Adopting artificial intelligence technology could boost GCC economies by $150 billion, which is equivalent to about 9% of their combined GDP, according to a recent report by McKinsey.
The State of AI in GCC Countries report suggested that the estimate might be exceeded as the industry experiences rapid advancements, such as generative AI.
The report reveals that 62% of survey respondents in the GCC region use an AI-powered solution for at least one business function – the highest globally. This is compared with 59% in North America, 49% in Europe, and 55% in the Asia-Pacific region.
The highest adoption rate is in the retail and consumer goods sector (75%), followed by professional services (62%) and the energy and material sector (60%).
Different factors are affecting the speed of adoption in various sectors, it said. Retail companies, which have the fastest AI adopters in the survey, have a vast amount of consumer insights and data. Interviewees suggest that retail companies are using the same data to deploy AI tech.
It also found that the majority of AI usage is for marketing and sales services (34%), improving service operations (29%), and supply chain management (21%).
“With the rapid pace of technological innovation, AI has emerged as a transformative force, reshaping industries and societies,” said Vinay Chandran, Partner at McKinsey. “We believe it has the potential to deliver huge value in the Middle East’s GCC countries.”
The firm conducted an online survey in collaboration with the GCC Board Directors Institute, involving 119 senior executives and board directors from six GCC countries across various industries. The industries included retail, professional services, energy, capital projects, and financial services.
The survey indicates that companies currently utilizing AI have only just begun unraveling the opportunities of AI tech. It noted how only a few companies are using more advanced machine learning analytics and AI models.
It also suggests how companies overcome hurdles delaying AI adoption, such as aligning their AI strategy with enterprise goals, fostering AI talent, treating data as a product, and implementing effective change management programs.
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