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

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