Office workers in the United Arab Emirates are increasingly looking to mobile communications solutions to collaborate and communicate more efficiently, according to a research commissioned by Avaya, a global provider of business communications software and IT solutions.
Fifty-five per cent of employees would prioritise a calling-and-data package on their mobile, while mobile access to e-mail is more desirable than internal calling and voicemail access, according to the Technology@Work Report, conducted by polling company YouGov.
The new report is a quantitative study based on online interviews with respondents aged 21 and older who are currently employed. It surveyed over 500 employees in the UAE and more than 3,000 in UK, UAE, Singapore, Australia, Saudi Arabia and France between January and February 2017, Avaya said in a press release posted Wednesday on its website.
That compares to just 37 per cent who expressed a desire for internal calls and voicemail access – the same number that wanted remote access to file servers and databases.
Examining the benefits of a technology-assisted work environment, the ability to be more productive was the most cited benefit by UAE employees, with 58 per cent believing this to be the case.
UAE workers are also pioneers in video conferencing, being more likely than the global average to use video to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers, the report said.
The report comes as unprecedented efforts are being made by the UAE government and private sector to facilitate digital transformation programs that benefit citizens and spur economic growth.
Digital transformation could generate US$16.9 billion in extra revenue each year for companies in the Middle East from 2017 to 2021, as well as $17.3 billion in annual cost savings and efficiency gains, according to PwC.
While most UAE employees were satisfied with the collaboration and communications solutions available to them, more than one in five said they didn’t have access to the right tools, with mobile packages and mobile access to e-mails again leading demand.
Almost half, 44 per cent of respondents, said that their ideal technology environment would build communication and collaboration abilities into existing enterprise applications, such as a click-to-call facility in e-mail, or being able to join conference calls through their calendars.
The report revealed that employees are also willing to use collaboration solutions outside their IT departments’ control, with 59 per cent of UAE employees using WhatsApp or WeChat groups without management knowledge, exposing companies to security risks.
“Digital transformation’s key objective is speed and agility to an enterprise’s culture. This is a new perception of technology adoption; how to facilitate highly mobile, dynamic teams to collaborate with each other virtually and still deliver a closed meeting-room experience,” remarked Savio Tovar Diaz, the director of sales engineering at Avaya, Asia, MEA and Turkey.