Dubai: Not enough companies in the Middle East are worrying about what new technology means for their business models, according to Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, Middle East, Russia, Africa and Turkey at Dell Technologies.
“Around 83 per cent of companies in the Middle East have not yet started their digital transformation journey,” said Amin, speaking to Gulf News during Gitex Technology Week at Dubai World Trade Centre. “Some of those, more than 50 per cent, do not have a digital transformation strategy and their businesses have been threatened by start-ups. It’s amazing when you talk to c-level executives and ask them what their business strategy is for the next three years, and they actually do not know.”
Dell Technologies is an American technology company that sells servers, software, networking, and information security services.
Amin said these executives are aware of what is going on, but they don’t know what the right solution is. “They don’t have a strategy, but they know they have to do something.”
Amin’s advice for companies looking to start digitally transforming is to consolidate their infrastructure and consider introducing virtualisation, which can optimise costs and allow companies to start building their future strategies. Virtualisation refers to using virtual (rather than actual) computer platforms.
“So we need to minimise the budget dollars that customers spend to keep the lights on and channel this money to their future strategy,” he said.
But Amin also warns that companies need to be aware that there is no quick fixes for digital transformation.
“People need to understand this is a journey. You can’t push a button tomorrow and be transformed,” he said.
He said the countries also need to be sure that their laws and regulations are conducive to building a digital economy. Amin said that by 2030, around 50 per cent of global GDP is going to come from the digital economy, so countries increasingly need focus to address some issues immediately.
“You have to have the right law for IP (intellectual property) and for data repatriated back to the country. All those laws for data are very important,” he said. “One of the challenges is that 85 per cent of the data being created today is unstructured and us, as a company, need to make sense out of the unstructured data. Without the right law in any given country this is going to be a huge challenge.”
More rapid action is needed, he said, but he noted the UAE’s creation of a Minister of Artificial Intelligence as the types of steps that need to be taken.
“I’m more comfortable this year than a year or two ago, because I’ve seen that more and more people are talking about it at [the top levels of government].”
But he also warned that changes need to be introduced slowly.
“You still have to do it in a surgical way,” he warned. “Because you’re playing with the economy, you’re playing with money, sometimes you’re playing with people’s destiny.”