Top 5 Tech Trends for Mena Businesses in 2022 – News

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The region has yet to explore emerging technologies that can generate better results.



Reuters

By Ali Shabdar

Published: Tue 1 Feb 2022, 23:41

As 2022 dawns, businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are reviewing their current strategies and setting new KPIs for next year that would help them maintain resilience in the face of pandemic-induced uncertainties .

The region has yet to explore many emerging technologies that could amplify their efforts and help achieve better results.

Here are five global technology trends Mena businesses are expected to embrace this year:

1. Hyper-automation: Companies are doubling down on increasing efficiency to achieve various business goals faster than before. Hyper-automation helps create competitive advantage. Robotic process automation (RPA) is traditionally known for automating simple and repetitive business processes. However, by pairing it with technologies like AI and machine learning, companies can achieve hyper-automation. It is a much more advanced approach to verifying and automating every aspect of a business process. With the right hyper-automation framework in place, organizations can expect higher ROI and optimized business processes.

2. Low-code application development (LCAD): Low-code platforms are the best choice for rapidly developing and deploying sophisticated business applications and digital solutions. They are cost effective and can be used even by those who have not learned programming as they use a simple drag and drop interface. The Mena region has yet to exploit the full potential of LCAD. Hopefully in the new year we will see more businesses in the region jump on the low-code bandwagon. Low-code platforms are also essential tools that can help businesses achieve hyper-automation and achieve greater efficiency.

3. Cybersecurity – the rise of passwordless authentication: The Mena region has had its share of increasing cybersecurity attacks since the start of the pandemic. This remains an existing challenge, given that remote working is still on the rise with the new Omicron variant requiring employees to stay at home, or companies moving towards a hybrid workplace model. Remote work poses a big threat for many reasons, including unsecured home networks, the use of personal devices to access the business, and irregular patch cycles. This creates security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Cloud-based solution providers are turning to passwordless authentication. Access features such as multi-factor authentication, such as one-time password (OTP), time-based one-time password (TOTP), QR code scanning, push notifications and touch IDcan can provide maximum security protection.

4. Privacy-focused approach: Over the past few years, the number of third-party online tracking apps that monitor users’ online activities has grown at an unprecedented rate. A recent survey published by Zoho on the current state of data privacy in Mena showed that 78% of companies in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt use third-party trackers. Although this is common practice, the methods of data collection and use by third-party trackers are still debatable. Only a few tech companies have started to take a stand against it. Examples of this include Apple’s iOS app tracking transparency feature and more. As consumers become more privacy-conscious, companies should develop a privacy-first approach, giving their consumers more control over what data will be collected and how it may be used.

5. Business Intelligence: Agility becomes imperative in times of uncertainty, and agility requires quick decision-making. For this, it is necessary that decision makers have a complete and real-time view of all business operations. This is where business intelligence comes in. BI applications, especially those that can pull data from multiple applications from different vendors, and offer out-of-the-box reports that aid in decision-making fast and help organizations be more agile. BI applications that provide AI and ML capabilities will further improve efficiency, as business users won’t have to struggle to create reports to make sense of the data. They can simply use the AI ​​interface to ask questions like, “What are my top selling products?” and ask the AI ​​bot to respond by displaying the sales chart for the top selling items.

New technologies can be essential for business planning, operations management, streamlining processes and understanding the market. It is important to have a clear idea of ​​your company’s business needs before deciding which software best suits your needs. Investing in the right tool will help you reap long-term benefits.

Ali Shabdar is Regional Director, MEA at Zoho Corp.

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