyday citizen, reformed the government and created an era of innovation and efficiency across the nation. The impact that reforms and digitalisation has had on the UAE is very significant, reflected in their Global Innovation Index, where they stand in 36th place.
Striving for Excellence
Cedar Rose understands the importance of technology, innovation and digitalisation and, as our vision statement explains, we wish to be;
“The premier source of business intelligence worldwide through continuous innovation and development of talent and technology” – Cedar Rose Vision Statement
Cedar Rose invests heavily into newer digital initiatives to create a more robust and efficient service for our clients. One of our most significant sources of innovative technology is our ability to use AI and machine learning technology to create a trustworthy and reliable credit score for our clients, even in the case where financial data is unavailable. Cedar Rose’s experience in the Middle East and North Africa has traditionally meant that we have to push the boundaries, think outside the box and use every ounce of inspiration and innovation that we have to provide the highest quality data to ultimately deliver the best customer service at all times.
Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant
*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***