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DUBAI: 72% of GCC Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and CTOs (CTOs) say investments in digital transformation are key to their success in 2022, according to a new survey from Rimini Street, a global provider of business software products and services.

The findings are part of the company’s latest report: “IT Spending Habits of Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC) States: The 2022 IT Buyer Sentiment Survey.”

The survey found that 52% of CIOs and CTOs expect a return on investment within one to two years, indicating the need for rapid change. Still, 76% said up to half of their licensed enterprise software applications are unused.

“The GCC’s results are very similar to a global study we conducted in early 2020 with CFOs (CFOs), who also say that investments in digital transformation are critical to their success,” said declared Emmanuelle Hose, vice-president of the group and general of the theater. Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at Rimini Street.

The study suggests that there are doubts about “the cloud and its ability to provide a smooth transition,” meaning that the biggest question facing CIOs and CTOs at GCC is “What is the best way to achieve modernization? She added.

Across the region, 15% of those surveyed said digital transformation was their top priority over other business issues. This number varies across the region, with Oman (23%) and Saudi Arabia (22%) showing the highest propensity to rank digital transformation as the top priority, followed by Bahrain (18%), the United Arab Emirates (13%). %), Qatar (8 percent) and Kuwait (4 percent).

CIOs and CTOs across the region, the company said, want innovation to be the number one priority in IT security and privacy initiatives, followed by disruptive next-generation technology initiatives, management risk and compliance; and revenue-generating technology initiatives.

The challenge is to choose a strategy that allows them to move with agility, innovating in the areas that prove to be the most effective. For example, the survey highlighted the concerns of managers about losing their existing application customizations during any IT upgrade.

Additionally, GCC CIOs and CTOs are not completely satisfied with existing suppliers. Twenty-seven percent said one of their biggest challenges with their enterprise application vendor was the lack of support for customizations, and 26 percent complained that they didn’t have access to an engineer. experimented.

The top three challenges in supporting software vendors were having to explain the same issues multiple times (41%), high costs (39%), and lack of responsiveness and ownership (39%).

“We appreciate that most businesses want and need to customize their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for performance and differentiation, but often lack the proper support from the software vendor, who doesn’t. ‘Typically not include customization assistance in standard maintenance programs,’ said Taher Haj-Yousef, regional director for the Middle East at Rimini Street.

This forces clients to hire expensive external consultants or dedicate internal resources, but by moving to third-party support, “clients alleviate these challenges and avoid very disruptive changes,” Haj-Yousef added.