Op-Ed by Dr. Abdullah Sahyoun, AI and Digital Transformation Advisor, Seed Group
“Innovate or risk extinction!”
When His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said these words as an end to a powerful video message for the people of the UAE, he condensed what we all need to hear and remind ourselves of, time and again, in today’s highly volatile and ever-changing world. Be it a business or an individual, everyone is at risk of being left behind if they do not innovate and constantly upskill to match the demands.
No discussion about innovation is complete without a mention of digital transformation and artificial intelligence (AI) as a technology assisting in it. These two are quite the buzzword these days, but not as deeply understood as talked about. So, what exactly is digital transformation, and how did this term come into being?
Organisations undergo digital transformation when they adopt cutting-edge technologies and processes to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Adapting to changing customer expectations requires a multi-departmental approach to reimagine how a company uses its people, processes, and digital programs to generate new business and revenue – and that is what digital transformation is essentially. Hence, the terms AI, machine learning (ML), and robotics are just some of the tools that help carry out digital transformation, and hence the terms are often used with each other.
Dr. Abdullah Sahyoun, AI and Digital Transformation Advisor, Seed Group
Due to the perseverance of market competition, digital transformation has long been a priority for enterprises of all sizes, across virtually every industry. To facilitate the same, new systems have emerged every week as businesses realise the benefits of digital transformation and go as far as creating new jobs and management-level titles like Chief Digital Officer, Chief Data Officer, and Chief Data Analytics Officer, etc.
There are plenty of case studies that can prove that embracing digital transformation boosts companies’ revenue, productivity, and customer service. It is no longer a choice; it is an absolute necessity.
In today’s business world, however, many talk about it but few understand it. There is a need for businesses to understand that digital transformation needs to be woven into their very DNA if they want to reap optimal benefits.
The journey of the digital transformation of an organisation goes beyond providing employees with new technological gadgets. To milk the right gains, businesses need to make informed, faster decisions and better meet customer needs. Subsequently, for this to happen, a company’s culture needs to change to use data and technology. It is essential to adopt a mindset of continual innovation and enhancement throughout the process.
In this context, take the example of the recently launched Metaverse strategy in Dubai. The Emirate cemented its position as an AI and innovation leader by taking a concrete step in this direction.
However, this is just one aspect—there are many intricacies that need to be comprehended and considered, from the types of AI such as narrow AI, general AI, and artificial super intelligence, to cross-departmental aspects of Digital Transformation for taking the right decisions and choosing the right route to implement them.
With all this in the background, it is an undeniable fact that there are endless opportunities that digital transformation and AI have to offer. However, the most important question is whether your company is prepared to capitalise on it.
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