Gulf digital transformation
01/09/2019

Gulf needs to pick up digitalisation pace

These days you’d have to be living on another planet, certainly not in the Gulf, to escape almost daily talk of the digital era or digital transformation journeys and the benefits they bring. But is the region hearing the calls to embrace new technologies to remain relevant in increasingly competitive landscapes? A report from the well-respected consultants McKinsey, says the region hasn’t gone far enough.

The report makes for compelling reading itemising how Gulf companies can overcome the five biggest challenges to their digital transformation. McKinsey though assert that while many businesses in the Gulf are interested in digitization, few have moved aggressively enough. Digital transformation among companies in the GCC, says the report, has been limited, despite initiatives and leading examples from the private sector where smart cities and smart government are being enthusiastically pursued.

The report though isn’t completely bleak reading – it identifies the region’s weaknesses in achieving transformation but goes on to address solutions. We agree with McKinsey Digital’s observations of the region’s digital resistance blocks namely – the over-riding command-and-control corporate culture; the overly price-only focussed procurement departments, risk-adverse financial officers and the regionwide digital skills gap. McKinsey Digital’s recommendations to address these stumbling blocks make pure business sense.

Steps McKinsey advances include two which Cobweb whole-heartedly support – finding a strategic partner to overcome digital skills gaps and moving technology to the cloud. Cobweb can satisfy both. By outsourcing digital transformation to a strategic partner, such as Cobweb, means you have the experience you require without the need for all the expense which comes with full time hire – visas, holiday and weekend cover, gratuity provision etc. And the move to the cloud can satisfy a host of requirements – security and cost-efficiency are just two and the recent launch of two Microsoft data centres in the UAE provide data sovereignty and great latency to local organisations.

Today’s technology architecture must be as modern and flexible as business realities. Moving to the cloud can also satisfy budgetary requirements with subscription models, which can be scaled up or down depending on business requirements, meaning you pay only for what you need and that you can acquire the necessary business intelligence that is needed for targeted marketing, inventory control and the introduction of machine learning.

Quite simply by not pursuing digital transformation, you are actually putting your business at risk. You will be at risk of:

  • Remaining relevant in the marketplace with a dated reputation
  • Losing opportunities for social marketing
  • Not being able to collect key analytics on which to make better information business decisions
  • Being unable to attract or retain key talent
  • Losing market share through customer engagement failure
  • Loss of productivity by not taking advantage of new tools and services that help streamline business operations
  • Leaving your business unsecured against constantly changing cyber-criminal activity

If you are still on the fence about digital transformation – how far you should take it and how, Cobweb can help. We are happy to conduct discovery workshops for your business to find out what you need, how best to achieve it and how to get all your people onboard. Moving your IT structure to the cloud could be a starting point – again we can help you through the myriad of opportunities matching the solutions to your unique operational and budgetary needs.

Our Discovery workshops are part of our ethos of being a business advisory partner. We will make sure you get the best out of any cloud migration - addressing not just your current business needs, but those of the future so you can grow and maintain and strengthen competitiveness. The discovery programme means we would conduct a high-level data discovery and classified workshop on your premises. Once the programme’s conclusions have been reached, we can recommend an appropriate application and data migration path to the cloud. We’ll let you know the costs involved up-front, so there’s no surprises and, on agreement you could be well on your way to more productive and secure operations.

You’ll be in the safest of hands for application build and migration. Cobweb has over 22 years’ experience of migration. No-one knows migration better. So why not book your complimentary discovery programme now? You’ve a great deal to gain – but could have much at risk. And remember the wise words of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of Ruler of Dubai: “Real failure is to fear taking any risk.”

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