Frost & Sullivan reveals nine trends generating growth opportunities in the Middle East
Frost & Sullivan has released a new analysis, The Reshaping of Industries Caused by COVID-19, that highlights nine key trends that will emerge from industries reshaping as a response to COVID-19. Trade (wholesale and retail), transportation; storage, finance, and insurance were amongst the major non-oil sectors that were impacted by COVID-19, according to Chaitanya Habib, Visionary Innovation Group Research Analyst. She added that “in the near-term, companies should explore supply chain diversification and leverage changing customer demands. Over the long-term, digitisation of supply chains will improve production, reliability, and build resiliency.”
While a multitude of factors impact economic growth, shift from oil to non-oil sectors and infrastructure spending would drive economic activity in the Gulf region, Murali Krishnan, Visionary Innovation Group Senior Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan felt that companies facing pandemic-related challenges in the oil and gas industry in the Middle East region should respond through a combination of digitalisation, investing in strategic storage infrastructure, and enhancing downstream processing capabilities. Key growth opportunities in non-oil sectors include virtual hospitals, health information system, smart solutions for waste management, non-Contact retail sales and food logistics.
The nine key trends across industries cited in the report include:
Connected Living: Systems encompassing voice activation technology will become increasingly popular among consumers.
Connected Work: New subscription-based models will witness a growing demand for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
Digital Health: Digital health driven by telemedicine and robotic care will become the new standard of care delivery in the region. Standardisation of services across the care continuum will require more service and technology providers.
Geopolitical Balance: The macroeconomic outlook for the Middle East is expected to be moderate in 2020, with the anticipated solidification of non-oil sectors and higher infrastructure spending in the region.
Human Augmentation: The behavioural analytics market is expected to reach $3 billion in revenue in 2030 globally, up from $230 million in 2019. Post-COVID-19, behavioural data will be used to enhance healthcare systems, financial services, and cybersecurity.
Lights-out Operations: Autonomous “lights-out” operations will propel the demand for remote asset management solutions and service providers will focus on data management strategies and data-driven business models.
Smart Cities: Smart cities will create significant business opportunities with a market value of $2.46 trillion by 2025, globally. Digital transformation of the Dubai city has been through innovation and launch of latest tech hub like AI smart lab. Smart cities will prioritise more digitalised services and a robust data analytics infrastructure, leading to increased spending on technology.
Supply Chain Optimization: The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) retail sector is expected to grow to $405 billion by 2030, with online retail accounting for 10 percent of the total sales, up from 5 percent in 2018. The supply chain industry is creating radical innovations with augmented reality, virtual reality, advanced robotics, real-time inventory tracking. It is also exploring how 3D printing could completely disrupt the supply chain in the next 10 years.
Technology Advancements: AI will play a significant role across all industries in the GCC region. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain already have placed strategies and policies to introduce AI. Beyond specific disease management, post-pandemic economies also will rely on AI and machine learning (ML) tools to expedite digital transformation across key business initiatives.