Complex Made Simple

Global digital transformation economy will cross $2trn in 2019

Attendees at the 37th GITEX Technology Week, to be held from October 8 to 12, 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, can experience how converging technologies and disruptive business models will solve problems in daily lives and businesses.

On display will be life-transforming innovations, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and virtual reality (VR).

Tech investments 

The technology investment market opportunity is strong, as evidenced by the digital transformation economy’s growth projection of 60 per cent from its value in 2016 to reach $2.2 trillion (AED8trn) by 2019, according to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC), a global provider of market intelligence.

Innovations such as AI, AR (augmented reality) and VR, and digital platforms such as 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), will make the biggest business impact, according to research firm Gartner.

Gitex highlights

The major emphasis this year will be on how emerging technologies can solve practical problems –for example, how autonomous vehicles can ease traffic, how AI can enable predictive government services and how VR can enhance surgery and education.

Middle East digital

Public cloud computing, which has reached $70 billion worldwide, and global data growing at 50 per cent CAGR since 2010, are unlocking new business opportunities in the IoT era, according to a recent report by Accenture.

In particular, UAE consumers out-pace the global average in favouring AI, with 73 per cent interested in using such technology on mobile devices, Accenture revealed.

“Governments and businesses can harness the power of digital and use digital technologies to multiply new sources of value and growth,” said Omar Boulos, Regional Managing Director, Accenture Middle East and North Africa.

Meanwhile, the Middle East public cloud spend will grow 22 per cent to top $1.2bn in 2017, reveals a recent Gartner report.


However, there are some challenges posed by this rapid growth as well. As the IoT connects more machines, applications and devices to the Internet, the cybersecurity risk is accelerating exponentially.

In response, public and private sector organisations are heavily investing in cybersecurity solutions, with worldwide IT security spending set to grow by seven per cent to reach $87bn in 2017, according to Gartner.

Smart cities

The global smart cities market set to grow nearly seven-fold to hit $3.5trn by 2026, according to Gartner.

The UAE’s Smart Dubai’s Smart Cities vision and mission is to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth.

For example, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) smart services aim to reduce the number of visitors to government offices by 80 per cent by 2018, while the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is currently testing an autonomous aerial taxi.

For more info, visit the expo’s website at