Digital value creation continues to gain momentum as a strategic imperative for companies around the globe. BCG’s annual Bionic Digital Acceleration Index (DAI) study monitors the digital maturity of companies around their work, and elements driving top performers being Bionic pioneers with a high level of value creation from digital maturity. The 2021 global study included more than 270 Middle Eastern companies across 10 sectors, and the latest finding about progress, impact and drivers of digital value creation are highlighted below.
The Digital maturity of ME companies has advanced across virtually all sectors despite – or perhaps in part because of – the pandemic. Financial Services made the most dramatic progress and is now tied with Telecommunications as the leader in digital maturity. Large companies scored significantly ahead of SMEs in most sectors, with only Energy showing comparable scores between segments.
Global BCG research has identified four bionic accelerators – characteristics strongly associated with advanced digital maturity and higher performance:
The Middle East DAI results for each of these accelerators showed important distinctions between bionic leaders / large companies and SMEs. Large companies and bionic companies invest in human capabilities significantly more than SMEs. They also scored 1.5-2.5x higher on the percentage of FTEs in digital roles, near-term FTE growth ambitions, and plans to upskill digital capabilities.
Both large companies and bionic companies prioritize automating and augmenting processes to drive revenue growth and cost savings. Augmenting humans and technology involves a high level of process automation. But it goes further, leveraging good design and AI capabilities to optimize both operations and customer experience.
Large companies are nearly 3x more likely than SMEs to position AI at the core of their digital transformations. This includes embedding AI across many organizational processes and rolling out industry-leading AI solutions. By proactively building AI capabilities, bionic companies are better able to exploit its value.
SMEs underinvest in Data & AI compared to large companies, and they recognize this shortfall. As data strategy and governance, AI, and digital and data platforms all yield superior ROI, this presents an opportunity and rationale for SMEs to close the gap.
Digitization is a powerful global trend, gaining momentum every day. Our technological capabilities are increasing exponentially. Consumers have come to expect the personalized service and convenience that only digitally enabled businesses can provide. As part of this study, we have identified three important next steps companies should take to increase digital contribution to their value creation.
Middle East companies are increasingly embracing digitalization across all sectors and adopting the four identified value accelerators- they must continue to do so even more foundationally, to realise the benefits seen by Bionic leaders.