|10 June, 2019

New Economist Intelligent Unit Study Highlights Lack of Digital Competencies as Key Barrier to Success for 64% of UAE Businesses

83% of UAE respondents consider digital competencies very or extremely important for achieving strategic objectives such as organisational agility, employee satisfaction, and talent acquisition, according to a new Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) survey, commissioned by Riverbed Technology

Elie Dib, Regional Vice President, EMEA Emerging Markets, at Riverbed.

Elie Dib, Regional Vice President, EMEA Emerging Markets, at Riverbed.

However, notable digital-competency gaps exist. 64% of UAE respondents say their organisations are struggling to achieve important goals because they lack key digital competencies. An even higher percentage (74%) say these gaps have negatively impacted user experience

The survey uncovered that UAE respondents consider digital innovation to be their top digital competency for achieving goals, followed by workplace transformation and digital talent recruitment and retention

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Digital competencies have become vital to achieving business goals, according to new research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In Benchmarking competencies for digital performance, commissioned by Riverbed, 83% of UAE respondents see digital competencies as being either very or extremely important in achieving, among other things, organisational agility, employee satisfaction, and talent acquisition.

The survey uncovers a shared awareness among businesses that digital transformation is necessary to achieve their goals and remain competitive. Yet, 64% of UAE organisations say they are struggling to achieve these important goals because they lack digital competencies, which is higher than organisations in North America (54%) and EMEA (56%). In particular, 74% of UAE respondents say that their digital-competency gaps have negatively affected user experience.

The central importance that companies place on improved digital competency appears to be driven by the fact that the majority of businesses that do so are achieving meaningful results. 76% of UAE organisations surveyed report measurable benefits from their digital strategies.

In terms of overcoming this capability gap, the IT function plays a pivotal role. Businesses are aware that IT must be agile, as 72% cite digital product and service innovation as their top digital competency for achieving their goals, with digital workplace transformation and digital talent recruitment, retention and management tying for second in this priority list at 66%. In addition, enabling greater communication and collaboration between IT and the rest of the organisation (where digital competencies may be scarce) can significantly improve digital performance and user experience.

Globally, high performers believe a continual focus is also vital, with 74% of them keen to improving all digital competencies, compared with 80% of all UAE respondents, indicating a potentially greater scope for enhancement of digital competencies in the Emirates. Unlike other respondents, high performers also use a wider approach to developing digital competencies, including establishing a cross-functional digital competency centre of excellence and/or appointing a Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

Robert Powell, Editorial Director of EIU Thought Leadership (Americas), says: “The study shows a clear consensus among respondents that improving digital competency is vital for boosting organisational performance, even if some are not yet witnessing the results. Nevertheless, among the highest performing, the lessons are clear—do not hesitate, encourage internal collaboration, and, even if you feel ahead of your competition, never stop looking over your shoulder.” 

Elie Dib, Regional Vice President, EMEA Emerging Markets, at Riverbed said, “Based on the findings of the EIU survey, there is a call to action for enterprises in the region to invest in digital competencies to ensure the long-term success of their business transformation efforts. A mix of initiatives that include employee trainings, adoption of DevOps, allocation of resources focused on driving digital transformation projects across the organisation and the establishment of dedicated centres focused on fostering these competencies will go a long way in enhancing employee productivity, building better digital experiences for customers and consequently improving the bottom line.”

About the Survey:

The study is based on a survey of more than 500 senior business and government leaders across the world - 50 of who were based within the UAE - focused on assessing nine behaviours, skills and abilities that help organisations improve their digital performance and, ultimately, achieve their objectives.


About Riverbed

Riverbed®, The Digital Performance Company™, is united in our purpose of Advancing the Human Experience in the Digital World.  Behind every digital experience is a human one, and Riverbed enables organizations to measure digital experiences and maximise digital performance so they can deliver better and more powerful human experiences— for customers, employees, partners, patients, and citizens. Riverbed’s Digital Performance Platform includes a combination of Digital Experience Management and Next-Generation Infrastructure solutions that ensure superior digital and user experiences, provides new levels of operational agility and accelerates business outcomes. Riverbed’s 30,000+ customers include 100% of the Forbes Global 100. Learn more at riverbed.com 

Riverbed and any Riverbed product or service name or logo used herein are trademarks of Riverbed Technology, Inc. All other trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The EIU is the thought leadership, research and analysis division of The Economist Group and the world leader in global business intelligence for executives. We uncover novel and forward-looking perspectives with access to over 650 expert analysts and editors across 200 countries worldwide. More information can be found onwww.eiuperspectives.economist.com. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook

Ian Saldanha
Procreate for Riverbed
Email: ian@procre8.biz
Tel: +971 (0) 55 450 6073

© Press Release 2019

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