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Deloitte Middle East Point of View: Machine learning in media, blockchain and data analytics

The Fall 2018 issue of the Middle East Point of View magazine puts technology in the spotlight, with topics such as machine learning in media, blockchain and data analytics in focus.

“Machine learning (ML) paves the way to becoming a game changer in the global economy,” wrote Emmanuel Durou, Partner, Telecommunications, Media and Technology Leader, and Gaurav Govil, Director, Consulting, in Rise of the creative robot: Machine Learning in Media. They added that they expect the media sector to accelerate its investment in ML solutions to become part of this technological disruption.

“In a regional sector that has been battling with commercial viability issues for years, ML could play a critical role to help broadcasters engage better with viewers, optimize their ad revenues and streamline their costs,” say the authors.

In Tom Bullock’s article on value creations, and Nipun Srivastava’s article on blockchain, the message is the same: Technology is ubiquitous, embrace it or risk being left behind.

“There is a general trend of a decrease in business value in the Middle East market, presenting management and business owners with an opportunity to challenge the current norms. Strong data analytics combined with an action plan focused on value creation can enhance business value through a range of situations, whether in support of a proposed transaction, a transformation program, or to capitalize on a turnaround opportunity,” explains Bullock, Assistant Director, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East.

“From Australia to Canada via Dubai, governments and regulators have launched blockchain initiatives to enhance understanding, set standards and promote its use to achieve a vision where multilateral agencies interact with each other in a safe and secure environment, to facilitate seamless economic transactions for the benefits of their citizens. However, blockchain’s ability to enhance how service providers interact with their customers will depend on robust, comprehensive regulatory frameworks to support the blockchain ecosystem,” explains Srivastava.

Maya Rafii, HR Director and Hiba Said, Senior HR Manager, Deloitte Middle East highlight how technology has affected human resources in their article Walk the talk: What “good” looks like.

“Organizations now have a matrix structure with dispersed virtual teams, a flat hierarchy and a continuous need to shift team structures. These organizations also present different work models with smart technology solutions,” they explain.

Uthman Al-Basri, Assistant Director, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East,  looks at the banking sector in the Middle East region and drivers for consolidation, in his article Banking-the case for consolidation.

“Tighter liquidity, increased competition and other market forces, including digitization are spurring the need for consolidation,” he says.

Ayad Mirza, Deloitte Iraq Managing Partner, and Bahaa Arnouk, Senior Audit Manager, take a closer look at Iraq, in their article Call me PPM: Iraq, a prominent potential market.

“It is evident that the focus of the current and future governments in Iraq will be on infrastructure projects and the urgent need for new housing, roads and bridges, and power water and sewage plants. The geopolitical scene is Iraq is changing, and the coming months could represent a turning point for perspective businesses and investors wishing to participate in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq,” they say.

In his article on growth, Dr Louis Hobeika, Professor of Economics at NDU Lebanon and editor of the Deloitte MENA Brief, asks the question: Do markets know best?

“Strong growth cannot happen again without public investment in education, research and technological change. Businesses should also think outside the box”, he says.

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