Abu Dhabi ranks ahead of Dubai in Smart City technology base development

03 August 2018 Consultancy-me.com

The UAE's Abu Dhabi has been named by McKinsey & Company as the Middle East and Africa’s most developed Smart City in terms of technology base.

Outstripping big brother Dubai alongside other Smart City contenders from the region, Abu Dhabi has been credited as being the most technologically developed Smart City in the Middle East and Africa.

Technology base was named as one of three drivers for smart city progress in the McKinsey & Company report ‘Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Liveable Future”, and is the combination of three attitudes towards smart city transition; sensor, communication and open portal data. The other two drivers are a city’s citizen awareness, and deployment of Smart City applications.

The consulting firm ranks global cities including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Lagos Nairobi, Cape Town, and Tel Aviv in their smart city journey within the Middle East/Africa category. Whilst the firm states that the list is not exhaustive, the assessment is aimed at showing a full sweep of activity globally in terms of smart city practices and implications to spur on momentum in the field. 

Abu Dhabi scored 18.4 out of a total possible score of 37 in the assessment, just over one point above Dubai which was scored 17.3. On par with the most liveable city, Vienna, which scored 18.5, and ahead of both Sydney and Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi ranked highly among some of the world’s greatest cities.

Abu Dhabi ranks ahead of Dubai in Smart City technology base development

Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi said; "In today’s digital age, metropolitan cities the world over are delivering creative ways in which data is used to reinvent the way their city is perceived, explored, interacted with, and how services are delivered.”

“Abu Dhabi ranking number one in the study is testimony to our ongoing efforts to establish the Emirate as both a destination of distinction and a highly modern location in which international communities want to work, live and do business. With apps and online systems in place that support the tourism and business infrastructure of the Emirate, we hope to lead the way to a sustainable future for generations to come,” Ghobash concluded.

The win will bruise the ego of Dubai citizens who are considered to have one of the world's model Smart Cities. The report states; “Cities with robust technology bases are doing more with utilities applications. Dubai has equipped its electricity network with smart meters and has achieved high adoption of home automation systems and behaviour-based electricity consumption tracking.”

Abu Dhabi according to McKinsey however has gone one step further and put in place a stronger technology base, which are the building blocks that must be set into the city before applications can be deployed. “The technology base includes high-speed communication networks, a critical mass of smartphones, open data portals as well as [digital] sensors,” states the report.

Survey reveals wide-spread RPA investment plans ahead of Middle East forum

15 January 2019 Consultancy-me.com

In the lead-up to this year’s Middle Eastern RPA and Intelligent Automation Forum, event host IQPC has found that four out of five cross-industry leaders are planning investment in RPA solutions within the coming eighteen months. 

Robotic process automation (RPA) is touted as a huge benefit to businesses, especially as to operations and in particular back-office functions such as finance, human resources, supply- chain, and contact-center and customer services. Previously, Hadoop estimated that companies could potentially save between $5 trillion to $7 trillion through the implementation of RPA technologies by 2025.

To shed some light on the current state of  regional RPA adoption in the run-up to this year’s EY-sponsored ‘Middle Eastern RPA and Intelligent Automation Forum’, the digitally-minded B2B event promotor IQPC has surveyed a number of senior leaders from pioneering firms across a variety of industries, including the financial services, real estate & construction, telecoms, IT, and oil & gas sectors.

All in all, the survey revealed that some 79 percent of respondents were planning investment into RPA solutions in the next six to eighteen months, while 15 percent of the companies had a budget ranging from $500,000 to $2 million for RPA and intelligent automation projects over that time span. Yet, while funding and plans are widely in place, just 20 percent said they had selected a solutions provider.Current areas of RPA investment Middle EastIn addition to the top bracket of investors, 17 percent of respondents stated an eighteen-month budget of a quarter of a million to half a million dollars, while 68 percent were budgeted for below $250,000. Meanwhile, following RPA solutions, investments would be most commonly targeted at digital workforce management (79%) and AI solutions (77%), with cognitive computing also attracting interest.

To date, just 6 percent of the companies surveyed had implemented a form of cognitive computing, which broadly describes technology able to simulate human thought patterns in a computerised model by bringing together a range of AI and machine learning capabilities. Over a third of companies however stated plans for future implementation, with a further 13 percent already in the pilot stage.

Perhaps most revealing, although in accord with recent a recent survey BCG survey which suggested Middle East companies are being slow to act on AI despite their positive embrace, is that 80 percent of those planning investment were yet to decide on an RPA solutions provider, said to be “looking for the right provider that can help automate the correct  process and be flexible in its application.”

Incidentally, forum sponsor Ernst & Young was recently assessed as the world’s leading provider for RPA services in a study by research firm HfS, followed by Capgemini and KPMG, with Accenture landing in fourth ahead of a further 25 assessed providers. Meanwhile, over half of the companies surveyed by IQPC stated that they were considering Business Process Outsourcers for their intelligent automation implementation.  

The 3rd annual ‘Middle Eastern RPA and Intelligent Automation Forum’ takes place on 19-20 February at the Meydan Hotel in Dubai – with RPA and AI leaders from AXA, ING, and Nokia among the range of confirmed speakers. With offices in Dubai and Doha among its ten international locations world-wide, IQPC offers approximately 2,000 innovation-focused conferences around the globe each year.