What does 2020 have in store for Middle East public sector CIOs?

Government-sponsored initiatives are spurring innovation in blockchain, AI, 5G and IoT.

CIO | Middle East  > Collaboration / teamwork / meeting / planning / strategy
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In recent years, while European governments were dealing with austerity, those in the Middle East were heavily investing in technology. It was long thought that big IT investments would provide better public services, but investment alone isn’t always enough.

While the old e-government focus was about investing in technology to digitise public services using a traditional IT service model, this approach is slowly changing toward a more innovative, proactive strategy.

“Agile by design, collaborative innovation, citizen experience management – these are also things that governments in the Middle East are putting money and human resources into, as opposed to just technology development,” notes Arthur Mickoleit, senior principal analyst for Digital Government, Gartner. “There’s a desire to innovate and create new services for citizens and businesses.”

Driving this are national strategies and governmental programmes designed to boost the region’s economy as well as introduce online services and enhance existing ones. The focus is now on digital transformation – using technologies including blockchain, 5G, cloud and AI to fundamentally change public sector services with the aim of improving citizen engagement and inclusion as well as productivity.

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