Digital leaders in UAE gain more influence as COVID-19 spurs investment

The majority of chief information officers in the UAE have gained more C-suite influence in the light of the pandemic

Doctor analyzing COVID-19 or coronavirus test result with futuristic tablet. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Doctor analyzing COVID-19 or coronavirus test result with futuristic tablet. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Nearly half of all UAE technology leaders expect tech budgets to increase after a surge in spending accelerated by coronavirus disruption, and the majority have seen their influence increase.

A survey by Harvey Nash and KPMG revealed the spending surge was due to the need for operational efficiencies, customer engagement and data-driven insights.

Farhan Syed, Partner, Head of Advisory at KPMG Lower Gulf, explained: “The coronavirus pandemic disrupted every sector around the world, and has catalysed digital transformation.

“While the pandemic may not have necessarily altered business strategies, it has reaffirmed the importance of data, cloud and cybersecurity. Technology is thus helping businesses to adapt and anticipate better in a volatile business environment.”

Two thirds of the 4,200 UAE digital leaders surveyed said they had gained more influence in their company since the outbreak of the pandemic.                                                                           

The survey showed the importance of data for UAE businesses, 63 percent of CIOs rated data collection as their most successful digital offering, compared with 42 per cent of global CIOs.

Nearly one third - 29 percent of the UAE’s digital leaders - thought they were extremely effective in implementing enterprise-wide digital strategies, against the global average of 17 percent.

Wejdi Harzallah, partner, head of digital strategy at KPMG Lower Gulf, elaborated: “To overcome new challenges, organisations continue to accelerate technology adoption, requiring increased collaboration between the business and technology teams.

“As many organisations evolve into technology-led companies, we expect to see the future of IT as a connected enterprise that is free of siloes, agile and customer obsessed.”

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Daniel Luiz)

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