Middle East digital transformation

Digital transformation in the Middle East

Digital technologies always aim for better systematic and organizational decisions with actual live data, connectivity, and processes in ways that have been identified. Digitization and digitalization are closely connected with digital transformation; each term has meaning and application.

It transforms products and services into digital format. The process also combines the technical, social, and organizational context, which the organization creates services and products through digital technologies. Digital innovation provides alternative ways of establishing new organizing and driving organizational changes. Organizations might face dual transformation, which means doing two things simultaneously to maintain their current process and efficiency. It also transforms the current structure to keep up with new digital technologies and offer new services and products.


Digital transformation can benefit societies and sustainably restructure the country’s economic situation with new technologies. These new possibilities open the market for new entrants, deliver high-quality products or services to new customers, and enhance the organization profitability. The takeaway is that more than digitization or digitalization is needed to stay competitive. It should use the proper approach to digital transformation, this means the organization must adapt to rapid changes in new digital innovations.

It requires considerable investment and capabilities, only organizations that operate on a national level have the opportunity to expand and reach international customers. Digital transformation is the main driver for innovation and can be seen in times of internationalization; many initiatives are essential for discovering changes to business operations, services, and products.

It helps decision-making in connected systems through data exchange and analytics, taking actions, and their consequences. Digitalization is not only about information and communication technology (ICT); this implies that possibilities created through new technology are the core issues of digital transformation, referring to the point of advancements in production technology to increase productivity, reduce communication cost, increase speed, and reach. The current development of digital transformation is fast and continues further recently as these changes are considered ongoing. Digital transformation looks more at strategic than technological advantages. 

There are four dimensions of digital transformation strategy; digital technologies, value creation, structural changes, and finance, regardless of business size or scale. This strategy can be easily combined with a framework of five pillars: engaged workforce, supplier collaboration, business networks, core business processes, assets and the internet of things, and customer experience. Others suggest four approaches to developing a digital transformation strategy: digital awareness, requirement, collaboration, and digitalization. To implement digital transformation, structural changes are required. Understanding the logic of digital transformation affects the overall business.

The ambitious yet achievable long-term blueprint of the Saudi Vision 2030 is based on three key pillars: a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. The second pillar in particular a thriving economy, coupled with rewarding opportunities aims to stimulate the economy and diversify revenues, which also underscores SMEs as an important agent of economic growth that creates jobs, supports innovation, and boosts exports. The Saudi Vision 2030 pledges to raise the contribution of SMEs to Saudi Arabia’s GDP from 20% to 35% by 2030.

Business models and operations

Creating a new strategy is the next step; digital transformation frameworks as a necessary step for the decision makers a starting point and offer a list of what needs to be done and their sequence. The structures and processes of digital transformation have changed in recent years; thus, the frameworks require more attention as they include crucial assets, operational backbone, shared customer insights, accountability framework, and digital platform. Accelerating digital transformation projects must manage and maintain security throughout the technology operating simultaneously with the right people. The above framework is aiding organizations to deliver new digital services and products; the organizations need two technology assets: an operational backbone and a digital services platform. The assets required to deliver the attributes for digital transformation; are efficiency, reliability, speed, and agility. The operational backbone supports efficiency and operational excellence, while the digital services support business agility and innovation. Digital transformation is closely connected with business models and value propositions since both are the most of the digital transformation process; in other words, digital transformation is changing the traditional business models and operations innovation. Organizations with digital business models benefit from value propositions and are more customer-centric. 

The business models are focused on customers and strategy, while value creation includes resources and capabilities. One of the more popular options for business modeling is a business model canvas (BMC). The business model canvas (BMC) consists of many aspects; key partners, key activities, value proposition, customer relationship, customer segmentation, essential resources, channels, cost structure, and revenue stream and is divided into several types: joint ventures, strategic alliances, competition, the usual buyer, and supplier partnership.

The value proposition canvas with the business model canvas can help businesses to have a complete view of all value propositions. The business model is essential to digital transformation and can be adjusted according to business needs. Multiple business strategies could affect the digital transformation strategy; they can be easily integrated with the current business strategy. The digital business models focus on value and restructuring the business environment. 

The digital transformation roadmap starts from digital reality, digital ambition, digital potential, and digital fit to digital implementation. In the final digital implementation phase, a new business model is implemented with the customer experience and the value network with the integration of partners. Digital transformation sustainability consists of three pillars; economic, environmental, and social to reach financial success and prosperity for society.

The sustainability business model combines topics such as environmental sustainability or sustainable development to create societal systems. Business models provide a way to address specific aspects of business issues in many different ways to deal with it, which can be summarized as technological innovation, organizational innovation, and social innovation. The new concept business model for sustainability helps the organization sustainable value proposition to the customers and delivers the current economic value of managing organizational boundaries and structure. The innovation business models are moving to reduce negative impacts and improve competitive advantage in society. Cross-functional business models can lead to economic and ecological success. Many barriers can arise for a broader society which is the early adopter of innovations and collaboration from a business perspective. Innovation within the business models is the vital potential driver for more enhanced processes and relates to disrupted incumbent business models.

digital transformation middle east

Action plan

The action plan represents the necessary action that organizations must take from the digital transformation point of view, including; employee, strategy, culture, company, customer, and technology. The figure below is a live demonstration of the digital transformation action plan:  

One of the critical successes of digital transformation is employee adaptation; organizations need to offer their employees upskilling programs or specialized training based on their business needs, followed by a strategy with recent technology and efficient resources. The organizations and culture must be united to form a good bond for better productivity. The customer role is vital for any organization, and lastly, technology can be done through new technology and IT systems.