< Back to Articles

How many digital Middle Eastern companies have unlocked their full innovative potential?

26 November 2019
How many digital Middle Eastern companies have unlocked their full innovative potential?

You might be surprised to learn that only 7% of digital companies based in the Middle East are tapping into the $575 billion market of opportunities stemming from innovative technologies, according to Accenture’s Middle East Innovation Maturity Index that was conducted across 275+ companies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The current ever-evolving business landscape has seen a multitude of digital solutions amplify, disrupt and even break some traditional processes over the last few years. Today, innovation stands as perhaps the most powerful entity that companies of any size can successfully gain a competitive edge with over their market competitors.

These innovation winners are capitalizing on top-notch digital-based models and excel at becoming more data-driven, in order to more efficiently serve their customers in the most relevant ways. This leads to improving their core offerings while preparing themselves for the next fundamental shift in business, resulting in harnessing the full potential of raw data while keeping sustainable growth in their peripheral vision.

Building a solid data foundation

In the digital world, data represents fundamental building blocks of any ecosystem. In the digital business world, data represents the simplest yet richest entity in terms of knowing your customers and delivering relevant services to them. 64% of innovation champions are deeply familiar with their available data, in terms of what they have, where it resides, who uses it, how is it used and for what.

Successful data integration into an organization’s workflow yields phenomenal results, and may just be the edge you need. Building a robust data platform supported by a proper architecture allows data management processes to deliver critical insights into customers’ journey, which in turn provides companies with rich information to make decisions in real-time.

Operationalizing data governance

71% of companies exceling in innovation have adopted data governance measures such as guidelines and standards, in order to ensure data compliance in their organizations. Successful data management and control at scale can definitely provide a company-wide strategic asset.

Converting data into insights and action

Innovation powered by insight is a definite win. Generating in-depth analytical insights and integrating them into decision-making processes unlocks the full potential of innovation. Innovative companies in the Middle East develop deeply advanced data-driven strategies and are exploring the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), while more than two-thirds of them have generated well-defined objectives for their data-driven analytics strategies, in addition to a solid operating structure for their analytics teams.

Realizing value from data

The Middle East’s top innovative companies know how to realize value from their data, in the sense that their data analytics strategies provide business benefits while delivering sustainable returns and the promise of growth. These companies use data-driven business models and pay extra attention to master data management, while implementing data value trackers. The study by Accenture reveals that 65% of these innovation winners are 42% more likely to prioritize data over their instinct when making decisions than other companies.

The Middle East Innovation Maturity Index research also surprisingly revealed that 71% of the surveyed C-suite executives said that they are hardly confident in the processes of their existing company to hold out against innovative disruption as it happens. Additionally, 79% of the surveyed stated that their company is not planning to inject more funds in innovation over the next five years.

So how can companies in the Middle East adapt and leverage their position to unlock the dormant $575 billion market value? They need to be flexible enough to pivot and overcome certain obstacles:


Poor data quality

Along the lines of data scientists scrubbing for data (organizing it for proper use), Middle Eastern companies need to adopt that methodology and sort through their data by going through it, and eventually use the resulting numbers to make the necessary adjustments to what they offer.

Slow-moving and silo-ed data

Dormant data is not benefitting anyone, and companies often find themselves struggling to manage and control their data at scale. Procedure and processes should be established to leverage this data and come up with analytical strategies to better cater to customer needs.

Absence of a data culture and strategy

The trapped market value is not magically unlocked through data, but it’s the fostering of a culture to monetize this data that gets this done. Companies should invest in structuring data teams with proper analytical skills in order to fully exploit available data.

In conclusion, there is one thing that no one can argue with – numbers never lie. Companies that pay extra attention to disruptive practices revolving around innovation are the ones that will eventually stand out in the Middle East, by using the transformative power of innovation to enhance key practices and ultimately becoming focused on the future of digital before it happens.



Accenture, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, KSA, United Arab Emirates, UAE, Innovation, Data, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, AI, data mining, analytics, Middle East Innovation Maturity Index , Fintech Egypt

related articles

12 November 2020

Financial Health is What FinTech Should Be Empowering

21 October 2020

How IoT is Infiltrating FinTech Payments

21 October 2020

Can the Middle East Bloom Into A Global FinTech Hub?

16 September 2020

Setting Digital Banking Transformation Priorities During a Pandemic

9 July 2020

The State of Biometrics in 2020 and Beyond

9 July 2020

Regulatory Technology is the Unsung Hero of Digital Transformation

9 July 2020

Bridging the Digital Divide with APIs

4 June 2020

The Impact of IoT on FinTech & Banking

5 May 2020

How is Banking Changing with COVID-19?

5 May 2020

Customer Service Transformation has become a must in a Digital World

21 April 2020

How FinTech can relate to the Healthcare Industry

10 February 2020

Humanizing Services through Smart Banking Technologies

10 February 2020

MSME Lending & FinTech: What to Expect in 2020

13 January 2020

How Digital Innovation can Transform the Future of Banks

13 January 2020

Banking Experts Forecast Key FinTech Trends in 2020

23 December 2019

The Potential of Peer-to-Peer Lending in the Middle East

23 December 2019

How FinTech is Changing the Finance Industry.

23 December 2019

Egyptian-founded FinTech Startup Tribal Credit Secures $5.5m in Seed Funding

23 December 2019

6 FinTech Trends That Will Transform Banking In 2020

8 December 2019

FinTech Trends To Keep An Eye On In 2020

8 December 2019

How FinTech Can Contribute To Healthcare

28 November 2019

Central Bank of Egypt and Central Bank of Bahrain sign MoU at SFF 2019

4 November 2019

Startup Competition Launch Ceremony at French Embassy in Cairo

4 November 2019

The Central Bank of Egypt participates in Singapore FinTech Festival 2019

31 October 2019

Top Five MENA Venture Capital Investments in Q3 2019

22 October 2019

Singapore FinTech Festival 2019: A Meeting of the Minds

17 October 2019

Digital Banking vs Physical Branches: Competition Not Mandatory

14 October 2019

Central Bank of Egypt Holds Third Roundtable Discussion for FinTech in Egypt

29 Sept 2019

BEBA presents the Digital Assets & Artificial Intelligence: Shaping the Future event

29 Sept 2019

UAE-based FinTech startup Foloosi raises $500,00 in seed funding

16 Sept 2019

The Flourishing of FinTech in the Middle East

9 Sept 2019

Five Technologies Expected to Reshape FinTech in 2020

8 August 2019

Saudi Arabia Allows Two Firms To Test Robo-Advisory Services

5 August 2019

Emirates NBD Seeks Startups Experienced In CBE Facility-Granting Regulations

5 August 2019

Rising Startup Netsahem Digitizes Charity In Egypt

25 July 2019

Egypt’s First Artificial Intelligence Faculty launched at Kafr El Sheikh University

23 July 2019

Bridging the credit gap through crowdfunding

7 July 2019

PayFort receives ‘Most Innovative Online Payment Service Provider’ award for the second time

FinTech Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest fintech news and events.