With proper implementation, digital leapfrogging could add $95 billion to the Middle East’s annual GDP by 2020, according to McKinsey & Company’s regional head.
The international consultancy has been researching into how digital leapfrogging has the potential to be a huge opportunity for the MENA region. Tarek Elmasry, managing director for the Middle East at Mckinsey & Company, said the three traits that make the Middle East’s population unique are that they’re connected, unemployed, and educated. “There might be a billion such people globally by 2030,” he said. “If we can create the right environment to support digital development and entrepreneurialism, this would have many benefits, such as economic growth and higher productivity.”
Not only will technology impact the private sector, Elmasry added, but it will also make waves by impacting humanitarian systems being used throughout the region. For this reason, it’s essential the correct policy framework is created to encourage digital innovation and digital venture capitalist funding that will promote the development of domestic technological players.
“The networked world is dynamic and unpredictable. Future-proofing our businesses will be key,” he said. “In 1935, the half-life of a S&P 500 company was 90 years. Today, it’s nine. Change will mostly come from being able to reinvent business models and thinking about digital as not just a function in your organizations but as something that pervades all activities.”