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MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA EDITION DECEMBER 20 19

ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

Reaping the rewards of digital transformation

THE UNITED NATIONS Federico Cocchioni on addressing the UN’s digital agenda for technology

STRATEGIES TO RETAIN, SOURCE AND DEVELOP TALENT

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FOREWORD

W

elcome to the December

Emirates NBD, details how the bank

edition of Business Chief

is contributing to a paperless future

Middle East and Africa. In this month’s cover feature, Federico Cocchioni, CTO of the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, discusses the UN’s adoption of digital

in Dubai. In addition, we also speak with Haithem M. Alfaraj, Chief Technology Officer at STC, who tells us how the organisation is leading the digital revolution in MENA through the transformation of its technology.

technology to help the organisation

In our leadership feature, we speak

shape its future.

with members of The Africa List (TAL)

He tells us: “Innovative technology is helping significantly in various peacekeeping, humanitarian and development operations carried out by the UN,” adding that it is seeking to embark on a new strategy over the next five years, focused on emerging technologies and new partnerships. Elsewhere in the magazine, Fathi Mughrabi, CIO of Al Gihaz Holding, discusses how the organisation is reaping the rewards of its digital transformation, and Richard Morton, Associate Vice President for Legal, m i d dle ea st .busines s chief. co m

to discuss the current economic climate in the region and how the organisation is helping to develop the economy. Nieros Oyegun, Head of Networks, tells us that “it is an exciting and positive time, even though there are lots of challenges to come with the changes”. Do you have a story to share? Please do not hesitate to get in touch. Enjoy the read. Georgia Wilson georgia.wilson@bizclikmedia.com a fri c a .busi ne ssc hief. com

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MEA EDITION

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

GEORGIA WILSON MANAGING EDITOR

MATT HIGH CREATIVE DIRECTORS

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CONTENTS

12 United Nations

DEVELOPING THE AFRICAN ECONOMIES

26


38

46 54

Evolving the journey: putting your carbon footprint at the top of the agenda

62

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Building an ecosystem? Connect the dots. “Your journey to cloud must navigate pitfalls and opportunities that are unique to your business. We support you in imagining and delivering your cloud journey and making it run�. Eric Meistermann, Deloitte Partner in charge of AXA Group


78 Al Gihaz Holding

92 Emirates NBD

108 Saudi Telecom Company


Digitally transforming to shape the future

WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

12

MICHAEL BANYARD

DECEMBER 2019


Š Roberto Stuckert Filho / Wikipedia

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U N I T E D N AT I O N S

Federico Cocchioni, CTO of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, discusses digital transformation within the United Nations

T

he United Nations (UN), founded in 1945 following the end of World War II, is an international organisation that takes

action on issues such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human 14

rights, humanitarian concerns and gender equality. Federico Cocchioni, current Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, has seen the UN develop over the years into an efficient, innovative, effective, inclusive and transparent organisation that highlights the importance of leaving no one behind. Indeed, within Cocchioni’s office in Beirut the motto is “shared prosperity and dignified lives.” Over the course of 20 years, Cocchioni has held nine positions at the UN. He began his career in 1999 as an Associate Information Systems Officer, tasked with migrating an old and obsolete email system over to one that was more robust, secure and standardised.

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U N I T E D N AT I O N S

“Innovative technology is helping significantly in various peacekeeping, humanitarian and development operations carried out by the UN” — Federico Cocchioni, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia 16 In addition, Cocchioni utilised his past career knowledge of IBM Lotus Notes to implement a new distributed database system for rapid deployment and secure encrypted data replication. Today, his role at the UN is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, working on technology to support the Sustainable Development Goals in the region. Within the UN Secretariat, Cocchioni’s division is addressing the digital agenda for technology, which DECEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2019 AT ESCWA’ 17 can be summarised into four key

has truly ridden the wave of digital

areas: “Deepening the UN’s internal

revolution, with its transformation

capacities, exposure to new tech-

starting in the 1990s. “We moved

nologies, supporting dialogue, and

from analog to digital in the 90s,

enhancing the UN’s system support

embracing the internet and email,

to government capacity develop-

which allowed staff worldwide to

ment.” Cocchioni also highlights the

finally communicate smoothly and

importance of the UN increasing

quickly. At the end of the 90s, we

partnerships within both the public

introduced webmail, coupled with

and private sectors (governments,

the use of Blackberry devices for

academic, private companies and

mobile email.” Moving on to the

civil society) to ensure effective

early 2000s, Cocchioni explains the

engagement on new technologies.

introduction of electronic document

Reflecting on the organisation’s

management. “We introduced scan

evolution, Cocchioni believes the UN

and send devices as well as optical

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U N I T E D N AT I O N S

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character recognition in order to

content management (ECM) and

better handle, archive and search

customer relationship manage-

through vast amounts of documenta-

ment (CRM), as well as developing

tion.� Other implementations over

a centralised data warehouse to

the years include, voiceover IP, satel-

build business intelligence solutions,

lite imagery, radio communication,

reduce the number of data centers

data capabilities and global govern-

used by the organisation and reduce

ance of an IT infrastructure

its reliance on local infrastructure.

to improve security.

“Innovative technology is helping

In the last decade, the UN has been

significantly in various peacekeep-

working to centralise and standardise

ing, humanitarian and development

its main systems, including enterprise

operations carried out by the UN,�

resource planning (ERP), enterprise

comments Cocchioni. In particular

DECEMBER 2019


“geographic information system (GIS)

part in the Sudan peacekeeping

technology such as satellite imagery is

mission. We were responsible for

being utilised by military observers for

setting up from scratch the entire ICT

border identification and asset track-

infrastructure including satellite com-

ing, as well as digital radio and satellite

munications, mobile redeployment

communications for staff deployment

vans, and the wide area network for

in areas with no infrastructure.”

voice and data.

In 2006 – following the sign-

“There were major challenges” he

ing of the Comprehensive Peace

notes. “The country was very large,

Agreement in 2005 – Cocchioni took

and procurement of equipment

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Federico Cocchioni Federico Cocchioni is Chief Technology Officer at the UN’s Regional Commission for Western Asia, ESCWA, where he holds responsibility over the current technological transformations taking place in the organisation. Federico leads a dynamic team of IT experts that deliver innovative software solutions to streamline the processes within the UN. He holds over 20 years of experience leading key functional improvements while in the Organisation, updating the IT services and leading the Information Management strategy across New York Headquarters, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand and Lebanon. Currently, UN-ESCWA is undergoing broad reaching changes to use the power of emerging digital technologies to develop the region as well as the Organisation. The role of Federico and his team is integral to the structural and strategic developments taking place across UN organisations today.

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U N I T E D N AT I O N S

1945

Year founded

HQ

New York City, US

46,834

Number of employees

20

DECEMBER 2019


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VANTAGE

REVOLUTIONIZES UNITED NATIONS

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See How

and recruitment of qualified people

internet bandwidth. It was important

takes time.” In the year Cocchioni

that we established and installed

was part of at the major operation in

servers within the local area network

Sudan, $60mn dollars was dedicated

to reduce the use of limited band-

to acquiring the infrastructure to

width running through satellites.”

deploy IT and telecommunications

Internally, the UN has come to the

services across the country. “These

end of its 2014-2019 ICT strategy,

operations can be quite expensive

which focused on five key pillars:

because the UN deploys where

modernise, transform, innovate,

there’s no infrastructure and where

govern and optimise. To achieve this,

it cannot rely on existing government

the UN has been working through a

provided electricity, radio and com-

number of phases to restructure its

puter networks. At that time, we didn’t

ICT operations globally. Key projects

have cloud services either, which was

Cocchioni highlights include the

a major challenge alongside limited

UN utilising innovative technology

DECEMBER 2019


“At this stage I think we are much more solid than before, due to our strong central governance in headquarters” — Federico Cocchioni, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Other ways the UN is utilising technology is through the use of data. “To work more collaboratively we need to have integrated knowledge portals which allow all UN System partners in each region access to data in one consolidated place and ensure everyone is working towards the same goals (SDGs),” says Cocchioni. The UN has also been looking to reduce its footprint with hybrid cloud technology, building upon its continuous goal of a centralised system. “We created two major enterprise data centers in Europe and we are in the process of developing a cloud

in relation to online collaboration. “We adopted the Microsoft Office 365 platform, which has allowed integration between email, video conferences, document sharing and more

strategy, following our initial move to hybrid cloud.” In addition to these changes, Cocchioni highlights the importance of innovation and how the UN has been developing its cyber diligence and analytics. “At

– something that

this stage I think

was very much

we are making

needed within

great strides

the organisa-

on the path of

tion to be more

digital integra-

effective and

tion in an effort

efficient.”

to improve

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U N I T E D N AT I O N S

24

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a clear Sustainable Development Goal – Goal 17 – with a dedicated office for partnerships and innovation labs. “Lately, the UN has been empowered to look for useful partnerships with institutions, the private sector and other UN entities to find the best solutions,” says Cocchioni. Over the years the UN has partnered with various organisations to achieve its operational goals. “We have worked with IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle as well as Lenovo for desktop and laptop computers, Cisco for network equipment, video conference equipment and network security, HP for servers, Dell EMC for data storage and VMware for virtualisation.” collaboration, reduce the problem

Cocchioni highlights that although

of siloes of information and, thus,

the UN still needs to perfect its

increase our ability to deliver the

operational strategies and further

2030 SDGs agenda. These suc-

digitalise its processes, it’s vision of

cesses are largely due to our strong

working towards a better world and

central governance in headquarters.

its global position as a non-profit

We are now looking to embark on

organisation makes it a strong and

a new strategy for the next five years

constant catalyst for innovation

focusing on emerging technologies,

around the world.

partnerships and increased financial accountability for IT initiatives.” When it comes to working with partners, the UN has established mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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LEADERSHIP

Developing the African economies 26

BUSINESS CHIEF MEA SPEAKS WITH MEMBERS OF THE AFRICA LIST (TAL) TO DISCUSS THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE AND HOW THEY ARE HELPING TO ENCOURAGE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT WRITTEN BY

DECEMBER 2019

GEORGIA WILSON


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LEADERSHIP

T

he Africa List (TAL) was established by CDC Group – the UK’s development finance institution – in 2014 to bring

business leaders in growing African markets to-

gether. Members of The Africa List include Miranda Naiman, Founder and Managing Director of Empower; Mukwandi Chibesakunda, Chief Executive of National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE); and Yohannes Tsehai, Senior Advisor to the President of Ethiopia. Nieros Oyegun is the head of networks at The Africa List.

THE AFRICAN ECONOMY 28

“Africa is an extremely diverse continent.” says Oyegun. “It is difficult to make an economic judgement on it as a whole. While there are states such as Ghana and Ethiopia that are fast growing, there are countries such as Zambia that are struggling to keep inflation under control.” “The African economy is in a state of flux” adds Naiman, “speaking for my own country, we’re at a stage where we are growing and changing the way that we do business. It is an exciting and positive time even though there are lots of challenges to come with the changes.” Such challenges include population growth. “The UN predicts that the continent’s population will be 2.6bn by 2050, almost double what it is now,” says Oyegun. “Of course there is the

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LEADERSHIP

infrastructure gap.” She continues: “current estimates are that Africa will need to spend over US$100bn a year to meet the electrical, water, transportation and trading demands of this population growth.” Chibesakunda adds that “leadership implementation and execution” is a current challenge, alongside the impact of global trade wars. “Africa has so much potential and has so much to give in terms of natural resources, it is up to leaders of today and leaders of the future to help unlock this potential,” she says. 30

Miranda Naiman

THE AFRICA LIST CDC is a development finance institution – fully owned by the UK government – that invests in businesses in Africa and South Asia. The Africa List (TAL) was established by CDC in 2014 to bring business leaders in growing African markets together, facilitate knowledge sharing to equip its members with leadership skills, and help them develop dynamic organisations that contribute to economic growth. “On the bottom line, our vision is to support sustainable economic development across the African

DECEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘THE AFRICA LIST’ 31 continent, focusing on the impact we are having,” says Oyegun. Naiman, Chibesakunda and Tsehai

TAL is a community of six countries Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

unanimously believe TAL is a unique

(DRC) and Ghana that creates

opportunity. TAL’s efforts support

bespoke programmes tailored to

private sector peer-to-peer network-

address specific topics and needs for

ing and education to build, invest

each country. “The Africa List looks

and drive growth and development

quite different in Zambia than it does

on the continent.

in Ethiopia or the DRC, and that is

“I thought it was a great networking

because we are responsive to the

opportunity,” says Chibesakunda.

needs of the local business commu-

“I also saw it as a way to give back to

nity to provide beneficial develop-

the Zambian community – enhancing

ment,” says Oyegun. “Our members

talent, exposure and the ability

value the cross border aspect of our

to implement strategic initiatives.”

network. One member said to me,

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LEADERSHIP

“My interactions with TAL members have helped me crystallise what my vision for my country is and the role I want to play in its transformation” — Yohannes Tsehai, Senior Advisor to the President of Ethiopia

comments Oyegun. “The Free Trade Agreement is a step in the right direction,” says Naiman. However, Oyegun and Naiman both highlight that its success will depend on harmonious support from the government, large economies and the private sector. TAL and its members are continuously working towards growing the African economy. “We have developed over the years a major relationship with the African Leadership University School of Business (ALUSB),” says

32

‘when it comes to expanding my

Oyegun. “Like TAL, ALUSB wants to

business across borders, this is

cross African borders and is commit-

invaluable, I know exactly who I can

ted to the development of a genera-

call when I’m looking to expand’. For

tion of leaders that will drive future

TAL, it is a privilege to be able to

prosperity. ALUSB has also helped

facilitate this development.”

TAL to run and develop bespoke

Oyegun, Naiman and Chibesakunda,

learning and development workshops.”

believe that the African Continental

In the past the organisation has

Free Trade Agreement signed in 2018

worked with the Saïd Business School

could make a huge difference to the

at the University of Oxford, Harvard

African economy, by facilitating and

Business School and the Wheeler

opening up African trade markets and

Institute for Business Development to

routes for business that currently do

provide learning and development

not exist, such as cost-effective

workshops for its members, as well as

logistics. “It is often cheaper to import

partnering with the African Leadership

goods from far away countries than

Initiative in 2018 to organise TAL’s

transport across a few miles of border,”

annual leadership programme retreat.

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33

“We are really proud to be able to

provide a platform for hundreds of

partner with world class institutions

business leaders to shed light on the

to bring their expertise to the

realities of doing business in their

continent,” says Oyegun.

markets and showcase work.

TAL is also set to launch its ‘African

Naiman, Chibesakunda and Tsehai

Business Barometer’, a collation of

all agree that TAL has opened their

survey answers from over 350 TAL

eyes to the level of positive influence

members “to provide rich insights

they can have on their own economies,

on macro and market conditions,

especially as members. “The knowl-

business confidence, and under-

edge I have gained from being a part

explored topics such as skills and

of the leadership programme, along

leadership, and perceptions of how

with the Open Doors programme for

businesses can deliver impact.”

female leaders, has helped develop

In addition, the Barometer aims to

my business. In turn, that growth has

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LEADERSHIP

helped to employ more people and support other organisations,” says Naiman. “My interactions with TAL members have helped me crystallise what my vision for my country is and the role I want to play in its transformation. As a result, I left the company I co-founded – Veritas, a consulting and advisory company – to work as Senior Advisor for Ethiopia’s first female president,” adds Tsehai. Looking to the future, Oyegun believes that, if TAL is to be truly 34

“Hopefully, over time, the memberships we have accrued will create a community that is so vibrant, so strong, and so thriving that we won’t be needed anymore.” — Nieros Oyegun, Head of Networks at The Africa List

DECEMBER 2019


35

successful, efforts in the continent

memberships we have accrued will

should become decentralised.

create a community that is so vibrant,

“We should be rendering ourselves

so strong, and so thriving that we

obsolete,” says Oyegun. “The goal

won’t be needed anymore.” This is

is to facilitate connection between

when Oyegun sees learning and

business leaders that are meaningful,

development becoming more

long-term and lasting in order to

prominent at TAL: “the best leaders

drive the learning and development

never stop learning and TAL’s

of effective leaders that promote

resources and training could provide

best practice inside and outside their

a lifetime benefit to the continent.”

company.” TAL refreshes its community annually, asking members and top CEOs to nominate their best and brightest. “Hopefully, over time, the mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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TECHNOLOGY

38

DECEMBER 2019


DATA ANALYTICS FOR GOOD – THE NEXT FRONTIER David González, Head of Big Data and Advanced Analytics for Vodafone Business, on the opportunity to use big data for social good WRITTEN BY

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DAVID GONZÁLEZ

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TECHNOLOGY

I

n 2018, data visualisation company

DOMO predicted that by 2020,

1.7MB of data will be created every

second for every person on earth.

The new year is now only one month away, and this explosion of data is showing no sign of slowing down. As digitalisation becomes the norm across more industries and IoT adoption continues, even more data will be generated. Industries like healthcare and manufacturing have been turning data into insights that drive improvements 40

to customer service, processes and products. Outside of these use cases, could this data driven approach also be applied to tackle social challenges? across myriad areas of modern life,

MOVING BEYOND THE ENTERPRISE

granting us the ability to then use

It would be short-sighted to assume

those insights to address existing and

that data analytics can only be

future problems. Aggregated and

relevant within the enterprise. Im-

anonymised large-scale data has

proved connectivity and advances in

the potential to generate immense

IoT are creating vast volumes of data.

positive social impact.

As more people interact with these

For example, managing the after-

connected devices, the data gener-

math of natural disasters can consume

ated will increase exponentially to

resources when time is precious.

represent every aspect of society.

Planning aid in advance is key, and data

This will enable us to gain a better

analytics can be used to inform a plan

understanding of how processes work

to assist those in need. Governments

DECEMBER 2019


41

and NGOs need to know where the impacted people are, in which direction they are moving and how the environment is changing. Only then can they respond effectively and efficiently to the effects of the disaster. In a similar way, data analytics can be applied to protect public health by predicting the spread of a pandemic. Accurate predictions allow authorities to put measures in place which mitigate the effects and control the incidence of new cases. mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

“Improved connectivity and advances in IoT is creating vast volumes of data” — David González, Head of Big Data and Advanced Analytics for Vodafone Business a f r ic a . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m


TECHNOLOGY

“Unlocking the full potential of data will require a concerted effort between different organisations” 42

— David González, Head of Big Data and Advanced Analytics for Vodafone Business

CLOSER TO HOME Data can make a difference on a global scale, but what about in urban centres? Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in such an environment. This proportion is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. That’s another 2.5bn people dwelling in urban areas. This increase will place significant demands on infrastructure, retailers, banks, healthcare systems and educational institutions. In addition, preventing crime will also be a top priority. There is the potential for huge social impact, improving the management of cities and the quality of life for citizens. For example, data collected by law enforcement can improve safety by better predicting crime spots and implementing measures such as improved lighting or CCTV. Preparing for this scenario begins now, and it starts with understanding the movement of people. Governments and businesses alike can use this information to make significant decisions. In transport, for example, it can inform where to build bridges and footpaths or place electric car charging points.

DECEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WHAT COULD 5G DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?’ 43 The success of these initiatives relies

sensitive information, such as individual

on accurate insight into the needs

location or health status. Where will

and habits of urban populations. This

this data be stored and how will it be

must start with democratising access

collected? Who will ultimately be

to population data intelligence, in

responsible for keeping it safe from

a secure and anonymised way that

malicious actors? How can citizens

protects the privacy of future citizens.

be assured that their data will be anonymised and only be used for the

KEEPING DATA PRIVATE

stated purpose? The answers to these

The main concern about widespread

questions will affect the extent of the

data collection is data privacy; many

public’s support. Transparency in

high-profile companies have come

communicating with the public will

under scrutiny for their use of customer

be critical to the success of any data

data. However, it becomes more

analytics initiatives, even if the purpose

concerning when it is related to

is for good.

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TECHNOLOGY

WORKING TOGETHER TO KEEP DATA SAFE Unlocking the full potential of data will require a concerted effort between different organisations. Those who collect the data must work together to ensure the insights are used by the most appropriate organisations who are able to effect change. Vodafone is part of a wider alliance – the GSMA’s Big Data for Social Good initiative – where mobile operators share insights with NGOs to build an ecosystem that supports timely 44

planning and response. Location intelligence – where location-based

“The increasing digitisation of industries provides the best opportunity for data to be mined for social good” — David González, Head of Big Data and Advanced Analytics for Vodafone Business DECEMBER 2019


insights are used to solve problems and identify new opportunities – plays a role here, building a safer, more sustainable world. The increasing digitisation of industries provides the best opportunity for data to be mined for social good, as a positive ‘side effect’ of collection. In addition to making services more efficient, streamlined and personalised, the same data can be used to predict how populations move and react. As urban areas grow, these insights will be critical to informing how the safety and health of citizens will be managed. It is important that the right decisions are made now, regarding data collection and analytics. Only then will we be prepared to tackle the social challenges of the future.

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PEOPLE

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Talent retention: why traditional methods are no longer enough Business Chief meets with Jen Scherler Gormley, HR Lead (UK), Cisco to discuss strategies to retain, source and develop talent WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON

DECEMBER 2019


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C

urrently in the UK, 43% of employers feel it has become more difficult to fill job vacancies over the last 12 months,

with 31% seeing salary increases of more than 2% being used as an incentive for recruitment and retention of talent. When it comes to recruitment and talent retention, Jen Scherler Gormley, HR Lead

(UK), Cisco, believes that the flatline approach of annual appraisals and ratings for objectives and development simply isn’t enough. Performance ratings disenfranchise a large 48

proportion of employees, creating year—long labels regardless of a person’s change in performance over the next 12 months at a company. “For us, recruitment and talent management is about empowering people to be their best selves, as well as bringing everyone together to create an environment where individuals and teams can thrive. Five years ago, we revived our performance management processes by ditching annual appraisals and ratings.” Gormley further comments that the organisation’s move to eliminate annual appraisals from its talent strategy in 2015 has yielded positive results for its talent retention, seeing higher engagement from existing employees, as well as providing a strong differentiator for attracting new talent. DECEMBER 2019


49

Being ‘conscious’ is an important part of workplace culture, states Gormley. With 59% of UK workers looking to move jobs as a result of being undervalued, having no career progression and having unsupportive managers. With this in mind, it is important to focus on three key entwined areas: environment, the unique characteristics of the organisation and the specific experience of individuals, in order to manage and lead a positive culture. To incorporate this into its organisation, Cisco has mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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implemented a digital platform that

coaching. Performance is ultimately

enables weekly connections in relation

personal to each individual and it is

to what support is required and what

important that continuous conversa-

individuals loved and loathed about the

tions take place between employees

week, to aid its elimination of annual

and their leaders.”

appraisals. “We call this ‘check-in’,” says

50

According to Gormley, a workplace’s

Gormley. “It has been adopted at all levels

culture should be built on a foundation

of the organisation – including our CEO

of accountability, empowerment and the

and executive leadership team – providing

freedom to speak out to achieve goals

important information to drive a different

within an organisation. Transparency

kind of conversation with team members

and empowerment is a driving force to

providing greater regularity, as well as

build trust, within an organisation and

allowing in—the—moment redirection

is a key element of ensuring that talent is

of work, support and continuous

retained and thriving.

“Fundamentally, inclusion is a bridge to connect diverse perspectives, providing a platform for new ideas and inspiring innovation” — Jen Scherler Gormley, HR Lead (UK), Cisco

DECEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WORKPLACE TRANSFORMATION AT CISCO WITH WEBEX TEAMS’ 51 When looking to source talent,

fundamental to building and maintain-

Gormley highlights the importance

ing a culture of continuous learning as

of combining human connection

well as attracting talent that aligns

with innovation to not only develop

with our values.”

employees, but also the business.

Inclusion and diversity is essential

Industries are continuously changing

to innovation. When sourcing, main-

and adapting, and organisations

taining and retaining talent, it is key to

shouldn’t shy away from utilising

ensure an organisation is inclusive.

multiple forms of employment such as

“We have found that certain language

apprenticeship programmes, alongside

used in job profiles could dissuade

traditional employment methods,

female talent from applying. Therefore,

as well as utilising transferable skills.

we have implemented a tool that

“There is no one answer to this, but

analyses the language in our job

we’ve found that the human connec-

descriptions to ensure that we are

tion intertwined with innovation, is

attractive to a diverse pool of potential

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applicants. In addition, every year, we take part in Girls in ICT Day to encourage a higher percentage of girls to become a part of the industry by utilising technology to communicate with and support girls across the globe,” says Gormley. “Fundamentally, inclusion is a bridge to connect diverse perspectives, providing a platform for new ideas and inspiring innovation.” Internal changes within a company can put a strain on organisations. With this in mind, Gormley believes it is 52

important to maintain frequent communication between leaders and team members to ensure that workplace

“We have found that certain language used in job profiles could dissuade female talent from applying” — Jen Scherler Gormley, HR Lead (UK), Cisco

culture doesn’t get left behind in the process. Companies should instead utilise internal changes to enhance communication and manage talent. “We care a lot about our culture. We are driving for an environment where healthy conversations happen between individuals and teams, where no one is isolated and each person feels able to proactively support their colleagues,” says Gormely, who feels its implementation at Cisco provides a level of transparency she has not seen

DECEMBER 2019


53

in other companies, resulting in greater

an organisation. As a result of

engagement from employees to actively

incorporating these foundations,

participate in conversations regarding

organisations should see an increase

experience and individual growth.

in innovation and inclusion, as well

Ultimately, when it comes to talent

as experiencing greater engagement

retention, traditional methods are no

when it comes to individual growth

longer enough to encourage employees

and performance.

to stay with a company for the long term. Companies need to be more conscious of their employees by maintaining human connection and communication, in order to drive accountability, empowerment and freedom within mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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Evolving the journey: putting your carbon footprint at the top of the agenda David Griffiths, Senior Product Marketing & Strategy Manager at retail supply chain Adjuno, looks at reduction of carbon footprints in the retail industry WRITTEN BY

DECEMBER 2019

DAVID GRIFFITHS


55

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C

onsumers are thrilled by the

tainability efforts of their favourite retail-

speed and flexibility of e-com-

ers. In fact, a third of consumers are

merce. But the proliferation of

now choosing to buy from brands they

new retail channels and choices

believe are doing social or environmen-

is changing their purchasing behaviour,

tal good. That’s a large proportion of the

and ultimately, that’s taking its toll on the

customer base that a retailer risks los-

environment. With next-day, same-day

ing if they don’t meet this expectation.

and one-hour delivery options starting

The good news is that retailers across

to be commonplace with many retail-

the world are recognising this and

ers, consumers are fast becoming used

starting to step up with commitments to

to getting their chosen product not just

address the sustainable agenda. But are

quickly, but almost instantly.

they doing enough?

At the same time, consumers are

With the battle moving to the supply

placing greater emphasis on the sus-

chain and concerns growing around air

DECEMBER 2019


57

pollution and greenhouse gases, brands now have a responsibility to reduce their carbon emission levels and drive the creation of the green supply chain.

INDEPENDENTS VS RETAIL GIANTS Independent retailers are currently rising above the competition when it comes to low carbon emissions. Transport is the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases, therefore the independents who have shorter

“A third of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good” — David Griffiths Senior Product Marketing & Strategy Manager, Adjuno

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“Brands now have a responsibility to reduce their carbon emission levels ” — David Griffiths Senior Product Marketing & Strategy Manager, Adjuno

for the retail giants. With longer journeys, more players in the supply chain and bigger product ranges to contend with, retail giants have a harder time of reducing their carbon footprint. But it certainly is possible. Packaging should be at the top of every retailer’s list when it comes to making strides towards sustainability. A strategic approach to transit packaging that optimises carton, pallet and container fill will not only reduce packaging costs, with higher standards enforced, but it will also decrease shipping costs as a result of better container

58

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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘SUPPLY CHAIN SOFTWARE – ADJUNO SCM SOLUTIONS’ 59 utilisation, with less empty space being

ing types used, and consequently the

shipped. Not only does this reduce

reduction in the amount of containers

the number of journeys that need to

and DC space required. The retailers

be made, but it will also enable more

that are serious about reducing their

efficient use of DC space. Ultimately

carbon footprint have the tools at their

though, a strategic approach to pack-

disposal to make it happen, with simple

aging reduces waste and therefore

changes making a world of difference

improves the carbon footprint, putting

to carbon-conscious consumers.

retail giants one step closer to meeting their sustainability goals. Many large retailers have already

SHOUTING ABOUT SUCCESS At the start of this year, Aldi claimed

seen success in this area too, with

it was the first grocer in the UK to be

effective changes to their packaging

carbon-neutral, detailing that it had

compliance resulting in huge reduc-

cut greenhouse gas emissions per

tions in the number of different packag-

square metre of sales floor space by

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53% since 2012. That’s a big statement to make, but it shows Aldi’s commitment to making changes that have resulted in extremely positive outcomes. The fact is that changes are being made, but few retailers are shouting about their behind-thescenes success, leaving the issue of reducing carbon footprint still far lower than it should be on the retail agenda. The lack of visibility for consumers is weakening the message and hindering their ability to trust the brand, so whilst retailers must ensure 60

that first and foremost they are making sustainable changes for the right reasons, they also need to make sure they are letting consumers know what is really happening. Simple changes to packaging will show consumers that the retailer is making an effort, for example, if a retailer can confidently say in its marketing materials that all items from one brand are being shipped into the store using 50% less packaging, every carbon-conscious consumer would know that steps are being taken and be more likely to buy from the retailer as a result.

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MAKING A CHANGE The potential is huge, but retailers must realise that the smallest changes can have the biggest impact. What’s important is for retailers to make these changes and then shout about it from the rooftops, moving carbon footprint to the top of the agenda and creating an ecosystem of retailers working towards a common goal to turn sustainability from talk to action.

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Wealthiest individuals in MESA Business Chief MEA takes a closer look at the wealthiest individuals in South Africa and the UAE, according to Forbes’ real-time reports from November 2019 WRITTEN BY

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GEORGIA WILSON

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T O P 10

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10

Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi US$1.2bn

Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi , aged 40, is the Chairman of KBBO Group. The group was established in 2008 and has investments in a wide range of industries such as healthcare, money exchange and retail. The Emirati businessman is a large shareholder in NMC Health, one of the largest private healthcare providers in the UAE. In addition to this, Bin Butti Al Muhairi has stakes in UAE Exchange, a money transfer company. Bin Butti Al Muhairi has a Bachelor of Arts and Science from Suffolk University.

DECEMBER 2019

Chairman KBBO

170+

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


09

Michiel Le Roux

65

US$1.3bn

South African Michiel Le Roux founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and has an 11% stake in the business. Capitec trades on the Johannesburg stock exchange targeting South Africa’s emerging middle class. The 70-year-old served as Chairman

Founder Capitec Bank

13,333

of the Board until 2016, however, he still maintains Approximate number of employees a seat. Prior to establishing Capitec Bank, Michiel Le Roux ran Boland Bank, a small regional bank in Cape Town.

HQ

Western Cape, South Africa

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With the travel & hospitality industry being redefined, Hexaware aims to create a visually pleasing and personalized experience to help our clients achieve “customer centricity�, making dream destinations a reality!

Learn More E-mail: marketing@hexaware.com Website: hexaware.com


08

Hussain Sajwani

67

US$2bn

66-year-old Hussain Sajwani started his career as a Contracts Manager for GASCO, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). In 1982, The Dubai-born businessman began his own catering business that today manages over 200 projects, serving over 150,000 meals a day. In the mid-90s,

Founder Damac

3,632+

Approximate number of employees Sajwani contributed to the property market expansion in Dubai to accommodate the growing influx of people. In 2002, Sajwani founded DAMAC Properties, a luxury real estate developer company. Hussain Sajwani has a Bachelor of Arts and Science from the University of Washington.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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07

Patrice Motsepe US$2.2bn

Patrice Motsepe is a 57-year-old mining businessman and billionaire who founded African Rainbow Minerals in 1994 and is the current Non-Executive Chairman of the business. African Rainbow Minerals mines and beneficiates iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, platinum group metals (PGMs), copper, nickel and coal. In addition to this it produces manganese and chrome alloys and has investments in gold. In 2016, Motsepe, who hails from South Africa, launched a private equity firm called African Rainbow Capital that focuses on investments in Africa.

DECEMBER 2019

Founder African Rainbow Minerals

251+

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Johannesburg, South Africa


06

Jacobus Petrus Bekker US$2.3bn

69

Jacobus Petrus Bekker is a South African 66-yearold businessman. He was appointed in 1997 as CEO of Naspers, a South African newspaper publisher that was founded in 1915. Bekker transformed Naspers into an e-commerce investor and internet group while he was CEO and, in 2001, led it to invest in Tencent, a Chinese internet and media firm. In 2014 Bekker retired as CEO of Naspers, returning to the company in 2015 to take up the position as Chairman. Bekker has a Bachelor of Law from the University of Witwatersrand and a Master’s of Business Administration from Columbia Business School.

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Chairman Naspers

27,429

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Cape Town, South Africa

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The kitchen revolution

As operators add more digital channels to their restaurants, it creates new complexity and challenges. Restaurants have been used to controlling the transaction flow. Now, with the rise of delivery marketplaces, mobile applications and in-store selfservice, restaurants need to compete at a higher level and adapt to a digital-first ordering environment. This means ensuring proper routing of orders into the kitchen, a focus on food quality and distribution at the right time and data/analytics to measure and improve the performance of the kitchen. Key trends impacting kitchen optimisation and production, include: • The rise of off-premise ordering & delivery To meet this growing consumer demand, restaurants need robust kitchen production systems to accommodate the flow of orders into the restaurant from multiple channels. • Speed of service Consumers no longer have any patience for waiting in lines or waiting for food. They essentially want to “speak” directly to the kitchen. • Growing dependency on kitchen data Real-Time production metrics are fast becoming a requirement. Operators need to be able to gauge order volume, production status, progress order times and manage staffing levels within their kitchen in real-time.

© 2019 NCR Corporation Patents Pending

Successful brands we work with are investing in kitchen optimisation and production technology to stay ahead of the curve. NCR Kitchen Operations solutions enable restaurants to plan and prepare for anticipated spikes in order volumes and manage the production of orders coming from all channels to improve the customer and staff experience. Brands that are leveraging NCR Kitchen Operations and Digital Signage are also improving the customer experience by providing guests with accurate quote times and order status notifications via text paging and in-app notifications. Large quick-service chains using our technology have increased their speed of service by as much as 15% with improved visibility into order volume, production status, order times and staffing levels. Over 30,000 restaurants around the world use NCR Kitchen Operations to manage their kitchen production. While not visible to consumers, kitchen optimisation and production technology reduce errors, reduce waste and have a tangible impact on the customer experience.

Find out more. Visit www.ncr.com/restaurants and see how our technology can help your business thrive.


05

Abdulla Al Futtaim US$2.5bn

71

Abdulla Al Futtaim is an Emirati billionaire and the owner of Al Futtaim group. The company was established in the 1930s as a business trader in the automotive, retail, real estate and finance sectors. In 1955, Al Futtaim group became the exclusive distributor of Toyota in the UAE and has licenses to operate Hertz, Ikea, Toys “R� Us and Zara in the U.A.E.

Owner Al Futtaim group

15,349

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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04

Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair US$5bn

Emirati billionaire Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair is the Founder and Chairman of Mashreq bank, his son Abdul Aziz is CEO. Mashreq bank was founded in 1967 and is one of the UAE’s oldest leading banks in the region. Under his holdings company, Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair has invested in food, construction and real estate. In 2015, Abdulla Bin Ahmad Al Ghurair pledged a third of his wealth (US$1.3bn) to the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education. The foundation aims to help 15,000 Arab students receive a secondary and university education by 2025 by investing in education programmes in the U.A.E.

DECEMBER 2019

Founder and Chairman Mashreq bank

6,362+

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


03

Johann Rupert

73

US$5.9bn

Johann Rupert is Chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont. The company was formed in 1998 off of assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited (Remgro Limited), which his father, Anton Rupert, formed in the 1940s. The Stellenbosch-born businessman enrolled

Chairman Richemont Š Szekszter

23,830

at the Stellenbosch University (SU) to study econom- Approximate number of employees ics and company law. However, he dropped out of school before graduating to pursue a career in business. In 2005, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in economics. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in commerce from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2008.

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Bellevue, Switzerland

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02

Majid Al Futtaim US$6.4bn

Majid Al Futtaim is the Emirati Founder of retail and entertainment giant Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF). His son, Tariq, also sits on the board. MAF was founded in 1992 and operates 13 hotels and 26 shopping centres. In addition to this, the company has a special licence to operate hypermarkets in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

Founder Majid Al Futtaim

9,516+

Approximate number of employees

HQ

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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01

Nicky Oppenheimer US$7.3bn

74-year-old Nicky Oppenheimer started his career at Anglo American Corporation, a multinational mining company that produces platinum. In 1985 The South African businessman became the third generation of Oppenhiemer’s to run De Beers Group – an international mining corporation 76

for diamonds – as Chairman. Oppenhiemer privatised the company in 2001. In 2012, Oppenheimer retired from De Beers, selling 40% of his stake in the business to Anglo American Corporation for US$5.1bn. Following his retirement, in 2014 Oppenheimer started Fireblade Aviation in Johannesburg for luxury charted flights. He also owns 720 square miles of conservation land in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Oppenheimer has a Bachelor of Arts and Science and a Master of Arts from Oxford University Christ Church.

DECEMBER 2019

Past Chairman De Beers Group © by Kremlin.ru

2,794+

Approximate number of employees

HQ

London, United Kingdom


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CLICK TO WATCH : ‘UN WOMEN PARTNERSHIP TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY’

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Digitally transforming operations at Al Gihaz Holding WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY

MICHAEL BANYARD 79

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AL GIHAZ HOLDING

FATHI MUGHRABI, CIO OF AL GIHAZ HOLDING, ON THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME REAPING REWARDS AT THE ORGANISATION

S

audi Arabia’s Al Gihaz Holding incorporates a group of companies in different domains, from power solutions

contracting/manufacturing and communications, through to security solutions and creative design. 80

The group is actively diversifying and acquiring more businesses to adapt to economic changes in the region. Digital transformation at Al Gihaz informs – and is informed by – that changing operating model, as CIO Fathi Mughrabi explains: “Before, the company was dependent on projects coming from big companies like the Saudi Electricity Company, Aramco and others. We were not concentrating on marketing and business development. Usually, we were approached by the customer. Now, we are going to the customer through different channels and trying to understand and formalise the requirements to form new projects.”

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“DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS A DIRECTION FOR THE WHOLE COMPANY AND SPONSORED BY TOP MANAGEMENT” — Fathi Mughrabi, CIO, Al Gihaz Holding

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This ethos manifests in the three

introduced in the market by chang-

pillars constituting the transforma-

ing their offerings. We are working

tion. The changing approach to

towards being a leader in the market,

customer experience serves as the

so we need to change the way the

first, while Mughrabi explains the

organisation’s products and services

other two: “Another is the transfor-

are being offered.”

mation of operational processes. Our

Opportunities for digital transfor-

earlier processes were semi-manual

mation to make a difference have

or partially automated. Now we use

come in different areas. “Digital

technology and industrial best prac-

transformation is a direction for the

tice in addition to automation. Third

whole company and is sponsored

is the business model transforma-

by top management,” says Mughrabi.

tion. Our competitors are benefiting

“We are looking to enhance perfor-

from the new disruptive technologies

mance, minimise costs and improve

DECEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘BELECTRIC SOLAR PROJECTS’

speed and accuracy. In addition,

require data collection and data

we are enhancing our offerings to

analysis in order to give a 360

customers. We need to be ahead of

degree view of the project. We have

others, introducing new digital prod-

multiple systems and solutions that

ucts and new services.”

generate project data, which will

Of particular importance, he says,

then be compiled to generate more

has been making better use of data.

useful information. Data collection

“We are working on introducing

and analysis, therefore, is something

dashboards and advanced reports

that we are focusing on. It’s about

to make decision-making richer and

using more advanced, intelligent

accurate. We would evaluate data

solutions to get more from the data

through statistics, trend analysis,

that we have – because we consider

forecasts, and so on. For example,

data to be a company asset that will

we have projects in progress that

help management to make the right

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AL GIHAZ HOLDING

84

decisions and steer the organisation

an integrated suite from Oracle. “We

towards a better future.”

are currently in the go-live stage for

One area of focus has been on

implementing Oracle Fusion, which

migrating the company’s legacy sys-

includes solutions for human capital

tems to cloud solutions. “We know that

management, finance, supply chain

cloud computing is becoming an indus-

management (including procurement

try standard for business solutions,

and inventory), and planning and

and we know that there are many tech-

budgeting. It also covers projects, cus-

nologies that can give us a competitive

tomer experience and maintenance.

edge over others, thanks to their

In addition to this, we are enhancing

agility, performance, flexibility and the

our project management through

engagement model,” says Mughrabi. Al

integration with Primavera, project

Gihaz has taken full advantage of these

management software that’s now part

emergent technologies, alighting on

of the Oracle suite.”

DECEMBER 2019


Other expert partners are helping Al Gihaz deliver on its digital transformation. “We are also utilising Microsoft

we are working on making use of all the features available there.” Amid this transformation, Mughrabi

technologies to enhance internal

sees the role of the CIO as one neces-

processes and performance,” says

sitating proactivity. “The traditional CIO

Mughrabi. We shifted from an on-

and IT strategy usually starts with the

premise solution to Office 365, and

business direction and objectives,” he

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Fathi Mughrabi Fathi Mughrabi is a senior management and IT professional possessing 25+ years of experience across diversified national and international business domains in the private and public sectors covering the banking, automotive, construction, trading, utilities, manufacturing and consulting domains. Mughrabi is well versed in aligning IT with enterprise direction and objectives to enable business excellence by developing, implementing and supporting strategies. In addition, he has hands-on experience in digital transformation strategies. While commencing his career, Mughrabi gained experience in many aspects of IT, while leveraging his knowledge to management and enterprise strategic dimension. He holds a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Jordan, a higher-diploma in business management from NCCEducation/UK, and an MBA from the University of Northampton in the UK.

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AL GIHAZ HOLDING

1975

Year founded

HQ

Riyadh, Central

3,000 Number of employees

86

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AL GIHAZ HOLDING

Exceed your vision Leading information Technology Service provider in Middle East, Providing products and services that inspire to make a digital transformation for your business. Learn More


89 says. “After that, IT is aligned to enable the business to achieve its objectives. The fourth industrial revolution has brought disruptive technologies that affect and threaten business existence. This is game changing. I believe the new CIO should be developing a digital transformation model, researching new technologies and how they’re affecting the core business of the organisation, in order to sustain success in the next phase of

“WE KNOW THAT CLOUD COMPUTING IS BECOMING AN INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR BUSINESS SOLUTIONS” — Fathi Mughrabi, CIO, Al Gihaz Holding

digital transformation.” As for the future, Al Gihaz is looking forward to reaping the rewards mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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AL GIHAZ HOLDING

“I BELIEVE THE NEW CIO SHOULD BE DEVELOPING A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION MODEL” — Fathi Mughrabi, CIO, Al Gihaz Holding

90

DECEMBER 2019


of digital transformation. “The next phase will be focusing on stabilising and utilising the new solutions, so that we can realise the return on investment from what we have done,” says Mughrabi. “Then we will be going into business intelligence, where the data generated from those solutions can help the management to take the right decision through accurate and timely presented reports and dashboards. As part of our transformation, Al Gihaz is also diversifying the products it is offering to the market. We’ve started on renewable energy with solar, and I believe there are other renewable energy initiatives that could be introduced like wind and other sources, in addition to smart solutions.”

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THE VANGUARD OF THE MIDDLE EAST

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WRITTEN BY

AMBER DONOVAN-STEVENS PRODUCED BY

JORDAN HUBBARD

DECEMBER 2019


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E M I R AT E S N B D

RICHARD MORTON, ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR LEGAL, EMIRATES NBD, DETAILS THE BANK’S MOVE TO DIGITAL AND HOW THIS CONTRIBUTES TO DUBAI’S PAPERLESS FUTURE

94

E

mirates NBD is currently undertaking one of the largest and most accelerated digital transformations globally in its drive for

innovation as a global player based in the Middle East. As the company unveils two of its new digital banks, Richard Morton, Associate Vice President for Legal, details how the company is at the forefront of Dubai’s competitive edge. Before Emirates, Morton worked for DHL from 2000 to 2012, starting out at the company’s IT headquarters in San Francisco. His role took him to Brussels and, not long after Deutsche Post bought DHL, the company opened a state-of-the-art data centre in Prague, where Morton relocated to lead the legal team. From there he went to IBM in 2013 and, at the start of 2019, moved to Emirates NBD in order to assist with its digital transformation and, more specifically, digital banking and the GDPR transformation. DECEMBER 2019


— Richard Morton, Associate Vice President for Legal, Emirates NBD

95

One of Morton’s critical responsibilities is to ensure that the company’s technology transformation is viable in the market from a regulatory perspective. “For example, we have an initiative for electronic transactions with a significant real estate company here in Dubai, and the courts that have jurisdiction over these particular transactions have agreed in principle to the structure of the proposal. Part of our responsibility is to ensure that we liaise with the relevant Ministries mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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E M I R AT E S N B D

96

“We invest a lot of time and resources into cybersecurity, privacy and confidentiality” — Richard Morton, Associate Vice President for Legal, Emirates NBD

to ensure its viability, even though the transaction structure may not be explicitly provided for in the relevant statutes.” Emirates NBD wins numerous awards every year, often for technological advancements and innovations, and Morton attributes this to the radical overhaul of the company’s infrastructure. “CIO Miguel Rio Tinto has been running full-speed ahead for the last two and a half years on completely transforming the infrastructure. We’re expecting to complete this prior to Expo 2020, and this is a significant milestone for us,” says Morton.

DECEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘DISCOVER A WORLD OF INNOVATIONS THAT PUT YOU FIRST’ 97

BECOMING “THE TECH COMPANY THAT OFFERS BANKING”

“It was a very deliberate choice to

The philosophy at the heart of Emirates’

make Liv and E20 separate brands

vision can be encompassed by a phrase

from the ENBD. The idea is to provide

often said by CEO, Shayne Nelson:

a user experience that provides a

“We shouldn’t be a bank that does

much wider platform than traditional

tech, we should be a tech company

banking. Liv and E-20 accommodate

that does banking.” To build upon this

younger generations that are more

ethos, Emirates NBD created two

attracted to the variety of services

new digital banks: Liv, a digital lifestyle

on these platforms, and the ease and

banking app for millennials, which

speed of digital banking.” As Morton

was launched in 2017; and E20, which

states, the need for banks with which

launched at the end of September

users can personally identify with is the

2019, designed for SME enterprises.

future, and this approach has clearly

“These were created because there

been successful as Liv already has

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was a demand for them,” says Morton.

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E M I R AT E S N B D

98

over 300,000 clients, with that number

use of the data on those platforms. AI

rapidly rising. “This shows us that

is a great tool and it will only become

there was demand and we are meeting

more interesting as its analytical capa-

that demand.” Both of these platforms

bilities become more advanced, but

harness AI and Big Data to better

GDPR needs to be embedded into the

understand customer behavior and

DNA of the company because the risks

provide a more tailored experience,

are enormous. The sole purpose of AI

but Morton notes that there will of

and the use of Big Data is to improve

course always be regulatory chal-

the client’s experience, and we cer-

lenges around this. “GDPR is a huge

tainly invest a lot of time and resources

variable when looking at various

into ensuring an excellent client expe-

platforms, and companies should be

rience, but we also invest a lot of time

very cautious and deliberate about how

and resources into cybersecurity,

they access these platforms and the

privacy and confidentiality.” It is this

DECEMBER 2019


99

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Richard Morton Richard Morton worked for DHL from 2002 to 2012, starting out at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco. His role took him to Brussels and not long after Dutch Post bought DHL, it opened a state-of-the-art data centre in Prague, where Morton relocated in order to head the legal team. From there, he went to IBM in 2013 and, at the start of 2019, moved to Emirates NBD in order to assist with its digital transformation and more specifically, digital transactions and GDPR transformation, as Associate Vice President for legal.

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Open Banking Gains Momentum in the Middle East

Richard Ransom Head of Payments and Transaction Banking, Europe & Middle East, Virtusa

Open banking is now a reality

The term ‘open banking’ covers a wide range of activity, broadly around banks opening up access to data and services through open Application Programming Interfaces (API). This could be bank-controlled third party access for FinTech collaboration, direct connectivity for corporate customers, or regulator-controlled access to third party FinTechs, or other banks. Although the open banking concept is relatively new, it has become a major influence on the agenda globally. The UK’s ‘Open Banking’ initiative, has steadily gained momentum since it became available to customers in early 2018 with over 125 third party FinTechs registered to offer payment initiation and account information services. Across Europe, PSD2 is starting to have an impact on payment services, and in Australia, their take on the UK model is close to becoming a reality. Banks are growing their externally facing API libraries, offering services such as instant cash positions to corporate customers.

2019 – a pivotal year for open banking in the Middle East

The open banking revolution is an opportunity for growth. Encouraging progress is being made by regulators, banks and FinTechs in the Middle East region towards adoption. In May this year, National Bank of Bahrain launched open banking services in the country. It was based on the EU’s PSD2 model of enabling account holder permitted third party access to view account and transaction data, and to initiate payments. In August, UAE’s Emirates NBD certified their first five FinTech startups through their API Sandbox.

To illustrate the potential in the region, In September Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) had registered 100 FinTech companies. Elsewhere, banks in Saudi Arabia are exploring FinTech collaboration, and will soon be able to leverage a new national real-time payment system announced earlier this year.

Making open banking work for the customer and the bank

Even though open banking adoption requires significant innovation investments, it is possible to leverage these investments to obtain a commercial return through new revenue opportunities. To enable such API-driven services, banks need to make significant changes to their information infrastructures. For many banks, these APIs will become a set of discrete products, addressing a rapidly evolving financial services ecosystem. Furthermore, by monetizing APIs in a strategic way, banks can protect their market share and disarm the threat of nimble FinTechs. API monetization could simply be in the form of new external APIs bringing new or extended access to bank services such as more timely or detailed transactional data, however, banks are increasingly collaborating with FinTechs to build new joint propositions and improve internal processes.

Open innovation strategies

FinTech collaboration works best when done on purpose. For instance, through an open innovation platform that can facilitate innovation for banks beyond standard sandbox without impacting live systems. Curated FinTechs can be onboarded to help solve internal bank challenges or create new propositions to provide directly to customers. A ‘building block’ approach to FinTech collaboration can bring greater rewards, creating combinations of different FinTech and bank applications to improve processes such as corporate customer onboarding or KYC ongoing due diligence. Building and testing such solutions at speed and with quality can be achieved through a purpose-built innovation and gamified development platform, such as Virtusa’s Open Innovation Platform. Learn how Emirates NBD leverages Open Innovation Platform to drive better outcomes for its innovation program.


Securing bank systems in the new world

Open banking exposes endpoints in banks to third parties, so requires appropriate levels of audit, control, and monitoring. The current manual auditing and static reporting practices are not sufficient, and given the speed at which threats manifest themselves, an automated continuous API Security Assessment is needed. Using a dynamic, real-time automated tool to analyze your open banking readiness – quantitatively and qualitatively – is the preferred approach, which provides actionable insights and remediation measures. API security issues highlighted by such tools may require you to refactor the processes, applications, internal policies, and people to reduce the security gaps, and help you integrate with external third parties that you may not have a contractual relationship with.

The fundamental ingredients for the success of open banking in the Middle East are either in place, or at least in planning and consultation stages. To make this an opportunity to modernize, compete, and monetize, banks need to look front to back at their systems, processes, security, and their approach to collaboration with FinTechs and technology providers. Regulators need to work with financial services organizations too, as open APIs evolve over time to match customer expectations.

Enhance your digital future with open banking innovation At a scale and speed that defies traditional IT infrastructure

Learn More

Download Virtusa’s latest Open Banking white paper to learn why monetizing Open Banking APIs is vital for long-term success.


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solutions@calypso.com


103

passionate drive to cater to customer

documented and mitigated, but they

demand and its diligence with regula-

will never be eliminated.”

tory challenges that Morton believes

With such a large transformation

gives Emirates NBD its competitive

underway, it is unsurprising that change

edge. The same cautious approach

management is being carried out with

is applicable to cloud capabili-

great care. “When you’re dealing with

ties. “There is still concern around the

the huge number of changes that we

cloud and how information is secured,

are going through, it’s important to

even more so for a bank,” Morton

have great leadership, not just from

explains. “It’s important for us that

the top down, but at all levels,” he

the legal department compliments the

says. “The first step to change is that

facilitation of new ideas. Tech moves

there is a belief that this is the right

much faster than law and we have to

thing to do and, on the ground level,

ensure that the risks are well analysed,

that we all believe in it. Everyone here

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Business is about people Condo Protego is the leading regional IT infrastructure and information management solution provider. With an impressive client list that includes some of the largest organizations in the region, Condo Protego is the partner of choice for these organizations to support them on their digital transformation journeys and is one of the top partners for DELL EMC, RSA, VMware and Veritas.

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“Once you really take the physical world out of the equation, you’re dealing purely with digital worlds” — Richard Morton, Associate Vice President for Legal, Emirates NBD

the management of Liv CEO, Jayesh Patel, and Evans Munyuki, CDO and founder of E20, both of whom he describes as “really carrying the innovation of future banking”. As Morton and Emirates NBD move forward, they anticipate the growth of E20 and Liv, and the role that both will play in Dubai’s drive to going paperless. “The government in Dubai has been incredibly innovative and supportive in its promotion of new technologies, and

understands that the banking industry

its drive to be the first truly paper-

is changing fast and is under threat at

less city,” explains Morton. “What’s

every level.” Echoing the sentiments of

most compelling about the future isn’t

CEO Shayne Nelson, Morton says: “we are upgrading the company on a granular level. From the sign-up process through to terms and conditions; everyone is empowered to do what needs to be done to become more relevant, more flexible and more future-proof.”

THE VANGUARD OF THE MIDDLE EAST Morton has been particularly impressed with the speed and accuracy of the transformation. “Miguel has worked incredibly hard and the results show it has been profound across the landscape.” Morton also commends mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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105


E M I R AT E S N B D

1963

Year founded

$2bn+

Revenue in US dollars

10,000

Number of employees

106

1mn+

Active current accounts

just the bank, but the entire region and its regulatory landscape. We’ve been given the opportunity to serve our customers in entirely new ways.” Morton considers Emirates NBD as “the vanguard of the Middle East” and believes that the bank is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s most innovative banks. “We are at the tip of the iceberg; going paperless is just the beginning, because the fact is that once you really take the physical world out of the equation, you’re dealing purely with DECEMBER 2019


“When you’re dealing with the huge number of changes that we are going through, it’s important to have great leadership, not just from the top down, but at all levels” — Richard Morton, Associate Vice President for Legal, Emirates NBD digital worlds. In the digital world the capabilities are endless, the opportunities to serve your clients in new and innovative ways are infinite, and this is only going to grow as a trend.” Emirates NBD remains a corporate stronghold in the Middle East and, with its shared vision with the city of Dubai, it will evolve this role into the digital space as a leader on an international level.

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108

How STC is leading the digital revolution in MENA WRITTEN BY

MATT HIGH PRODUCED BY

GLEN WHITE

DECEMBER 2019


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STC

Haithem M. Alfaraj, Chief Technology Officer at STC, explains how its technology transformation has made it a digital leader

“ T

echnology transformation is a major enabler of our overarching strategy, which is to be a world-class regional digital leader

that provides innovative services and platforms that enable the digital revolution of the MENA region, and enrich people’s lives,” says Haithem M. Alfaraj, 110

Chief Technology Officer at STC Group. Alfaraj has considerable experience in implementing new technologies and driving innovative transformation programmes. He has been with STC since 2016, assuming his current role in the early part of last year. A key responsibility in this position is the developing and leading of transformation projects designed to improve the organisation-wide deployment of innovative IT and communications solutions. It has been, he explains, “an interesting and informative experience that required a high learning curve in terms of my leadership, both with regards to technology and the wider company’s ambition and transformation. It also creates an opportunity to develop new digital leadership that can take the company to the next level and support the national transformation of the country’s Vision 2030.” DECEMBER 2019


111

During Alfaraj’s tenure, STC has been no stranger to innovation. It has pioneered the use of 5G, for example, becoming the first operator to launch a live 5G network in May 2018. In June of 2019, it launched 5G services commercially. These developments, Alfaraj notes, as well as other wider initiatives and technology innovations, form part of the wider transformation he has overseen. “We focused on developing a strong technology strategy that would advance our capabilities and enable our business mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

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STC

“Our customers’ experience and achieving true customer-centric operations have been fundamental principles in our transformation” 112

— Haithem M. Alfaraj, Technology & Operations SVP at STC

to be successful – we knew we always had to be at the advanced stages of development when it comes to technologies covering infrastructure, platforms, cloud, applications, AI and Big Data to maintain our leading position in MENA’s digital revolution. At the same time, we worked on our operating model to ensure it was both agile and collaborative.” A key focus for Alfaraj was to ensure that STC’s technology transformation supported the organisation’s wider DARE strategy. This outlines the key pillars under which the business looks to expand: Digitise by becoming a data driven, technologically agile organisation focused on enhanced experiences; Accelerate core asset performance through cultural and technological change, as well as growing both B2G and B2B market segments to lead the market; Reinvent the customer experience through the personalisation of interactions with technology to create new, attractive journeys; and Expand aggressively by pursuing all opportunities for growth related to services and applications, platforms

DECEMBER 2019


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘STC’ 113 and connectivity and infrastructure. Digital and technology are key

“In so doing, it was apparent that our legacy infrastructure wouldn’t have

aspects of realising DARE, he notes,

been able to meet the requirements

outlining how he focused on certain

of the new services we were looking

domains such as services and appli-

to introduce or meet the expecta-

cation, AI and analytics, platforms

tions of our customers in terms of

and connectivity, and infrastructure.

the quality standards we expect to

However, much of the overall devel-

deliver. As an example of our digital

opment was driven by the desire to

transformation, in the wholesale

reinvent STC’s customer experience.

domain, technology demands and

“Going through this transformation

gaps are covered by digitisation,

provided an opportunity to baseline

which is a result of agile partner-

our current operations and archi-

ships adapted during the innovation

tecture and better understand our

phase of the solution. These part-

business performance,” says Alfaraj.

nerships resulted in improvement of

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STC

114

time-to-market, cost reduction and

company’s capabilities and create an

automation of processes.

evolution to customer satisfaction.

“If you look at technology and opera-

“Our objective,” he adds, “is to make

tions as a sector of the business, then

customer experience a competitive

our customers’ experience and achiev-

advantage and a true differentiator for

ing true customer-centric operations

us in the market – something we have

have been fundamental principles in

successfully managed to do over the

our transformation,” Alfaraj continues.

last few years.” Key aspects of that

He details how this has been achieved,

success include leading the region in

including through a focus on baselin-

investing in technologies that continu-

ing and reimagining customer journeys

ously measure customer experience,

and stories through in-depth customer

revamping assurance and operational

design thinking with our business

processes to make service and

units to ensure they are in line with the

customer experience the priority,

DECEMBER 2019


E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Haithem M. Alfaraj Engineer, Haitham M. Alfaraj joined STC in 2016 and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Technology and Operation. He is responsible for conceiving, planning, operating as well as leading the implementation of transformation projects to improve organisationwide deployment of information technology and communication services and solutions. Previously at STC, Haitham served as Vice President of Operation Sector, where he led challenging transformation programmes that excelled the technical operational performance of STC communication services. Haitham joined STC in 2016 from Etihad Etisalat, Mobily Company, where he was Chief Technology Operations Officer. He spent 11 years with Mobily in leadership positions for infrastructure and service management operations. Prior to that, he worked at Saudi Aramco for four years. He holds a Bachelor in Computer Engineering from King Fahad University in Dhahran, and enrolled in multiple executive leadership programmes from Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and other institutes. Haitham is currently on the board of STC Specialized, STC Solution. He is an experienced technology executive who possesses extensive technology knowledge, strong leadership skills and superb relationship management abilities. Haithem has a well-rounded business foundation with keen strategic insight that allows him to manage relationship building, talent development, and organisation turnaround and realignment activities. He has additional expertise in telecom and information technologies, quality management, infrastructure planning, performance improvement, partner alliances, operations excellence, vendor management, outsourcing strategy, and facility/data center and cloud services.

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STC

“Technology transformation is a major enabler of our overarching strategy, which is to be a world-class digital leader that provides innovative services and platforms that enable the digital revolution of the MENA region”

118

— Haithem M. Alfaraj, Technology & Operations SVP at STC

With regards to specific technologies, connectivity and speed of connection have been a large focus for Alfaraj and his team. STC already has the highest mobile speed and the most reliable network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, yet it continues to improve this through investment in its ‘backbone’ – data centres, transportation networks and each individual layer of its overall network. “Our new MySTC app has also had a significant impact,” he notes. “This is entirely in line with our digitalisation vision, and facilitates the purchase of smart devices and SIM cards through the

establishing a dedicated service

app store, complete with free delivery.

performance and customer services

It also covers fixed services with intel-

unit, and creating new KPIs and KQIs

ligent customer support capabilities.”

that are aligned with a customer-

On 10 November it was announced

centric approach. To achieve these

that MySTC had received the ‘App

objectives, STC leveraged its data

of the Year’ Golden Award at the

and analytics capability it has built

Network PGs 2019 IT World Awards,

over the years to not only improve

an event organised annually in San

customer experience, but also to

Francisco to recognise excellence in

generate revenue and optimise cost.

technology worldwide.

This capability includes employing

To achieve such significant change

AI techniques such as machine-

requires effective relationships with

learning, NLP and RPA to introduce

key partners and vendors. Here,

efficiency into its operations.

Alfaraj explains that the business has

DECEMBER 2019


119

collaborative platforms at every level

solutions to our customers. For more

of the organisation. “Going through

mature technologies and services, we

this transformation has actually

prefer an ‘off the shelf’ approach that

opened doors for us to have better

is efficient, cost-effective and allows

strategic dialogue with our partners

for faster delivery of products through

and to explore new technologies and

their lifecycle.”

solutions with them,” he says. “For all

STC works with many of the larg-

new or emerging technologies and

est tech and telco brands, including

services, such as 5G, telco-cloud, vir-

Accenture, for digital telco transforma-

tualisation or network transformations,

tion, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokai for

we adopt a collaborative development

5G development and IoT, Redhat for

ecosystem in which we work together

cloud technology developments, and

as partners to identify and deliver

Teradata and SAS for Big Data analyt-

optimal, agile, robust and high-quality

ics. Accordingly, says Alfaraj, STC

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120

has “vast experience� in managing successful collaboration. To do this, he explains, the business approaches each collaboration with firm guidelines in mind that cover such areas as joint planning and strategising, business alignment and planning, executive engagement, technical integration and field readiness, and more. Naturally, greater use of technology brings heightened risk, particularly in terms of cybersecurity. Being a digital leader, STC well understands the risks and how DECEMBER 2019


1998

Year founded

51,963mn Revenue in Saudi Riyal

13,383 Number of employees

critical they are to a successful technology transformation, particularly with the adoption of cloud and IoT solutions. The company invests in three key areas: people, process and technology. “This includes hiring the best cybersecurity professionals and consultants and training a large pool of Saudi graduates in the latest preventative security technologies, all in line with our vision,� says Alfaraj. In addition, the company has established a strong cybersecurity governance, risk and compliance capability within its cybersecurity sector. This combines policies, standards and audits for use in the STC partner ecosystem to ensure consistency in all operations. In terms of technology and partnership, STC has invested in security technologies to complement the governance aspect of protection, deploying the largest Threat Intel programme and Anti-DDoS capability in the Kingdom. These two programmes, as well as several others, have protected STC and the Kingdom at large from major globally known cyberattacks, guaranteeing not only STC’s continued service,

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STC

but business as usual for every STC client (Government, Enterprises and Consumers). High-level partnerships with giants like Saudi Aramco, Cybersecurity Center under the World Economic Forum and FIRST. org have been forged to solidify STC’s contribution to local and global Cybersecurity. With the continuous evolution of technology security risks, STC is mandated to sustain and ensure full command around risks mitigations and proper controls. 122

Looking more broadly, STC intends to continue leading the digital revolution in MENA in line with the

“Once the leadership adopted the changes, the rest was a chain reaction right through the organisation” — Haithem M. Alfaraj, Technology & Operations SVP at STC

transformation Alfaraj describes. One example of this is the company’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme, which includes objectives around digitalisation and extending high speed internet access to all citizens. Steps the business has already taken in this area include streamlining of its vision with that of Vision 2030, adopting a digitalisation framework to significantly lift the nation’s digital potential, improving infrastructure and technology, and upskilling its workforce.

DECEMBER 2019


123

In the latter, Alfaraj is resolute in his

significantly into building our capabil-

belief of the importance of people.

ity across the company, and we were

“Any transformation is about people

fortunate to have a management team

and how we work – we knew from the

committed to driving that change.

start that this journey would be about

That has brought real innovation in

enhancing capabilities, increasing

the way we run our operations, and it

collaboration and developing new

was important to our overall success

ways of working,” he explains. “Our

– once the leadership adopted the

change management was built

changes, the rest was a chain reac-

around three themes; clarity, capabili-

tion right through the organisation.”

ties and commitment. We made sure everyone knew of all the changes every step of the way, we invested mid dl e e a s t . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m

a f r ic a . b u s in e s s c hie f. c o m


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Profile for Business Chief Middle East

Business Chief MEA Edition – December 2019  

Business Chief MEA Edition – December 2019