Across industries in the UAE, the bigger organizations lead the way on AI deployment projects. But others will need to get into the game soon enough. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Businesses in the UAE are gung-ho about investing in AI to scale their operations to the next level – but there’s still uncertainty about the best way to do it.

In a new survey by Dell technologies, eight in 10 of respondents in the UAE say they are ‘struggling to keep pace’ with the investments and strategic rethink that deploying Artificial Intelligence into their operations require.

Biggest hurdles

There is still a paucity of the ‘right talent’ (according to 31 per cent of respondents), while data privacy, cybersecurity concerns and lack of budget top the other challenges organisations face.

“We can expect blue-chip companies to be at the forefront of AI adoption for various reasons,” said Walid Yehia, Managing Director – UAE at Dell Technologies. “Driven by their financial strength, risk tolerance, and access to talent, they are strong contenders to be early adopters.

“This rings especially true for those already investing in AI R&D, as well as industries like finance and healthcare where blue-chips are prominent.”

It also means that businesses lacking in the required operational and financial size will need to keep playing catch up.

Half of the respondents in the survey remain uncertain ‘what their industry will look like in the next 3 to 5 years’.

No missing out on AI

“The GenAI (Generative AI) and AI will significantly transform industries in the future, with 91 per cent of organizations reporting high (+25 per cent) 2023 revenue growth,” said Yehia. “And 75 per cent for those reporting low growth (1-5 per cent), flat revenue or decline.

“More broadly, responses (to the Dell survey) suggest that organizations are already working through GenAI practicalities as they transition from ideation to implementation, with 58 per cent saying they have begun implementing GenAI.

“This indicates that while blue chip companies may lead the way, the transformative potential of AI is recognized across businesses of all sizes, and broader adoption will follow.”

How to draw in talent

Two-thirds of those polled in the Dell survey in the UAE point to the shortage of talent required for innovation in their industry.

“Learning agility and desire, AI fluency, and creativity and creative thinking rank as the top skills and competencies for the next five years,” says the report.

On-board IT departments

Organizations can no longer afford to keep IT departments out of the loop on AI investments and plans. While ’81 per cent of business decision-makers have reasons to exclude IT decision makers from strategic conversations, both departments ranked a stronger relationship as the second most important improvement area,” says the Dell report.

More to follow…