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'Digitise or die the only options for companies in Oman'
January 23, 2018 | 10:33 PM
by Syed Haitham Hasan / [email protected]
Nearly three quarters of the population in Oman has access to the internet, and there is a growing population of technology savvy youth. Photo-File
 
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Muscat: From financial services to media, digital technology will revolutionise the way companies in Oman operate, and failing to adopt these technologies may render their operations out-dated.

Nearly three quarters of the population in Oman has access to the internet, and there is a growing population of technology savvy youth. Both these factors are expected to give rise to digital customer service platforms, where consumers are likely to complete most transactions with a touch on a phone, according to Erwan Colder, transaction services partner and private equity leader at advisory firm PwC.

Erwan Colder, transaction services partner and private equity leader at PwC.


“Digitising the manual work process is going to be a must-have to make a company future-ready. Companies can’t not digitise in the future, considering the shift towards technology and efficiency,” Colder said, detailing PwC’s findings from its latest study on “Digitisation: The revolution transforming private equity.”


Middle Eastern companies are expected to save more than US$17 billion over the next five years, thanks to digital transformation. The firms are expected to receive another $17 billion in revenue, once again thanks to businesses going digital, according to PwC’s report titled “Industry 4.0” that discusses the fourth industrial revolution triggered by digitisation.

“Digital transformation can have several upsides. First, companies can increase their revenues and protect margins.

“This allows them to reduce operational costs followed by increasing their footprint in the business, as they can appeal to a wider audience, making use of the high penetration,” Colder added.

Companies around the world, including large media houses, financial institutions, and retail companies are providing their products and services through a digital platform, thanks to a shift in consumer behaviour.

Although government institutions and banks in Oman have allowed consumers to transact digitally, such as through e-visa services and Bank Muscat’s e-wallet, most private firms in Oman are miles away from either changing their manual processes into automated ones or setting up digital platforms for their customers.

Colder explained that there was no single right way to embrace digital transactions or to adopt new technologies, as the extent of digitising portfolios must be based on the current needs of the company and on global industry standards.

Moreover, he noted, although technology is central to digital transformation, companies need to first identify a strategy on what they want and how they want it, and then determine the best process of implementing it.

“Implementing technology without the right plan and management does not guarantee success. Having a digital strategy is essential for ‘future proofing’ a company that wants to retain market share and stay ahead of the competition. Those who are nimble will reap the benefits of the value to be created through digitisation,” Colder stressed.

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