State of AI adoption for enterprise IT management in the Middle East
Now Reading
State of AI adoption for enterprise IT management in the Middle East

State of AI adoption for enterprise IT management in the Middle East

Businesses in the region are readily investing in AI-driven solutions to unlock productivity, gain competitive advantage, and meet evolving customer needs

Gulf Business

Innovation is one of the key dimensions driving the Middle East economy, especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The region has led the world in adopting new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning to build a future-ready economy. This has transformed how businesses operate and created new avenues of growth. The AI market in particular is expected to grow exponentially, with a PwC report stating it will add $320bn to the region’s economy by 2030.

Businesses in the region are readily investing in AI-driven solutions to unlock productivity, gain competitive advantage, and meet evolving customer needs. A recent ManageEngine study surveyed over 200 decision makers from a range of private organisations in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia to understand the proliferation of AI.

As per the survey, 65 per cent of UAE business decision makers (BDMs) say their organisations have been harnessing AI’s power to automate tasks and build employee self-service. In Saudi Arabia, 61 per cent of BDMs have chosen to invest in AI to prevent cybersecurity attacks.

Interest in AI is at an all-time high

Since the 1950s, when AI as a concept came into existence, interest in the technology has gone through phases of hype and promise (AI summer) and criticism and disappointment (AI winter). Whenever there has been an upturn in AI’s fortunes, we have noticed critical developments in related fields like robotics, machine learning, and deep learning. Today, AI has become the bare-minimum in-demand tech, thanks to the explosion of data, digital and technological advancements, and the availability of cost-effective cloud-based platforms.

Ramprakash Ramamoorthy

With large language models (LLMs) in the market, the AI hype cycle is at an all-time high, and AI adoption is gaining traction more than ever before, coupled with an influx of funding for research activities. On a high level, LLMs are the perfect blend of human-like intelligence for analysis, summary, and translation of languages, generating convincing responses. They’ve been central to several breakthroughs in natural language processing (NLP) and conversational AI.

We predict that the flood of AI will not end anytime soon and will fuel more development and adoption as AI continues to evolve and mature. However, even though LLMs have captured the heart of the market, narrow models with use-case-specific skill sets will be the game changer in IT service management to overcome the prevailing challenges of LLMs like hallucination, stale training data, lack of enterprise context, and more.

Not restricting to the enterprise space, AI—which has already proved to be profoundly beneficial—will become more mainstream in the coming years. In the BFSI sector, AI has been instrumental in detecting fraud, ensuring compliance with regulatory reporting, and managing risks effectively. The healthcare industry has embraced AI technology to better deliver treatment given the talent shortage in healthcare, to improve medical imaging, drug discovery, and personalised medicine. Additionally, the energy sector has utilised AI for predictive maintenance, asset management, and demand forecasting, leading to increased efficiency and profitability.

Opportunity for knowledge exchange among regional countries

Some countries in the Middle East, like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have set out ambitious strategies to make themselves global leaders in AI. The strategies provide valuable insight into how these two countries intend to use this technology to improve various sectors. Indeed, they have the potential to lead the global AI race due to strong government support, increased investments, and a growing pool of talent.

The UAE government launched its AI strategy in 2017, intending to make the country a global leader in AI by 2031. It also plans to establish the world’s first AI university, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. Saudi Arabia has prioritised AI in its vision plan and has established the Saudi Data and Artificial intelligence Authority (SDAIA) to lead its AI efforts.

Recognising the technological curve in the evolving landscape, both countries aim to leverage AI to drive economic growth and diversification. They plan to attract investments, create new job opportunities, and enhance the competitiveness of their economies through AI.

With a focus on creating hubs for AI startups, accelerators, and incubators, they plan to collaborate with leading international AI organisations to exchange knowledge and expertise.

While the UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading the way in AI development and have started reaping the benefits of its deployment, their regional counterparts are embracing digitisation at a rapid pace to keep up. They’ve recognised the importance of responsible AI development and have therefore implemented data privacy, security, and ethics guidelines.

The increasing focus on AI in the region presents an opportunity for countries like Egypt and Oman to collaborate and share resources, knowledge, and expertise to accelerate regional AI development. Overall, I’m thrilled about the interest shown by the Middle East region and foresee significant additional investments in talent development, infrastructure, and public-private partnerships to promote AI.

Ramprakash Ramamoorthy is the director of AI research at ManageEngine

Read: UAE ranks first in Arab world for AI adoption

You might also like


Scroll To Top