GCC set to leapfrog Europe in digital citizen services

As the Digital Economy accelerates, global government spending on mobility is set to grow at a CAGR of 5.7 percent, topping $30 billion by 2019

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GCC governments have a unique opportunity to leapfrog Europe in deploying digital citizen services, one of the world’s leading technology companies announced over the weekend at the IDC Middle East CIO Summit.

As the Digital Economy accelerates, global government spending on mobility is set to grow at a CAGR of 5.7 percent, topping $30 billion by 2019, according to a recent IDC report.

Governments are increasingly using omni-channel services such as marketing, citizen engagement, e-government, and case management.

“With Middle East governments processing trillions of U.S. dollars in daily transactions, GCC governments are leap-frogging many European countries in adopting omni-channel platforms that enable citizens to conduct secure government transactions as easily as the private sector,” said Melvina Tarazi, Head of Business Development and Industries, SAP MENA.

SAP co-innovates with more than 25,000 public sector customers worldwide, and is seeing strong Middle East public sector demand for SAP Hybris, the world’s fastest-growing Omi Channels platform.

The world’s exponential data growth will be felt in the GCC more strongly than ever in 2016, forcing organizations to more intelligently plan how they choose to keep and use their information.

Two trends for 2016 involving increasing data volumes are the growth of ‘dark data’ and the creation of the ‘databerg’, according to Condo Protego, one of the region’s leading IT consultancies.

Technology research and advisory firm, Gartner, defines dark data as information assets that organizations collect, process, and store in the course of their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes. Dark data often comprises of large amounts of unstructured data, and can contain sensitive information, putting businesses at high risk amid the advancements in cyber-attacks.

These large volumes of unstructured data, also known as databergs, are presenting regional businesses with expensive IT bills, as companies continue to accumulate, and store unpredictable user-generated data, with increased global digitization, and the absence of data categorization tools.

“We expect dark data management will be a top priority for GCC businesses in 2016, as ‘databergs’ grow to seemingly unmanageable levels, and we are counseling our customers to think longer term about what data they really need to keep, how they can better access it, and why it is so important for them to deploy business analytics to realize competitive advantage in their respective industries,” says Andrew Calthorpe, CEO of Condo Protego.

In addition to the financial implications of storing these large amounts of data, Condo Protego says that GCC businesses face the initial challenge of distinguishing valuable components of dark data that should be retained and secured, from redundant data that should be eliminated. The next challenge businesses face is how to extract the potentially valuable data, and transform it into information that can establish a competitive edge in the market.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on February 21, 2016.