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A survey of IT leaders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) revealed that 77% feel their current IT setup is ready to incorporate the needs of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The UAE is experiencing a broad acceptance of AI across various sectors, as reported by the 2023 Global Tech Trends Survey from Equinix. These results put the UAE ahead in AI readiness compared to the global average of 58% and 51% for IT leaders in the EMEA region.
The survey was undertaken to assess how IT decision-makers are handling AI advancements in their entities. The backdrop for the survey was a year of considerable AI innovations that have been quickly adopted in various applications spanning both the B2B and B2C sectors.
Kaladhar Voruganti, Senior Technologist at Equinix, made a case for the increasing importance of AI in businesses. It was mentioned that AI is becoming vital in creating smart and self-governing systems that run a modern company. Voruganti stressed the risk of falling behind for those failing to fully exploit AI.
Data gathered from 2,900 IT decision-makers globally by Equinix indicated that AI adoption is growing across all sectors. A whopping 85% of participants globally are either currently using AI or planning to integrate it in various critical operations. The UAE shows a strong inclination towards AI usage, particularly in IT operations (97%), followed closely by cybersecurity (95%), and sales (95%).
Voruganti also discussed the prerequisites for successful AI model development. It was emphasized that high-speed and secure access to internal and external data sources, distributed across multiple clouds and data brokers, is essential. The Senior Technologist highlighted the shift towards data generation at the edge, hence, the need for AI processing to be performed at the edge for performance, privacy, and cost efficiency. To satisfy these requirements, tech leaders might implement hybrid solutions that allow AI model training and inference to take place at different locations.
Kamel Al-Tawil, Managing Director, Equinix MENA, pointed out that UAE businesses display a greater level of comfort with growing AI usage compared to global averages. Al-Tawil attributed this outcome to the UAE’s forward-thinking leadership which had launched its Artificial Intelligence Strategy back in 2017.
Equinix’s AI strategy aims to allow customers to exploit AI’s potential fully, using its predictive and analytical capabilities to drive innovation, improve end-user experiences, and optimize operations.
The survey highlighted that 49% of IT leaders in the EMEA region expressed uncertainty about their infrastructure’s ability to cater to AI’s needs. This figure is higher compared to those in Asia-Pacific (44%) and the Americas (32%).
The survey also brought attention to the importance of education and collaboration to allow IT teams to optimize the deployment of infrastructure effectively. Around 52% of participants expanding their IT teams were seeking expertise in AI and machine learning.
A complete version of the report is accessible here.