Posted on May 13, 2015

Telecom industry experts participating in the “Beyond Connectivity 2015” summit hosted by SAMENA Telecommunications Council in Doha yesterday called on economies in the Middle East region to embrace the digital revolution in order to achieve the next stage of economic growth and improve the living standards of citizens and residents.

The experts’ comments came during a panel discussion on the topic “Digital Transformation: A Long Journey that Needs to Start Now”, which sought to identify the way forward for regional economies in a world that is constantly being shaped by technology. The discussion was chaired by Osama Ghoul, Managing Partner of Devoteam, a leading ICT (Information & Communications Technology) service provider in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) region.

“Growing the economy is a primary objective of the countries in the Middle East. A major approach to do that is by increasing the productivity of their citizens, organizations and establishments. Increasing productivity has a major impact on citizens’ standard of living, especially if we consider that a small increase of 4% in productivity will double living standards every 17 years,” Ghoul said.

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He added, “In today’s world, digital technology is the single most important factor in enhancing productivity. Countries that adopted the digital agenda managed on average to enhance productivity by more than 40% over the last 5 years, which meant that their citizens are enjoying better living standards than other countries that did not adopt the digital agenda. It is clear therefore that one of the means to bridge the gap between regional economies and the economies of the developed countries is to embrace the digital revolution.”

Ghoul remarked that while the Middle East region is today witnessing several initiatives towards adopting the digital agenda, these remain largely in the envisioning stage. “We believe that the proof of the pudding will be in the execution and the associated change management culture that will embrace the use of the digital agenda for the benefit of people and communities,” he said. The “Beyond Connectivity 2015” summit was held at the Ritz Carlton West Bay Lagoon under the theme, “Meeting the Digital Agenda: “Maximizing Telcos’ Revenues through Harmonized Excellence”. The summit brought together senior decision-makers from the region’s leading telecom operators, technology providers and government and industry bodies.