AI regulation is top of mind for UAE businesses, new research reveals


Alteryx, Inc., the Analytics Cloud Platform company, released findings from new independent research revealing the key AI plays that will shape enterprises of the future. The research, titled Defining the Enterprise of the Future, uses data from 2800 IT and business decision-makers globally to draw the three-year roadmap for how enterprises will operate in an era of AI-delivered intelligence.

Innovation and regulation play an equal role in shaping the future enterprise

Innovation is naturally playing a key role in shaping the future enterprise. Nearly two-thirds (59%) of UAE business leaders say their investment in advanced technology will increase. Eight in ten (82%) say that AI is already impacting what their organisation can achieve, while 45% state they will invest in advanced technologies such as AI to respond to the changing market environment.

AI is clearly making its way across the enterprise, with 49% of respondents expecting that the use of AI will be pervasive across all sectors and business functions. Yet, this has raised some important ethical considerations around data privacy (47%), transparency (40%) and data governance (36%), which has shifted the narrative around regulation – moving from being a dirty word to becoming a hot topic for businesses. Most UAE business leaders (87%) believe that regulations and standards around AI usage – including generative AI – should be developed within their sector as it transforms the business landscape. Nearly nine in ten (93%) believe that such policies would help businesses implement AI responsibly, and half (50%) worry about the possibility of legal and ethical consequences from not having an ethical AI framework in place. 

AI is shaping the key skill sets of the future enterprise 

Despite concerns around regulation, AI is significantly impacting the key skill sets of the future enterprise. While most businesses envision an AI-driven future for the enterprise, 35% are most excited about AI Automation in data analysis, 29% advancements in AI and ML, and 27% the increased data volume and variety as helping to achieve this.

To be prepared for this increasingly complex, data-driven future, more organisations are moving away from hiring people who are highly skilled in a single area of expertise towards hiring people who can contribute across a range of functional areas. Almost three-quarters of UAE business leaders (73%) state it is more important for their employees to be multi-skilled than specialised in one area. While hard (technical) skills, such as AI and ML (28%), computer software (27%) and data analysis and mining (25%), continue to be important, there is now a higher demand for soft skills like digital literacy (26%), team leadership (26%), and critical thinking (19%). Having the right AI tools will help these employees manage the increasing volume and variety of data and find the competitive edge their organisations need.

“There is no single solution to success, but the research highlights some key plays UAE business leaders need to home in on to build a truly AI-driven enterprise. Regulation will play a key role in the successful implementation of AI and will be just as much of a priority as innovation is for leaders,” said Karl Crowther, VP of MEA at Alteryx. “Laying the foundations for generative AI requires a business-wide approach to data-driven decision-making that empowers the entire workforce to take full advantage of the technology while offering confidence and assurance to the business that it is safe and secure to embark on this journey. Accessible, self-service analytics and automation technologies are the force multiplier that will empower the workforce to jump on the AI train confidently and companies to move forward on their generative AI journey safely.”

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