Data decision makers across UAE and KSA reveal their stance on GenAI

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Generative AI (GenAI) is here to stay. Organisations around the world are enthusiastically using and investing in the technology. A recent global study conducted by SAS and Coleman Parkes targeted data decision-makers across key regions, including the UAE and KSA.

The current state of the GenAI landscape in the UAE and KSA speaks to the untapped potential in the ongoing AI revolution – 2% have fully integrated GenAI into regular processes, while 48% are running initial tests for implementation which exceeds the global benchmark set at 43%. Another 34% intend to use GenAI within 1-2 years.

SAS and Coleman Parkes targeted 1,600 decision makers across global markets. Respondents work in a range of industries including banking, insurance, the public sector, life sciences, health care, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, energy and utilities, and professional services. The smallest organisations surveyed employed a workforce of 500 – 999 people, and the largest employed more than 10,000.

“While more organisations are beginning to embrace GenAI, it’s important to remember its true power lies not only in algorithms, but in the synergy between data-driven insights and human ingenuity.” said Alexander Tikhonov, Regional Director – SAS Middle East, Turkey and Africa

According to the research, companies in UAE and KSA believe that integrating GenAI into data analysis and operational processes will lead to:

  • Better predictive analytics accuracy: 67% believe GenAI integration will likely result in measurable improvements in predictive analytics accuracy.
  • Efficiency and cost savings: 62% anticipate substantial efficiency gains and cost savings from GenAI implementation.

The organisations that have adopted or are experimenting with GenAI integration into analytics processes have experienced meaningful benefits already. The most significant measurable outcomes include:

  • Vastly improved efficiency in processing large datasets: 84% report significant efficiency gains, enabling quicker and more accurate data analysis.
  • Enhanced risk management and compliance: 80% have bolstered their risk management and compliance efforts, ensuring better adherence to regulatory standards.
  • Improved employee experience: 80% noted enhanced employee satisfaction, driven by the intuitive and supportive nature of GenAI tools.

When it comes to departments inside organisations that use or intend to use GenAI, sales (85%), production (81%), and customer/field service (76%) rank at the top. IT, R&D, and finance all sit in fourth place (72% each), with marketing following suit (71%).

Organizations in the UAE and KSA also face several challenges in GenAI implementation and use. The most notable are:

  • Successful practical use of GenAI: 46% report challenges in transitioning GenAI from a conceptual phase to practical use.
  • Absence of tools: 46% say that there is a lack of appropriate tools for their business.
  • GenAI integration into existing systems and processes: 44% reveal they’re experiencing compatibility issues when trying to combine GenAI with their current systems.
  • Dataset issues: 44% face difficulties in utilizing both public and proprietary datasets effectively.
  • Cost prediction: 40% cite prohibitive direct and indirect costs associated with using LLMs. Model creators provide a token cost estimate (which organizations now realize is prohibitive). But the costs for private knowledge preparation, training and ModelOps management are lengthy and complex.

Although there are obstacles, some early adopters have experienced meaningful benefits already and 29% plan to enlist a third-party service to integrate and orchestrate GenAI for them. This will ultimately enable organizations across industries to outpace change and stay ahead of the curve in today’s dynamic tech landscape.

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