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CEOs Prioritize AI Adoption as Productivity Takes Center Stage on Their Agendas

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A recent global survey conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value, analyzing 120 CEOs in the Middle East, unveils that leaders throughout the region have identified enhanced productivity and improved customer experience as their foremost objectives in the upcoming triennium.

Offering comprehensive insights into the viewpoints and stances of CEOs from across the globe, the annual CEO study, titled “CEO decision-making in the age of AI: Act with intention,” disclosed that 50% of the CEOs surveyed in the region anticipate ongoing regulatory factors to wield substantial influence on Middle Eastern organizations. Additionally, 48% pinpoint technology factors as pivotal in shaping the future trajectories of their respective entities.

In an era characterized by rapid digital advancement transforming both local and global economies, Middle East CEOs are optimistic about reaping substantial benefits from advanced AI solutions. A notable 61% of respondents are confident that AI, encompassing generative AI, deep learning, and machine learning, will yield tangible outcomes in the years to come. Meanwhile, 55% of CEOs consider cloud computing a critical tool for achieving positive results, and 51% believe automation will be instrumental in driving success.

Furthermore, the newly issued report outlines the spectrum of challenges that Middle East CEOs anticipate. According to the study, 47% of executives in the region identify environmental sustainability as the foremost challenge in the forthcoming years, while 28% underscore the significance of addressing diversity and inclusion. Market share growth is also deemed a top challenge for the next three years by 28% of respondents, as per the survey findings.

Significantly, Middle East-based CEOs are increasingly recognizing the impact of technology on their prospects, leading to a growing reliance on technology and data leaders as strategic decision-makers. Furthermore, nearly three-quarters (73%) of surveyed CEOs consider Chief Operations Officers pivotal in their strategic decision-making processes. Meanwhile, 48% regard Chief Financial Officers as essential in guiding strategy, and 32% indicate that Chief Information Officers will steer their businesses’ and organizations’ strategic directions.

Saad Toma, General Manager of IBM Middle East and Africa, commented, “Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize productivity, efficiency, and service quality across various industries, removing obstacles to AI adoption. To effectively implement emerging generative AI use cases on a large scale, CEOs must assess their companies’ requirements in domains such as CRM, HR, modernization, data privacy, security, and sustainability.”

The emergence of generative AI as a pivotal business and decision-making tool marks a critical juncture. CEOs must formulate clear plans, establish the requisite capabilities, and navigate disruptions of all kinds without losing sight of their strategic visions, thereby achieving their goals and securing their futures.

Prarthana Mary

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