A joint study conducted by Microsoft and Accenture finds that 87% of executives expect 5G to have a major impact on their business and ability to innovate.
Technology and connectivity infrastructure have become a strategic imperative for businesses in the post-pandemic era. Together, Accenture and Microsoft commissioned a study titled Unfolding the next growth chapter in the Middle East, which surveyed 257 senior executives across the Middle East. These new technologies promise to supercharge business outcomes — but only if they are harnessed in the right way.
The study shows that companies in the Middle East are resorting to digital technologies such as cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). An overwhelming 87% of enterprises expect 5G to significantly impact their business, with 61% of them planning to invest in 5G campus networks. Moreover, 77% of the executives claim that they are planning to invest 3-10% of their information and communications technology budget on 5G in the next three years. 64% of respondents from the oil & gas industry and 45% from manufacturing are prioritizing near-term 5G campus network investments. This proves that companies across the region will use 5G as a catalyst to accelerate their digital transformation.
“The Middle East is a fertile ground for enterprises to reap the benefits of next-gen networks and technologies. The region has emerged as a global forerunner in advanced connectivity, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE among the first countries in the world to deploy 5G networks,” Giampiero Terzi, Managing Director of Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology practice in the Middle East, said in a statement. “Today, regional governments are focusing extensively on the deployment of digital technologies as part of their economic diversification strategies, which are focused on harnessing knowledge-based digital economies with a thriving private sector,” he added.
Today, most companies are implementing individual technologies and upgrading networks as standalone transformation projects, therefore falling short of delivering holistic business value. Many enterprises also perceive tremendous challenges in navigating the network and digital technology integration complexity, extracting return on investment, and choosing the right partner ecosystem and platform for solutioning.
“It is promising to see how organizations perceive 5G as an accelerator to advance their digital transformation journey and scale innovation. Next-gen technologies will have a significant impact on business outcomes, and leaders must plan ahead to make the most of them,” said Amr Kamel, Global Partner Solutions Leader at Microsoft MEA.
It is worth noting that only a small group of companies have been able to break through these barriers. Technology leaders are on track to deliver more value than their peers in the next three years, while expecting revenue to grow 2.1x faster, expand margins 1.6x higher, and are 16% more likely to see their 5G and network investments result in new product and service innovations – driving superior value creation for their business.
These companies are finding greater success when following these four imperatives:
Elevating the business case for next-gen technology solutions
Tech leaders demonstrate a deep understanding of technology convergence across the organization. They seize the first-mover advantage, investing in and adopting next-gen technologies quickly, and scale them to maximize value.
Planning for workforce and cultural transformation
Tech leaders aggressively re-skill, hire, and leverage partner expertise to build the future workforce critical to deriving value from the new network.
Building security into every step of the process
Tech leaders understand that simply upgrading to new network technology does not ensure higher security standards; instead, they view it as an opportunity to transform their security mindset and architecture.
Identifying the right partners and platform for solutioning
Tech leaders prefer to work with strategic partners – not standalone suppliers – who share a common vision and are ready to co-innovate and co-create new products and services.
By preparing the right strategy and partnerships, organizations across the Middle East can tap into the huge business opportunity offered by next-gen networks and digital technologies.