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12 March 2015

Innovation Day #2 Focuses on Big Data

As the Middle East’s public sector is one of the largest producers of Big Data, government agencies need to train staff in Big Data analytics to deliver enhanced citizen services, industry experts announced today.
In the Internet of Things era, global cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will grow from 195 million in 2013 to nearly one billion by 2020, according to GSMA Intelligence. Booz &co predicts the Middle East and North Africa’s M2M market will grow from USD 7.9 billion in 2014 to USD 9.0 billion in 2015.
As a result, 81 percent of top managers in global government agencies agree that Big Data is crucial to meeting their mission, according to a survey by SAP and Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services. In response, agencies need to overcome challenges in training staff, processing data, and agency culture.
“Given the high levels of production and consumption of Big Data in the Middle East’s public sector, government agencies are well positioned to leverage this data to make more informed decisions to drive enhanced services, reduction in costs, and improvements in the well-being of citizens,” Irfan Khan, Chief Technology Officer, SAP GCO, told delegates at the second “Innovation Days” event hosted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government and SAP.
“By using cloud-based solutions, governments can more quickly overcome the three V’s of Big Data – volume, variety, and velocity – to achieve greater agility, efficiency, and productivity,” added Irfan Khan.
Illustrating the need to train public sector workers on technology skills, demand for analytics skills are set to grow by 88 percent and cloud skills 160 percent over the next three years in the UAE, according to the Oxford Economics and SAP study “Workforce 2020”.
“By working with the private sector and start-ups, Middle East governments are at the forefront of using Big Data to transform government services delivery. But to transform Big Data into actionable insights, agencies need the IT infrastructure and analytical tools to crunch Big Data, and train the right staff and innovate agency culture,” said Ghazi Atallah, Managing Director, neXgen Advisory Group.
Supporting government transformation, SAP’s recently-launched SAP S/4 HANA combines Big Data, predictive analytics, and text search to empower users to access information, adapt to changing conditions, predict outcomes, and make better decisions.
“Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government’s strategic partnership with SAP has proven highly fruitful. Our collaborations have successfully taken public service governance to the next level on the technological front,” said His Excellency Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government.
“In line with the vision of Dubai’s leadership, we are committed to finding best in class solutions that support the development of our emirate and nation. We at MBRSG are keen to establish a knowledge platform that engages public and private sectors and provides technical support that enhances the delivery of quality government services. Towards this priority, we aim to continue strengthening the public administration domain with productive research and dialogue through initiatives such as the Innovation Days,” he added.
The Innovation Days series features global thought leaders tackling topics such as the growing importance of mobility, cloud, mobile apps, big data, social media, and business analytics.
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