2021 was a year of recovery and resilience, and one that brought extraordinary shifts in the way we live and work, writes Mohammed Amin, SVP – Middle East, Russia, Africa & Turkey, Dell Technologies. Technology has been an important pillar throughout it all, helping the world to connect and collaborate, as it transformed the fundamentals of healthcare, commerce, education and financial services across the global economy.
Going into 2021, we predicted that a few key technologies, would shape the future of business as organisations strived to become digital at heart. These included Hybrid Cloud, Edge, 5G, Intelligent Work Solutions and AI/Automation technologies – all of which accelerated the pace of digital transformation and brought some major opportunities and shifts in the way organisations do business today.
As we head into 2022, we’re living in a do-anything-from-anywhere economy enabled by an expanding data ecosystem. It is estimated that 65% of global GDP will be digital this year. For countries across the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Turkey region (MERAT), this influx of data presents both opportunities and challenges, as business success will depend on the capabilities to harness this data. With this in mind, let’s look at the technology shifts that will transform businesses in the region.
- The Edge will become the new frontier. Edge computing has gained pace with the rise in IoT devices and data proliferation. In fact, use cases for IoT across the region, are increasing with the development of numerous mega projects, including smart cities, transportation, energy, security, etc. As digital transformation accelerates, Gartner predicts that around 75 per cent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a traditional centralised data center or cloud by 2025. This shift results from the immense explosion of data generated by machines and people and the demand for immediate access and insights into this data. As the world becomes more mobile and IoT plays an increasingly critical role, the Edge is where businesses will find the greatest opportunity to create new value.
- Data is the fuel of the digital economy. In the new data era, simply being digital is no longer a differentiator. Fueled by the escalating growth of data, emerging technologies are ushering in a new era of innovation, where an organisation’s competitive advantage is directly determined by how fast data converts into meaningful insights that drive business outcomes and create new value. Today, a businesses’ forward trajectory is based on its capabilities to efficiently mine, store and manage data properly, so the business is armed with more data insights and time to focus on creating new value with technology. Moreover, as the sheer volume, variety and velocity of data continues to grow, we’ll see more organisations creating a data-ready culture and investing in technology to automate and scale. Now more than ever, organisations are rethinking their data management strategies, to lead in the data era.
- The security industry is moving towards automation. Regional enterprises and governments are facing cyber threats of greater sophistication and impact on revenue and services. The 2021 Dell Technologies GDPI study found that globally, 82% of businesses are concerned that their existing data protection measures may not be sufficient to meet future challenges, while 74% citing they have increased exposure to data loss from cyber threats with the growth of employees working from home. As a result, the security industry is helping businesses to modernise and automate their recovery and business continuity strategies, pivoting from automated detection to prevention and response, with a focus on applying AI and machine learning to speed remediation.
Beyond 2022, Quantum Computing, Automotive Mobility and Digital Twins will gain pace and feature among the top technologies that will define the industry’s focus.
- Quantum computing – We expect hybrid compute to take center stage and provide greater access to quantum simulation for a cost-effective and accessible way to get quantum systems into the hands of universities, data science teams and researchers.
- Future of mobility – The automotive industry is transforming at several levels. It is fast becoming a data-driven sector for everything from entertainment to safety to major disruptions such as Car-as-a-Service and automated delivery. The automotive ecosystem will rapidly shift focus from a mechanical ecosystem to a data and compute industry and will continue its evolution towards digital transformation and deep interaction with IT ecosystems.
- Digital twins – Simply put, this refers to a virtual representation of a physical asset and will be a core driver of digital transformation 3.0. It uses real world data to create simulations that can predict how a product or process will perform and this type of data analytics will transform the future of business. Thanks to all the potential use cases that exist, the digital twin market is projected to rapidly grow within the next few years. The market was valued at $3.1 billion in 2020 but is expected to reach $48.2 billion by 2026.
These near-term and long-term perspectives are based on the strides we’re making today and as a technology optimist, I increasingly see a world where humans and technology work together to deliver impactful outcomes at an unprecedented speed. Driven by a sense of purpose and through a laser focus on harnessing technology to drive progress, 2022 can truly be a year that defines our digital future.