Top 5 technologies with the most potential for the region
1. Cloud Computing: Much has been said about cloud technology and its benefits; over the last few years it has evolved to play a major role in the growth and expansion of businesses. Cloud is not only a transformative solution that helps organisations advance strategic initiatives and achieve strategic goals, but can also be essential to the actual execution of transformation. As organisations undergo change, cloud improves its scalability (the ability to provision complex infrastructure faster than on premise), agility (the ability to be more responsive to changing business needs) and functionality (the ability to take advantage of innovation more easily as there is less need to invest in the supporting technology infrastructure).
2. Artificial intelligence (AI): Advances in machine learning and AI are powering better experience across industries. For instance, retail applications such as intelligent assistants are marking a giant leap forward in the future of human interaction via technology. Rob Thomas of IBM shares in his online blog for UPS: “Results from the Roadblock to Scale survey indicate that while there is still work to be done, advances in data discovery and management, skills training and artificial intelligence knowledge are driving the rate of AI adoption faster than many predicted. For example, 45 percent of the respondents from large companies (1,000-plus employees) said they adopted AI, while 29 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses (fewer than 1,000 employees) responding said they adopted the technology. These numbers are significantly higher than some industry watchers estimated to date.”
3. Drones: Regional leaders have taken major strides in drone technology advancement. UPS has been at the forefront of this and David Abney, CEO of UPS echoes this sentiment in his online article: “Supply chains will become dynamic and more predictive, using advanced analytics that anticipate your needs and move products to a nearby staging area before you even order. Goods will move in real time, too — which means the supply chain never sleeps. And drones are a part of this bright future. Whether through the delivery of lifesaving snake-bite antidote, or one day, e-commerce purchases dropped on your doorstep, drones represent a new day for logistics. And we’re just getting started.”
4. Internet of Things (IoT): Over the last decade, we’ve seen IoT take center stage in the MENA region with companies focusing on enhancing their existing platforms using IoT. Businesses have also realized the potential that IoT holds to improve their services and increase innovation. Cisco predicts that “the number of connected devices will grow to 50 billion by 2020 owing to IoT’s speed of innovation and 70 per cent of the whole global population will be mobile. From buildings to buses, energy grids to healthcare, everything is being connected. Almost everywhere, opportunity awaits – not just in tech-friendly vertical sectors such as energy and retail, but in arts and entertainment, manufacturing, agriculture waste management, financial services, real estate, and education to name some.”
5. Augmented Reality (AR): There’s no doubt that Augmented reality (AR) is set to be the next step in the evolution of computing, and will arguably be the most intuitive and collaborative computing experience. Given AR’s limitless potential, companies across sectors are have been dedicating an increasing number of resources to imagining how AR can better our lives. In several industries, we’re already seeing AR emerge as a tool for enhancing productivity. For instance, Architects and designers have been turning to AR to overcome some of the productivity limitations inherent to working with 3D models and designs in 2D. AR architectural applications are enabling them to quickly concept, prototype, and build 3D structures in the first stage of the architectural design process – are further streamlining architects’ existing workflows.