Oliver Wyman: 8 digital trends shaping GCC's future

10 May 2022 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

Experts from Oliver Wyman have released their 2022 predictions for digital transformation in the Middle East, uncovering eight trends that according to them will shape the digital future of organisations, governments, communities and individuals. A round-up of the trends.

Investment-powered digital transformation

Across 2022 and beyond, Oliver Wyman’s experts expect GCC governments to continue pursuing robust digital transformation strategies, keeping citizen-centered design at the heart of their e-services, exploring more agile development methodologies, and upskilling their workforces for the digital age.

Citizen-centric digital services

Private sector competition has made digital service delivery radically more customised, convenient, and human-centered – setting a benchmark the public sector must put at the forefront to keep pace.

Oliver Wyman: 8 digital trends shaping GCC's future

Oliver Wyman anticipates that government agencies will deepen their digital investments, aiming to meet the standard of service quality set by private companies.

The power of ‘cloud-first’

As digital transformation unfolds across the region, the cloud will be a critical enabler of the new platforms, services, and infrastructure that governments and enterprises seek to activate. Oliver Wyman also expects countries to double their investments in cloud technologies, including software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and other “as-a-service” assets.

Achieving cyber resilience

In response to the growing cybersecurity threat, GCC governments have taken measures to enhance their capabilities. According to the ITU Global Cybersecurity Index, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ranked among the top five globally. Both Saudi Arabia and UAE have been notably active in their activation of online protection efforts in conjunction with global partners.

Further reading: Securing the Middle East’s thriving digital economy.

Future-proof data governance strategies

Many GCC governments have also strengthened their data regulations and controls. As e-government continues to expand, Oliver Wyman expects GCC governments and enterprises to deepen investments in data management, governance, and protection – not only in the defensive context but also as part of a longer-term, holistic data strategy framework.

Expanded AI adoption and innovation

The growing young population in the GCC presents an opportunity for governments and enterprises to provide the robust digital experiences that citizens and consumers alike will increasingly demand. Oliver Wyman expects GCC governments to explore intelligent automation applications further to drive efficiency, promote economic innovation, and revolutionise the quality of public services.

A new dawn for digital government currencies

While most are currently in their nascent stages, Gulf blockchain-based projects are rapidly developing. Throughout 2022, the GCC’s digital currencies and blockchain landscape will continue to evolve, with blockchain innovations extending into fields such as finance, public administration, and supply chain management.

Further reading: Most central banks considering own digital currency.

Entering the metaverse

Participation in the metaverse is becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East and GCC countries. Oliver Wyman expects the regulatory infrastructure around the metaverse to continue to take shape this year across the region. Regulators must also implement an effective governance structure to build accountability, transparency, and trust around this paradigm-shifting technology.

Authors of Oliver Wyman’s eight trends are: Jad Haddad (Partner), Jean Salamat (Principal), Charbel Trad (Lead Delivery Specialist), and Amanda Tu (Associate). All are based in the Middle East.