Business executives in the Middle East have highlighted the importance of leadership from the top when it comes to cutting-edge IT technology.

According to a survey conducted at the recent SAP User Group Middle East & North Africa (SUG-MENA) Executive Exchange held during joint SAP Forum and SUG-MENA conferences in Riyadh, Doha and Dubai, 95% of business leaders surveyed agreed that the role of the CEO and CFO was integral to making strategic technology decisions in 2012.

Joint SAP Forum and SUG-MENA conferences were held Riyadh, Doha and Dubai.

Top of the wish-list for those looking to give their business strategy and IT a boost was business analytics (86%), followed by on-device mobile technology (67%) and cloud computing (23%).

There was also a healthy awareness of the need to deal with the challenge of aggregating, processing and acting on big data (23%).

The overwhelming receptivity to business analytics was largely focused on the ability to make informed decisions, as well as share and provide real-time and remote access to data.

“Executive leaders in the region aspire to be ahead of the business curve. IT technology is the springboard for transforming this ambition into profitable reality,” said Salem Al Angari, President of SUG-MENA.

“SUG-MENA is an independent and non profit entity where the SAP user community plays a vital role influencing SAP to address solutions, concerns, needs that matter to the Middle East & North Africa region. Testament to SAP’s continued support was the presence and commitment of Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEO and executive board member,to the user community while in Dubai.

Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director, SAP MENA, added: “These are exciting times, and we are committed to helping the SAP user community grow and adopt technology innovation that can genuinely make a difference.”

”In addition to business analytics, mobile apps and cloud-based solutions, this is likely to include solutions capable of dealing with the big data challenge such as SAP HANA, a ground-breaking platform rooted in-memory computing that facilitates the real-time analysis of large, non-aggregated data at unprecedented speeds.”'

Joumana Saad

Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.