STOCK Digital transformation
The last two years have been about the fastest of digital transformations for businesses and whole economies. Now, make those investments count. Image Credit: Shutterstock

At the start of the pandemic, organizations embraced digital transformation to continue business operations amidst unprecedented uncertainty. It was a move hailed by leaders across business, industry and government as a large-scale investment into the promise of the digital era that would return long-term benefits for organizations and economies. Today, that investment is beginning to pay off. We’re witnessing a burst of success stories from a region that embraced technology to navigate a challenging period, but ultimately transforming their entire industries and driving real impact across their economies. It’s the resilience enabled by digital transformation that will continue to empower organizations to survive today and thrive tomorrow.

Era of transformation

In the Middle East for example, one of the region’s leading banks Emirates NBD is co-creating a new wave of digital and technological initiatives in collaboration with Microsoft that, among other benefits, will bring the world of mixed reality and applications to the financial services market; support the UAE’s Metaverse Strategy, and position the bank as a financial services partner of choice for Web 3.0 initiatives.

In Qatar, the state developed an open, integrated and extendable platform of national services built in the cloud that is revolutionizing everything from health management and national food security, while boosting the country’s non-oil GDP by 2 per cent. And in Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Education is looking to build smart schools and services digitally linked to its e-learning platforms, support services, health centers and fire departments and provide a means of analyzing data trends.

This incredible transformation is taking place across Africa as well. In South Africa, we’re seeing government entities like the City of eThekwini embark on a completely data-driven smart city journey, while Lancet Laboratories is modernizing its supply chain management across South Africa by migrating to Dynamics 365.

The financial services firm Old Mutual is leveraging Natural Language Processing and Optical Character Recognition to automate key customer transactions like emails, payments and claims, while the pan-African video entertainment company Multichoice is harnessing the power of AI to make its content accessible to more viewers.

Empowered to do more with less

What these examples show us is the true power of innovation to enable digital resilience – an organization’s ability to thrive despite risk when they harness and wield digital technology to achieve their business goals. And do more with less. As we continue to navigate widespread economic and societal change, it’s this trust in technology and digital capabilities that will continue to help economies navigate this journey and emerge stronger.

That’s why at Microsoft’s recent Ignite conference, we illustrated what doing more with less could look like in practice. We showcased how leveraging the full length and breadth of Microsoft’s Trusted Cloud – including the latest services and updates announced during the summit – can empower organizations to be data-driven; deliver efficiency; innovate; re-energize their workforces and protect everything and everyone, everywhere.

In today’s uncertain economic environment, companies are looking to change the way they do work to get better results, with less friction and more choice. I am confident that it is this concept of taking technology’s capabilities to the next level that will ensure not just the resilience of organizations across MEA, but the economies they operate in as well.

As our CEO Satya Nadella explained, “doing more with less doesn’t mean working harder or longer. It means applying technology to amplify what they do and ultimately what they can achieve amid today’s constraints.”

So as we continue to showcase the burst of innovation taking place across the region, and celebrate the commitment by the region’s sectors to leverage digital tools to achieve more for citizens, residents and businesses, let us take a moment to remember why this is so important. This transformation goes beyond ensuring our region’s competitiveness in the digital era. It is driving real, tangible today that will preserve region’s economy tomorrow.