Two-thirds of UAE, KSA firms say IIoT is critical to growth: study

Respondents cite increased operational performance, time savings and higher revenues

The survey reflects a strong and growing appetite to embrace digitalisation across UAE and Saudi Arabia, said Gilsdorf.
The survey reflects a strong and growing appetite to embrace digitalisation across UAE and Saudi Arabia, said Gilsdorf.

Two-thirds of medium-to-large organisations in the UAE (68%) and Saudi Arabia (66%) believe industrial internet of things (IIoT) technologies are critical to business operations, or will become critical in the next five years, a new report by Honeywell shows.

The report “IIoT Market Spotlight – UAE & Saudi Arabia” features insights from interviews with executives in UAE and Saudi Arabia to gauge their perceptions, degree of implementation and investment outlook on IIoT-enabled technologies and digitalization initiatives within their organizations.

Norm Gilsdorf, president for Honeywell, High Growth Regions, Middle East, Russia and Customs Union, commented, “Digitalisation initiatives and IIoT technologies are revolutionising the way companies across the Middle East operate, by connecting disparate systems across industrial operations to derive previously untapped information that can drive new growth.” 

“Our survey reflects a strong and growing appetite to embrace digitalisation across UAE and Saudi Arabia. Our customers are generating more data from increasingly connected operations, and are asking for technologies to aggregate this data and convert it into insights that drive profitability. Through the right combination of hardware, software, analytics and cybersecurity, these companies are poised to realise the gains Industry 4.0 has to offer,” added Gilsdorf.

Increasing the performance of operations was highlighted as a main benefit by survey respondents currently leveraging IIoT solutions in both countries (UAE 50% and Saudi Arabia 51%). Time savings came in second as a key benefit (UAE 48% and Saudi Arabia 50%) and increased revenues came third (UAE 28% and Saudi Arabia 38%).

Other findings include,

- Almost half of companies are already investing in IIoT today: In the UAE, 46% of decision-makers surveyed say their companies are already investing either moderately or heavily in IIoT, with 40% of organizations in Saudi Arabia reporting similar investment.

- A majority of companies surveyed plan to increase IIoT investments in the next five years: In the UAE, 72% of the decision-makers say their companies will increase investments in IIoT, with 64% of organisations in Saudi Arabia reporting a similar outlook.

- Cybersecurity will become more critical: Executives also report a growing appetite for investments in cybersecurity solutions in the next five years in both the UAE (75%) and Saudi Arabia (68%).

Fears over data security, budget issues and staff training are holding firms back: Data protection (39%) and a lack of funding (37%) are deemed to be the main challenges to IIoT adoption in the UAE. While a lack of digital culture (50%) and a lack of qualified staff and training (46%) are cited as key hurdles in Saudi Arabia. 

Honeywell has launched two innovation and knowledge-exchange hubs in the UAE in the past year. The company will also open a new training and knowledge-sharing hub for IIoT technologies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Honeywell also established the Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence in Dubai last year, a technology centre that tests and demonstrates process control network vulnerabilities and threats, trains regional customers with real-time attack simulations and provides customer consultations.

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