IT Innovation Crucial to 2011 Growth Strategy

Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director, SAP MENA

In a survey conducted at the SAP User Group Middle East (SUG-MENA) annual conference in Dubai, 100 percent of respondents agreed that the role of the CIO would become more strategically important in 2011 (compared to 86 percent of those questioned in November 2010 and 69 percent in March 2010).

With regards to which innovations the company would most likely adopt as part of its business strategy business analytics was the most popular answer (30 percent), followed by on-device technology (26 percent), virtualization (24 percent), cloud computing (20 percent).

“We are witnessing a a rapid uptake of companies in the MENA region investing in innovative technologies – in the first quarter of 2011 we saw  44 percent of our revenue derived from business analytics.  Companies of all sizes across the Middle East are utilizing technology such as business analytics technology to solve challenges, make informed decisions by delivering real-time business data and critical information to any device by accelerating data access with in-memory computing,” said Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director, SAP MENA.

When it came to regional markets with a view to innovation – respondents felt that UAE and KSA (both 38 percent) led the trend, followed by Qatar (12 percent), Oman (8 percent) and Bahrain (4 percent).

“MENA business leaders are excited about the latest innovative technologies and the benefits they can present for their companies. Top management and decision makers have changed their strategies by rapidly adopting business analytics to empower them with informed decisions. The SUG-MENA annual conference continues to act as a sounding board for the region’s leading companies to compare and evaluate new technologies and discuss how these can continue to evolve for the benefit of local businesses across a range of vertical sectors,” said Salem Al Angari, President of SUG-MENA.

Business analytics was high on the agenda, alongside mobility and cloud computing, at the three-day SAP User Group Middle East and North Africa (SUG-MENA) conference in Dubai which provided a platform for senior IT executives from a wide range of industries to discuss how software solutions can help them proactively adapt to the region’s rapidly evolving economic landscape and support long-term business sustainability. This year SAP also extended an invitation to prospects as well as customers to host a special forum on Business Analytics & Technology to support the increasing regional market interest and demand.