3 Ways Emerging Technology Is Key To Company Growth In 2023

November 12, 2023 | Agribusiness

Strengthening Customer Relationships Through Data-Driven Insights

After a prolonged period of economic ambiguity in 2023, business leaders are staring at the eye of uncertainty like never before. High inflation, rising interest rates, and recession fears pressure companies intensively. Thankfully, every challenge brings new opportunities.

Let's cut to the chase: strategic technology investments are the answer. With them, businesses can increase efficiency and reduce costs. They can strengthen customer relationships and enable faster decision-making. In fact, it will be vital not just to survive but to thrive in the coming years.

This article will explore practical ways technology consulting can guide companies to drive transformative growth. With an experienced IT consultant by your side, you can succeed even in the face of macroeconomic downturns. We've seen first-hand how emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, and automation can accelerate success.

Boosting Efficiency Through Intelligent Automation in the Middle East and Africa

One strategy to cut costs and maximize productivity is the buzzword of the century – automation. Automating repetitive, rules-based tasks gives your employees a chance to focus on value-adding initiatives. That is, projects that require a human touch.

Impressively, the RPA market will reach $66,079.34 billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 37.9% from 2022. Early adopters in MEA government and state-owned entities already use RPA to automate high-volume HR tasks, so why should your business lag behind? RPA is known to enable strategic human capital redeployment.

Additionally, AI and machine learning make automation more adaptable. For instance, self-learning algorithms optimize automated tasks as conditions change. The rise of Generative AI—artificial intelligence that can generate new content—has also been instrumental. This technology is creating initial drafts of reports, emails, and other documents at a faster rate than ever before.

Natural language processing allows chatbots to handle customer service for banks and telcos. And ML optimizes the supply chain and inventory for oil and gas. In fact, AI spending in Africa and the Middle East is projected to experience the highest growth globally, reaching $3bn (£2.4bn) this year and an estimated $6.4bn by 2026.

The right automation solutions let human employees focus on strategic priorities. This empowers companies to do more with less, which is sorely needed these days. That's why small and midsize enterprises also tap automation. With limited resources, MEA SMEs must optimize their operations. Automation helps them maximize efficiency and cut costs, giving them a competitive edge in the market.

Partnering with experienced information technology consultants is crucial for successful adoption. Consultants can assess opportunities, build business cases, implement RPA with change management, and continuously optimize the technology. With the right strategy, automation can drive major efficiency gains across the MEA region.

Next, gaining customer insights through data analytics helps businesses deliver superior experiences. With AI and ML, companies can derive value from customer data and use it to drive loyalty and retention.

Regional telecoms like Etisalat in the UAE use AI-powered customer analytics for personalized promotions and recommendations. AI algorithms analyze usage patterns and predict customer needs. It is just one of plenty of examples where MEA enterprises are innovating with data.

Major banks also implement AI chatbots and virtual assistants to improve customer service. Emirates NBD's chatbots were among the first in the region and now handle most routine customer queries, enabling human agents to focus on more complex issues. Note that these AIs learn from conversations to keep improving, making them more useful over time.

The importance of customer relationships in 2023

In 2023, customer relationships will be more important than ever before. That's because customers have become increasingly connected and vocal about their experiences with brands, especially on social media. This shift has made it vital for companies to prioritize strong relationship-building practices with their customers to stay competitive.

Data-driven insights provide a unique opportunity for them to truly understand their clients and personalize their experiences. From creating target personas to predicting customer needs of the future, AI and ML are transforming the way companies interact with their end-users.

One Saudi Arabian study illustrates this perfectly. It was conducted by Ibrahim Mutambik and published by the Department of Information Science, College of Humanities and Social Sciences at King Saud University. The research shows how customer experience in open banking affects customer loyalty.

Innovation is a key element in shaping the customer experience and building loyalty in the fintech sector. Fintech companies that utilize emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to continuously enhance their services are perceived by consumers as innovative 'thought leaders.' The ability to innovate gives companies a competitive edge, as they can offer unique, personalized products that closely align with evolving consumer needs. A reputation for innovation has a significant positive impact on the overall customer experience. Therefore, strategic investment in transformative technologies like AI is critical for fintech providers seeking to drive growth by improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

With help from IT consultants, SMEs can also tap into smart customer analytics. By identifying their most valuable customer segments and gaining insights into their needs, SMEs can enhance personalization to drive loyalty. The key is using data ethically so as not to alienate anybody. Ethical data use means being transparent with customers about what information is collected and how it is used. It gives them control over their data.

Enabling Faster Decisions through Data Management

We have one final tip to drive growth during the trying uncertainty that haunts us after the pandemic. MEA businesses need agile, data-driven decisions. Advances in data management technology enable this across the region. Let's take a step back and reinforce what agile means first. Agile business operations are able to pivot quickly, adapting effortlessly to changing market conditions. The bigger the organization, the harder it is to change course. Data management simplifies this process as it allows for real-time tracking and analysis of customer behaviors and market trends.

Master data management (MDM) systems integrate fragmented data into a "single source of truth." This provides accurate, consistent data for decision-makers to trust. Now more than ever, making decisions based on data will yield better results than those based on intuition alone.

MEA companies can break down data silos across global operations with this cutting-edge technology. With integrated customer data, airlines, hotels, and more can rapidly modify loyalty programs or offerings to match the constantly shifting demand.

Lastly, sophisticated analytics tools can uncover insights from big data. Big Data simply refers to the enormous volume of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data that organizations collect. At a certain point, it becomes too complex to analyze manually. However, companies identify trends in supply chains, operations, and market signals to guide decisions using machine learning.

Even the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is leveraging Big Data in a big way. As we know, it has embarked on an ambitious economic and social reform plan known as Vision 2030, which aims to reduce the Kingdom's dependence on oil revenues. A key part of Vision 2030 is digital transformation, including investments in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.

The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) was established to drive the growth of Saudi Arabia's data and AI sector. SDAIA is responsible for overseeing and enabling the Kingdom's adoption of these transformative technologies across industries. By leveraging AI and big data analytics, SDAIA supports Vision 2030 goals such as more efficient government services, a thriving private sector, and improved quality of life for Saudi citizens.

Riding the Waves of Change with Technology

We live in precarious times, where change is the only constant. Technology acts as the anchor, enabling companies to increase efficiency, reduce costs, deliver superior customer experiences, and enable faster data-driven decisions. Automation, AI, advanced analytics, and other emerging technologies allow organizations to optimize operations and drive growth even in turbulent conditions.

By partnering with experienced IT consultants, companies can develop strategies to leverage these solutions most effectively. Consultants can identify high-impact use cases, build business cases, implement solutions like RPA with proper change management, and provide ongoing optimization. Plus, they have deep domain expertise, which helps them understand industry-specific challenges and opportunities.

Organizations that thoughtfully embrace technology will gain resilience and a competitive edge. They will be positioned to successfully ride the waves of change.

At Ollen Group, we specialize in unlocking efficiency, gaining insights, and fostering agility across organizations in the Middle East and Africa.

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