Titans GCC October 2022

Page 1

of

Relevance, Competence

2022 GCC OCTOBER 2022 | VOL 5 ISSUE 7 BROUGHT BY SUREN VEDANTHAM, Managing Director StorIT Distribution FZCO
2 Decades
Focus,

As you turn over pages of this issue of The Titans, you are flipping through the thoughts of decision makers who are a part of the 30,000+ CXO community— driving collective thoughts, expectations, and poli cies in a post-pandemic world. The Global CIO Forum has ventured into further horizons this year and spread its horizons to unchartered territories. With the World CIO 200 touring 40 countries this year, our community grew from strength to strength and more and more CIOs became the unified voice of the community.

During our tour, we touched upon the various aspects and frag ments of #LeadX (Leading through transformation) wherein CIOs and IT heads from various domains spoke at length about how they have been sailing successfully through the crisis and bringing business back to normal at full throttle. One of the most common observations noted was, not to fall for the hype cycle. In 2022 we saw a lot of newer tech nologies making it to the news, thereby forcing the CIOs to rethink their organizational goals. As history says – No Size Fits All— it becomes imperative for the CIO to see which piece of the puzzle fits where. Is the technology really going to help them? Is the technology a right fit for their organization? How much technology is too much? Where does the journey of transformation pause?

Our CIOs, in this issue of the Titans, talk about the various facets of this transformational challenges that are thrown at them in their day to day life and how they sail smooth. Most importantly, the CIOs talk about how they as the technology heads plan to take their business and department forward with relevant technology.

In our exclusive cover feature this month, Suren Vedantham, Manag ing Director of StorIT talks to us about the evolving role of the CIOs in a post-pandemic world and how the company has managed to stay relevant and focused to customer needs for two decades. He says “It is important to understand, without reservations or prejudice, where you stand in terms of current level of technology adoption and your aspira tions to embrace digital transformation to turn your organization into a robust entity that can maximize business potential or even become a trail blazer in your industry,”.

Very well, that is food for thought for the IT decision makers for 2023 and beyond. It is always not about falling for the hype, but staying rel evant and bringing relevant solutions to your customers and business.

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Tushar Sahoo

CO-FOUNDER & CEO

Ronak Samantaray

GLOBAL HEAD, CONTENT AND STRATEGIC ALLIANCES

Anushree Dixit anushree@gecmediagroup.com

ASSISTANT EDITOR

Rehisha PE rehisha@gecmediagroup.com

SALES

Richa S richa@gecmediagroup.com

Anuradha Basu anuradha@gecmediagroup.com

Ines Ben Rejeb ines@gecmediagroup.com

COMMUNICATIONS LEAD Gurleen Rooprai gurleen@gecmediagroup.com

Jennefer Lorraine Mendoza jennefer@gecmediagroup.com

CREATIVE LEAD

Ajay Arya

DESIGNER Rahul Arya

BY

info@gecmediagroup.com

PRINTED BY Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing LLC. Masafi Compound, Satwa, P.O.Box: 5613, Dubai, UAE PUBLISHED BY Accent Infomedia MEA FZ LLC Office No #115, First Floor, G2 Circular Building , Dubai Production City (IMPZ) Phone : +971 4 564 8684 31 FOXTAIL LAN, MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ - 08852 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PHONE NO: + 1 732 794 5918 A PUBLICATION LICENSED BY International Media Production Zone, Dubai, UAE @copyright 2013 Accent Infomedia. All rights reserved. while the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein. GCF DESK GCC anushree@gecmediagroup.com ANUSHREE DIXIT GLOBAL HEAD, CONTENT AND STRATEGIC ALLIANCES Staying Relevant! SUBSCRIPTIONS
SOCIAL MARKETING & DIGITAL COMMUNICATION Yasobant Mishra yasobant@gecmediagroup.com DESIGNED

Relevance,

04 06 16 46 BASHAYER AL DAGHARI, IT Head at Abu Dhabi Government SERGIO ANTELO, CTO & CISO Mundocrypto ANGELO SANTANA, Regional CIO South Europe McKesson Europe YAHYAH PANDOR, Chief Information & Digital Officer (CIDO) Fine Hygienic Holding Content COVER STORY 10-14
Competence 2 Decades of Focus, THE TITANS 3OCTOBER 2022

How to Optimize a

Business Operation?

In order to enhance the business, the team should study the current situation of the operation and follow a strong business gap analysis plan every year.

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

United Arab Emirates government generally and the Abu Dhabi government, in particular, focused in the last years on the social sector where the citizen's needs are fulfilled to create an aware and deliberate society. Many news and updated policies have been released in 2022 regarding society and relate to the citizen, such as the "social welfare program for lowincome citizens" that targets Emirati families whose total income is less than AED 25,000 a month. This program shows the genuine intention of the government to take the social sector to another higher level.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Indeed, gender balance and diversity in a workplace have their benefits such as having

BASHAYER AL DAGHARI, IT Head at Abu Dhabi Government

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 20224

different perspectives and enhanced team collaboration and it has cultural benefits by opening up to the other gender. However, to me, quality comes first disregarding the gender type.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

The work environment that I always believed in, is that we need to have a reliable process we follow as employees disregard the titles and positions where the absence of any employee doesn't have any impact on the work operations. I believe that all managers need to put a KPI on themselves to build that process where their absence or their team's absence won't impact the service.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

When you are at a managerial level the position by default gives you the power to enhance, fix, and change. Hence, using this power positively and seeing fabulous results makes you thirst for more improvements.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

To me, the most challenging part of my current position is dealing with human resources (employees you are leading) and it is the most difficult part as no one should necessarily believe your vision or should have the same intention

as you do. Your role as a manager is first to let them accept you in person then let them accept your vision and then start to build as a whole team. Note that this challenge will not last forever as it is a temporary challenge.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT?

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

First thing in case you decided to enhance your current business you need to study the current situation of your operations then build a business gap analysis plan and then work based on the outputs from the study and this is exactly what has been achieved in 2022. In the gap analysis study, we made two types of enhancements (short-term and long-term), and currently we have reached the short-term improvements on the systems to help the operations and we started looking for longterm solutions.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

At the end of the day, you as a manager spend a major time of your day with your team and vice versa so having a passionate bonding with the team helps to feel comfortable to give for the work so you as a manager can get the max benefit from the team and the team can get in return the full support and respect. So it is a winning deal for both.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A

CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

When you are leading a team you need to have two things:

• First, the full power from your higher managers.

• Second, the managerial criteria/skills to manage teams to continue your section/ department operations. The power helped me to ask for the needed resources/tools so we can make sure the business continues and having the managerial standards in a successful manager will help consider all the aspects that your team may encounter.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

The significant contribution that I will always be proud of is that I have created the IT service catalog where all the services provided by the Information Technology team are listed there considering each service with its description, service level agreement, service owner, and the system owner. Additionally, I was playing a substantial role in setting the IT Department policy & procedure from scratch. As I mentioned earlier my goal always is to set a process that we all follow to help us operate with no obstruction.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS.

The year of,

• Positive transformation

• Positive enhancements

• Positive growth

TOP GLOBAL CIOs THE TITANS 5OCTOBER 2022

Productive Team Building,

Effective Technology

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

The industry is moving towards progressive digitization and automation of most of the internal processes of companies as well as the services and products they are offering. Efficiency, innovation, and security are the keys to winning the race, and this can be achieved using key technologies in 2022 such as big data, artificial intelligence, cloud, and blockchain on top of these.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Definitely yes. Diverse, inclusive, and multicultural workplaces are one of the factors to success. Each person is biased by their life experience, which is also influenced by the country of origin. Having an international team enrichens the working atmosphere, eliminating the life

SERGIO ANTELO, CTO & CISO Mundocrypto

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
There should be a solid and efficient team structure with a correct division between management, operations, and execution.
THE TITANS OCTOBER 20226
FLIPPING TOWARDS INNOVATION Phone: +1 (732) 794-5918 | Email: hello@opxtechnology.com | www.opxtechnology.com Cloud & Digital Transformation ERP on Cloud Cyber Security Solutions Analytics & Automation AI & ML as a Service YOUR PARTNER FOR

biases of each worker and pushing them to grow both professionally and personally.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

My dream work environment is built on five pillars: efficiency, agility, happiness, freedom, and fairness. The work culture that we apply in our department is based on these pillars. We always follow strict timelines in an agile and efficient way, keeping freedom and fairness on top of the execution. The team is the most relevant asset of a department; therefore, every single member must be happy to make things work.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

The challenges we are facing day to day since we are working in the blockchain and gaming industries together make them innovative while lacking available solutions. We know that we are game changers and that we will be part of the future. This is the most motivational and inspirational feeling one can experience in a job.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Managing and dealing with 8 different teams each having a diverse background. Right now, I am leading the infrastructure, web development, support, data, cybersecurity, app development, blockchain, and gaming teams,

each of them located either inhouse or remote. This can be the perfect combination for a great disaster or a great success, and in my case, I chose the latter.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

My plan for 2022 is clear. Firstly, to do the digital transformation of the company (done). Secondly, set the base of our main project (metaverse) and our main product (academy). Thirdly, execute the project through technology creating the web architecture (frontend and backend), backend services, necessary smart contracts, gaming assets and web, desktop, and mobile applications. Finally, cybersecurity and data management will run on top of the former.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

Team building is essential to execute the plan. Firstly, there should be a solid and efficient team structure with a correct division between management, operations, and execution. Secondly, the team communication must be outstanding, keeping an optimal inflow and outflow of both intradepartmental and interdepartmental information. In order to achieve this, the team should follow a stack of procedures as well as have an optimal relationship between them, which is achieved through team dynamics.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

When you are leading a team you need to have two things: In the company where I’m currently working, I’m leading a culturally diverse team. This has never been a challenge for me since during most of my academic and professional life I’ve been surrounded by people from all around the world, so I’m used to it. However, it has brought many advantages to the members of my team who were not used to this, forcing them to ingest new cultural values, speaking new languages, modifying certain aspects of their working habits, etc. When I arrived from my first experience abroad, I told my mum: “Diversity brings you a new world of opportunities”. I still maintain it.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

My most significant contribution was helping the company to define its business model and structure, creating the IT department from scratch, and setting the base for the digital transformation of the company. The company was wandering with different business models and lacked a clear direction. I set the path to the business model we are implementing right now and I leveraged it through technology.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS. Perseverance, Learning, and Happy Dream.

TOP GLOBAL CIOs C M Y CM MY CY CMY K THE TITANS OCTOBER 20228

Relevance,

SUREN VEDANTHAM Managing Director StorIT Distribution FZCO
Competence 2 Decades of Focus, THE TITANS OCTOBER 202210

StorIT is celebrating its 20th year of success in the Middle East as a VAD. Over the last two decades, StorIT has witnessed multiple economic cycles of varying degrees from the rapid transformation of the region driven by the Real Estate, Tourism, Oil&gas, and Banking sectors of the early 2000s to the grim prospects of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. It is soon followed by a semblance of a reviving regional economic growth all the way through the paradigmshifting influence of the recent pandemic. Our exclusive interview with Suren Vedantham, MD, StorIT.

COVER STORY THE TITANS 11OCTOBER 2022

TWO DECADES, COUNTLESS PHASES

The last two years were two decades in itself, in terms of the experience, and business has undergone multi-faceted changes. “While every cycle brings new challenges, they invariably present great opportunities of growth if you are invested in building a dynamic organization that can not only anticipate the constant change that drives our industry but also cultivate a robust culture

COVER STORY
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202212

to withstand the impacts of unanticipated change you may end up facing”, says Suren.

For StorIT, it has been a great journey of learning and growing with a steadfast determination to stay at the cutting edge of emerging technologies while consolidating their position as a leading Technology Solutions Distributor who recognizes digital transformation as the core driver of their business. “We are always grateful to both our clients and

vendor partners for being a huge part of our success story through the last two decades” adds Suren.

KEEPING THE MAST SAILING

The biggest challenge posed by the pandemic was to remain closely connected with our customer and vendor partners to ensure business continuity.

“I feel the business community at large was robust enough to quickly adopt tools like video conferencing as a makeshift alternative to meetings in person, though less desirable. But on the brighter side businesses have realized the usage of remote communication tools to increase efficiency levels effectively. Without making radical changes to the business model, it was about maintaining high efficiency levels in areas of communication and tech support while delivering on the expected time of product availability” emphasizes Suren.

BUILDING A SOLID TEAM

Henry Ford's quote, "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself," holds true for the everyday scene at StorIT office.

“It takes a highly committed team, in all areas of a business, to succeed as an organization through the challenges of different economic cycles”, says Suren. “And communication remains key to a broader understanding, appreciation and execution of your goals and ambitions at all times. We are fortunate to have built a team of professionals who value excellence and achievement. It is

humbling to realize we continued to achieve double digit year on year growth through the pandemic while not only retaining but also growing the size of our team”, he adds.

Story Highlights

• StorIT has signed strategic Distribution partnerships with world’s leading technology vendors like OpenGear, Netbrain, Digi, Reveal Security and AutomationEdge

• Greater value to our reseller channel in pursuit of delivering turnkey digital transformation solutions

• High-growth technology areas - Network Automation, IT Infrastructure Management, IOT, RPA & HyperAutomation, Application detection Response Solutions.

CHANNEL DEVELOPMENT AND RESKILLING

StorIT’s business has been built on a Channel development model which extends a turnkey support system to their resellers across the broad spectrum of consultancy, pre-sales, training, professional services, marketing and sales, thus setting them up for success in a partnership that brings immense value creating exponential growth prospects year on year.

AN EVER-RELEVANT VENDOR ECOSYSTEM

“StorIT has been the leading value added distributor specializing in Data Management Solutions over the past 20 years, thanks to our traditional vendor partners

COVER STORY
THE TITANS 13OCTOBER 2022

like Dell, Commvault, Quantum, and others with whom we continue to build on our rock-solid relationship”, says Suren.

Simultaneously, the VAD has been making significant forays in the fast evolving areas of technologies that continue to have profound impact in the ever changing landscape, like AI, HyperAutomation, Managed Services, Cyber Security, Network Automation and IT Infrastructure Management based on their partnerships with cutting edge technology vendors like OpenGear, Netbrain, Digi, AutomationEdge, etc.

GET, SET, AUTOMATE

StorIT’s Automation Solution is a Hyperautomation tool with multiple process automation capabilities in parallel. With the power of API & UI Automation combined with 500+ ready plugins, it is a one-stop solution for process automation. The capability with NLP/NLU within the platform delivers Conversational RPA & ITPA. It has OCR built-in the platform with reject and repaid stations for the digitalization team to eye-ball. Beyond this, the automation tools have the capacity to connect any OCR tool and further automate the process.

CIOS IN THE POST-PANDEMIC WORLD

The role of a CIO has been going through a tremendous change and increasing importance over the last 20 years in enterprise organizations triggered by largescale adoption of information

technology that would define their growth trajectory by providing a technological advantage to stay relevant and succeed. The extraordinary advancement in IT Systems in recent years spurred by the emergence of AI, HyperAutomation, BlockChain, Cloud Solutions, Video & Audio Collaboration, DevOps, Managed Services, 4G & 5G, Big Data Analytics, etc., and the increasing threats posed by cyber security and unanticipated events like a pandemic, climate change, and war, has widened the scope and importance of a CIO’s role. Suren gives 3 suggestions to the CIOs who are embarking on their digital transformation journey. The 3 suggestions are as follows:

• It is important to understand, without reservations or prejudice, where you stand in terms of the current level of technology adoption and your aspirations to embrace digital transformation to turn your organization into a robust entity that can maximize business potential or even become a trailblazer in your industry.

• Secondly, evaluate suitable technology vendors and draw a road map of the process.

• Finally, partner with domain expert(s) with broad industry experience and a successful track record in realizing the digital transformation that can set you up for long-term success.

TOP PRIORITIES OF 2022

While StorIT continue to

consolidate and grow their core business around Data Management Solutions, they have made great strides in the areas of Managed Services, Network Automation, IT Infrastructure Management, HyperAutomation, DevOps/NetOps, and Security. Simultaneously, there is a concerted effort to constantly enhance their local presence in every GCC country with increased sales, logistics, and tech support resources to match our business growth. StorIT will remain focused on staying on the cutting edge of technology with a superior degree of domain expertise and innovation that creates partnerships of immense value with our resellers, customers, and vendors.

GITEX 2022 IS ON ITS WAY!

Gitex, one of the world’s largest global IT conferences, is the perfect platform to showcase the very best of digital transformation solutions with their world-leading technology partners like Dell, Opengear, Digi, AutomationEdge, Netbrain, Commvault, and others.

At StorIT, the narrative will always be about people, aspirations, and excellence. The unfolding marvels of technology are the binding factor that drives their enthusiasm and excitement to look forward to creating new milestones in the journey rather than sitting on their laurels. They are as excited today as they were 20 years ago, and they will remain an invaluable partner to their customers and vendors another decade from now.

COVER STORY
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202214

DIGITAL

UNLEASH
HUAWEI at GITEX GLOBAL 2022 Visit us at Za’abeel Hall 1, Dubai World Trade Center 10 - 14 October Huawei GITEX Website

Building a Team with the

Inciting 3Es

A team should be built in a trusted and secure environment and should be supported by the concept of 3Es: Experience, Exposure, and Education.

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

For the last two years, COVID has meant that healthcare has been the focus of everyone’s attention and the pandemic has worked as a catalyst to speed up some trends. I believe

IT should focus on key areas that will guide the future growth of the industry such as go-to-market complexity, digitalization of healthcare data, value-based care, and better understanding of patient behaviours using AI and machine learning as a great ally on this journey. Additionally, remote working and online consultation have been dramatically increased. I can already see examples of hospitals and health systems in Europe increasing their investment in cloud computing and 5G to cover this trend.

ANGELO SANTANA,

Regional CIO South Europe McKesson Europe

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202216

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Absolutely. Some concepts and ideas in five, ten, or twenty years ago, are no longer valid today. The world is in constant change. Cultural and educational background, diversity, and life experience bring new horizons and possibilities. It makes any organization with these values in place win as one team, leveraging the differences and bringing out the best in people’s performance. I am proud to say that here at McKesson, we believe that diversity makes us better and inclusive leadership should start with the senior leaders of the organization.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

I would say a place where we can be ourselves, embraced with diversity and transparency among my colleagues, vendors, and partners. It would be a place where the organization provides you with all the tools and opportunities to develop yourself as a professional and a better human being.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Being in a regional position provides me with the opportunity to learn and interact with different

people and cultures, supporting them to bring their expertise and solutions to other group business units. Having the possibility to experience and leverage these aspects is priceless for any professional career.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Dealing with a wider range of business realities in different countries, understanding all the local particularities and challenges they face ahead, and at the same time, finding a balance to keep the local teams motivated by inspiring them and supporting their performance.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

As mentioned below, (remark: question 9) to continue supporting the M&A process and together with the local IT teams, assuring the technology landscape are in place and independent from the global solutions.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

I would say it’s a daily routine, creating a trusted and secure environment and supported by the concept I call 3E: Experience, Exposure, and Education. For the first E, meaningful development most often comes from the “hands-on” process, which consists of working on stretching assignments and leading key

projects. The second E, is to support a team member to get exposure to other senior leaders in the business. And the last one is formal training and professional certificates and qualifications.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

Currently, in McKesson, we have a presence in the US, Canada, and different countries in Europe. Being the CIO responsible for countries in the south of the continent gives me the opportunity to lead people from different cultures, ethnicities, and ages. From time to time, we bring the leadership of each country together to share new thoughts and experiences which provide great value for the organization.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

In 2021, McKesson decided to leave the European market. I would say that my most significant contribution was to orchestrate with the countries, the separation of the global IT landscape including Data Centers, SAP, e-commerce, and WMS solutions from the US to be managed by the local IT teams as part of the M&A process activities.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS.

• Disruptive

• Challenging

• World Reshaping

TOP GLOBAL CIOs THE TITANS 17OCTOBER 2022

Is Technology Evolving

Too Fast?

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

It is not a surprise to know, that financial and operational pressures on organizations are chain disruption, inflation, and the scarcity of skilled people. On top of the generation, the shift is happening to the introduction of millennials and introduction

generation’s mindset and point of view of being an employee. This is like working remotely, working part-time, fewer ties to a company, and more freedom to enjoy life; all these mandates, while insuring more productivity. So, is this an impossible mission? Definitely “No”; advances in cloud technologies, virtualization, security, artificial intelligence, dev-ops, and agile project management allow industry leaders to do that; nevertheless, planning and adapting to change and budgeting for it remain a challenge to live with.

MOHAMED A. RAOUF, Director of Services & New Technologies Gulf Medical Co. Ltd.

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
Technological evolution is rapid and fast and the benefits of coping with changes are immense.
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202218

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Diversity has become a fact of life. Finding skilled people to collaborate remotely on technology projects has become much easier giving a wider pool of choice to ensure meeting budget constraints and ensuring a high level of skills.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

For me, a dream work environment should balance 5 key functions in life; continuous education, social collaboration, spirituality and mindfulness, exercise, and finally working productively and efficiently to deliver world-class outcomes in the lowest required time via better collaboration and knowledge transfer. A personal prospective of a happy life is to be able to finish what I want of these 5 key functions in one day but in 2-3 hours, not necessarily all the 5 every day but definitely doing each of them not less than 3 days a week.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

What is satisfying in my job is the management’s trust and flexibility, working with a skilled, fun, and collaborative team. Moreover the transparency in sharing

knowledge and information, and most importantly, the positive attitude of all team members is the satisfying aspect of the job, because we are facing a challenge for a couple of years going through the transformation, and without this satisfaction, it is tough to go on!

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

The biggest challenge is change management. Technological evolution is rapid and fast and the benefits of coping with changes are immense. This is possible only if people can embrace it, as the ability to accept changes differs among individuals. Some require small effort, some require more, and some others just don’t get it.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT?

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

In 2022 we have several projects ongoing, starting from digitizing our sales & service processes and ending with digitizing our human resources process. This puts a big pressure as well on our technology team to continuously educate themselves, in technical, functional, and soft skills. We are also able to address change management requirements with our business users.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

I strongly believe in continuously elevating our core team

competencies while relying on our gig-contracting to be able to be on board and utilize highly skilled personnel across the globe. This gives the flexibility to change outsourced resources whenever different competencies are needed depending on business needs.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

Our team is highly diverse; in gender, ethnicity, and cultural perspectives. The good thing about dealing with technology is that all these differences forge into one pot of collaboration when it comes to technical and functional requirements. Working collaboratively is inevitable, although always one challenge remains, which is soft skills. This requires leading by example and patience.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

I started my role in my company in 2021, but the most significant contribution was to have a 30-month agile plan to disrupt sales, service, finance, human resources, infrastructure, and executive management experience without impacting expenses, on a promise to minimize expenses by end of 2023.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS.

Challenging, fun, and rewarding.

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202220

Illuminate, Accelerate & Empower Every Digital Experience

Visit Riverbed Technology to explore two industry-leading portfolios that drive enterprise performance and exceptional digital experiences. With Alluvio™ Unified Observability, transform data into actionable insights to deliver seamless, secure digital experiences for customers and employees. With Riverbed Acceleration, provide fast, agile, secure acceleration of any app, over any network, to users everywhere. Learn more at riverbed.com.

Riverbed. Empower the Experience

© 2022 Riverbed Technology LLC. All rights reserved.
Location: Concourse 2 – Stand CC2-26 Dubai World Trade Center 10th – 14th October 2022

Diversity and Inclusion:

The Breathe of Business Growth

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector continued to adopt rapid technological innovation advancements to drive the trajectory of the digital economy and accelerate digital transformation and sustainability for businesses across industries.

Many technological trends shape our future; however, I think Metaverse technology is thriving and shining where the virtual worlds have gained momentum. It will change how we interact and connect in many forms, including learning, working, gaming and businesses. Businesses need to understand the potential of Metaverse to increase the efficiency and quality of services

provided for the customers taking into consideration governance challenges, including accessibility, interoperability, and privacy.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE? Diversity and inclusion in the

A great example of cultural diversity is the United Arab Emirates since our leadership believes D&I is a source of strength and enrichment.

ENG. BASHAYER

HASSAN AL ALI, Project Manager

Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA)

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202222

workplace are crucial drivers of innovation, business growth, and success. It creates a high-trust environment for everyone and helps employees to be engaged, passionate, and feel they belong and that their unique talents matter. A great example of cultural diversity is the United Arab Emirates since our leadership believes D&I is a source of strength and enrichment.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

I am happy to be part of TDRA, where I work in a productive atmosphere that encourages innovation and creativity with supportive leadership and positive people. Besides, the openness to an international collaboration flourish in creation, and knowledge sharing, gaining new perspectives on research and building relationships with others in the field. So there’s always room for innovation and new things.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

One day I read that managing projects is half art and half science, but the critical element is developing trust with other people to meet the project goal. Here is the best part of being a Project Manager in a vital organization that works as an enabler to digital transformation for all federal government entities with extensive cooperation and relations support national strategies to achieve a mutual goal.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

The most challenging aspect is dealing with uncertainty in a rapidly changing world and building resilience to cope with unpredictable changes. Especially when working in a globally leading country in the ICT sector like UAE for which the visionary leadership possesses deep insights into building a sustainable future for its nation, in a way that ensures inclusiveness and overcoming any digital divides and consequences.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT?

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

Staying competitive in 2022 and beyond is challenging as things are constantly changing. Therefore, it's crucial to keep up to date on these changes by having an agile futuristic road map that enables organizations to excel at evolutionary and revolutionary technology-driven innovation based on each product or service's short- and long-term cycle.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

I believe a shared vision leads to shared goals, outcomes, and success. In addition, it creates a sense of responsibility and drives employees to thrive if communicated well. Thus, having a clear communication plan is vital in building better teamwork relationships, satisfaction, and engagement. Conversely, if a team faces difficulties with communication, all other elements are more likely to struggle or fail altogether.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS. Evolve – Revive - Thrive

TOP GLOBAL CIOs THE TITANS 23OCTOBER 2022

Data Security: A Key to Organizational Success

The data in each company are unique and confidential and that makes the employees take better business decisions resulting in a progressive and successful organization.

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

In the logistics industry, speed is the essence for its survival. Gone are the days where we would measure the lead time in days. Now anything more than a day if not hours is not acceptable. We need to be a step ahead of the customer and give them what they want even before they envision it. At the same time, costs must still be competitive. So how do we achieve that? This is where data and AI play a key role in the success of an organization. This data is unique to each organization. Everything else can be replicated, but my data - only I have access to it and this can help me take better business decisions. The organization that bests leverages this could become forerunners in their space.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

In this part of the world, diversity always plays a big role. Here it’s like a melting pot of different cultures.

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202224

Since we all come from diverse cultures, every individual brings with them a strikingly different ability in handling different situations in a unique manner. This is where innovation or out of box ideas are formed. I strongly believe a diverse team will come up with more innovative and out of box solutions than a team with similar backgrounds.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

In my opinion, perfection is always a moving target, as a team and as individuals we need to strive each day to be better than yesterday. To build an eco-system where one need not fear failure as there are more lessons learned in multiple failures than successes.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

To be part of an industry –logistics - that impacts every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Technology in this industry plays a vital role in ensuring the supply chain flows smoothly and that the end customer is not impacted. Customer delight is the best motivation that can be. Being an integral part of that pursuit is immensely gratifying.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

The most challenging part is the speed at which the consumer

the business rather than the other With GWC being the official

TOP GLOBAL CIO
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K THE TITANS OCTOBER 202226

Zero Trust with Zero Exceptions

ZTNA 1.0 is over. Secure the future of hybrid work with ZTNA 2.0. Only available with Prisma® Access.

Palo Alto Networks Prisma® Access protects the hybrid workforce with the superior security of ZTNA 2.0 while providing exceptional user experiences from a simple, unified security product. Purpose-built in the cloud to secure at cloud scale, only Prisma Access protects all application traffic with best-in-class capabilities while securing both access and data to dramatically reduce the risk of a data breach.

Learn how Prisma Access secures today’s hybrid workforce without compromising performance, backed by industry-leading SLAs to ensure exceptional user experiences. https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/sase/ztna

Accelerating the Cloud:

Steps to Transformation

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

With the mushrooming of FinTechs, the established financial institutions have reacted in the expected manner – reactions that range from outright purchase of the FinTech , starting a FinTech division, pushing the digitization agenda harder within the organization to hoping this too pass. The reality is there will be a shakeup in the FinTech space as there are many ‘me-too’ kinds of setups. Financial institutions must engage in a partnership with the surviving FinTech and that is going

to take the industry forward. Cloud is the democratizing technology infrastructure and moving towards cloud is a reality. One can expect regulators to come up with more clarity on cloud adoption and this makes to move towards the cloud much easier and more transparent.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

In the immediate past, ‘Diversity’ has been a topic that was played

Cloud is the democratizing technology infrastructure and moving towards cloud is a reality.

RAVINDRAN RAMIAH, CTO Aafaq Islamic Finance PSC

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202228

out in the media a lot for the right reasons. It is a fact that there is a lack of diversity in most organizations. UAE is slightly different than other countries as diversity is part of the population structure and the governments have taken a conscious effort to build diversity in all spheres. Across the world, the balance is still not what it should be, and it is going to change. The hope is for the speed of change to pick up. .

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

An environment where the aim of employees working is to impact the life of customers in a positive manner, personal differences are set aside to work for the organization’s goals, and transparency and honesty are valued the most. In today’s times, the Hybrid work model should be valued by the organization and the employees.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Ability to impact the customer’s experience in a positive manner. The fact that digitization is no longer a luxury, but a necessity adds more responsibility to the technology team, and leading such initiatives gives satisfaction.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Time to deliver is gradually decreasing as the expectations and the needs of the business

team are increasing exponentially. An increasing number of interconnected devices are adding to the complexity of the technology and security landscape. The most oft-used phrase, ‘Resistance to Change’ is still a major challenge.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

Prepare the groundwork necessary for a move towards adoption of the cloud, enhancing the customer experience by increasing the digital footprint and streamlining the internal processes.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

Immediate and continuous upskilling of the existing team is going to be the focus. Getting focused help from external specialized partners is also something that will be adopted to augment the team.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

UAE is a place that offers the opportunity to work with a team that is as diverse as one can get. I have been fortunate to work in multiple organizations and projects where the team members have been from culturally diverse backgrounds.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

Part of 2021 was spent dealing with the pandemic and the aftereffects of the pandemic. The rollout of the fully digital lending process was one of the highlights of 2020-21 and that ensured that the business was not only afloat but does exceedingly well.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS.

Opportunity, Change, and Consolidation.

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS 29OCTOBER 2022

Digital Transformation:

The Bridge to Modern Technologies

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

Organisations have started reaping the benefits of accelerated digital transformation initiatives undertaken in the last couple of years. These benefits are further accelerating the adoption of new age technologies viz. Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, Bots, Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality, Web3, and Metaverse. I am particularly fascinated by tech’s ability to democratize and decentralize, whether it is access for information. We have already witnessed some of these transforming capabilities via Blockchain and Web3 but I believe we have only scratched the surface.

Technology is in oversupply, continuously evolving with shorter hype cycles, be it cloud hosting options, application stacks, end computing peripherals, partnerships, etc.

DHAVAL THAKKAR,

IT Director : Automotive Group

Alghanim Industries

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202230

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Hybrid workforces are passively driving diversity. Work from anywhere has redefined flexibility and the boundaries set by time zone and geographies. This has opened up a plethora of opportunities, attracting additional diverse talent pools to the organisation. This brings varied perspectives and creativity in the workplace coupled with a more engaged workforce. It’s a complete win-win.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

A dream work environment would be one that enforces a positive work culture. Trust, strong work ethics, collaboration, effective communication, and transparency are some of the key elements that bring a positive work culture. The ideal company has policies in place to drive these values and culture.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

There is nothing more satisfying than solving a complex problem. We are at a very exciting juncture in the tech revolution where we can leverage modern

technologies to solve complex business problems, be process automation, improve customer journeys, and enhancing the user experience. This is the most gratifying aspect of my work.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Technology is in oversupply, continuously evolving with shorter hype cycles, be it cloud hosting options, application stacks, end computing peripherals, partnerships, etc. Making the right choices on these and continuously evolving them becomes challenging and requires significant skills and effort.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

The last couple of years has been focused on bringing digital footprints, especially on the customer-facing functions. We plan to continuously improve our investments and further extend the digital capabilities to back office functions in the coming years.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

We have been focusing on building a strong work culture that attracts the best talent. We drive employee engagement through clear

expectations, well-defined roles, team empowerment, and continuous learning.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

Cultural diversity is a constant when you are working in GCC. One gets to learn so much about varied customs and traditions from both the local and the expat communities. A culturally diverse team brings so many different perspectives and creativity to the workplace. Celebrating various festivities, especially at the workplace improves team engagement and bonding.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

We have been working on building a digital Sales and CRM automotive platform, with Omni channel capabilities. This has enabled our businesses to extend our showrooms digitally. Our customers can now explore our offerings online and either transact online or can visit our showrooms to complete the transaction. This has helped our salesforce to reach out to customers at their homes, workplaces, or events.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS. Disrupt the disruption.

TOP GLOBAL CIOs THE TITANS OCTOBER 202232
Bringing IT together ManageEngine crafts comprehensive IT management software for all your business needs. Identity and access management | Enterprise service management | Unified endpoint management and security | IT operations management | Security information and event management | Advanced IT analytics | Low-code app development 10-14 October 2022 #H7-C1, Hall 7 Visit us at Dubai World Trade Centre Trusted by Top 5 airlines 6 of the biggest oil and gas companies Top 10 GCC banks www.manageengine.com Phone: +971 4 574 8400 | Email: sales@manageengine.com

Organizational Goals and

Effective Technology

Organizational goals are always like a puzzle and each department will play a role to resolve this puzzle.

MOHAMMED ARHAMA AL-KUWARI, Qatar Credit Bureau

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202234

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

I think the whole world is just recovered after two tough years. In my point of view, these two years opened more horizons for the IT industry, especially with the transformation that happened in the way people do their jobs. From this perspective, the industry will continue growing and pushing all the organizations for a real digital transformation.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

In my opinion diversity in the workplace is always a plus for any organization. If we are talking about IT departments, IT became a business enabler and took a crucial part in the strategic decisions in any organization. Having diversity in the workplace will help to see hidden perspectives and lead to innovation without any doubt.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

I’m always focusing on building a passionate, motivated, and creative team. Working in IT should not be a task-oriented job only, it must give each teammate the space to think out of the box and feel the recognition by the organization for what he/she is doing. From my experience, this will push the employee to

improve himself to be in a place allowing him to take the initiative to innovate and create.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Taking a vital part as a business enabler in my organization is the most satisfying aspect of my job role. It is so easy to see what you achieve is how reflected on the business and how you dedicate your knowledge and experience to serve your organization and your country. This is really satisfying.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

The continues changes. Working in IT means whatever you learned today can be outdated and useless tomorrow. This thing is challenging but I’m enjoying it. Always I’m asking myself that how long I will keep enjoying this challenge. Then I decided to forget about this and just enjoy the moment.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

IT department’s plans should be in sync with the organization’s goals and targets. Organizational goals are always like a puzzle and each department will play a role to resolve this puzzle. IT role is to bring all these puzzle pieces together efficiently by using the right technology with the right use case.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

In addition to the technical competencies I’m always focusing on a team member who has a passion to learn new things and is not limited to the daily routine tasks. I want my team to take the initiative in innovation while whatever helps the organization to meet its goals and targets.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

The nature of IT departments usually will bring diverse team members. It is very important to understand this diversity because for sure it will be reflected in how the team member will behave with problem resolution, work overload, and any serious challenges. From my experience, by the time you will reach what I can call it cultural baseline which is not written or documented, however it is implicitly understood and respected by everyone.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

Launching our e-services was the most significant contribution to my organization. Because it not only increased the revenue but also, I saw how it changes the whole organization’s operations from all aspects.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS. Leading the change.

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS 35OCTOBER 2022

Towards the Advancement of

Technology

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

The energy transition and decarbonisation provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform how we fundamentally do business and operate to rewire the economy. Technology is a key enabler for the industry to be able to deliver on its commitment and I think data and advanced analytics, blockchain, digital twins and AI/ML will play a crucial role to help us get there.

The technology function is undergoing an incredible period of growth as we set ourselves up to deliver on our ambitious plans.

SHAHRIN OLI MOHAMED,

Head of Information & Digital Technology (CIO), LNG Trading Shell International Trading

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202236

10-14 OCT 2022 DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE

SHOW TIMINGS: 10 Oct - 11am to 5pm | 11 - 14 Oct - 10am to 5pm

Believe the hype, it’s here. ENTER THE NEXT DIGITAL UNIVERSE GET YOUR EVENT PASS THE WORLD’S LARGEST & MOST INFLUENTIAL TECH + STARTUP EVENT DIAMOND SPONSOR PLATINUM & LANYARD SPONSORTECHNOLOGY & DIGITAL PARTNER GOLD SPONSOR GOLD SPONSOR ATTENDEES BADGE SPONSOR INNOVATION PARTNER MAJLIS LOUNGE SPONSOR CONNEXIONS LOUNGE SPONSOR SILVER SPONSOR NEW NEW

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

I have seen multinational companies around the world champion Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the last 20 years or so, and although we have made some progress, there is still quite a way to go because at the moment women only hold 25% of C-Suite positions.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

A place where there is true neuro and other diversity, where there is a high degree of psychological safety, trust, respect and honesty, and equal measures of fun. People feel like they are developed, empowered to grow, held accountable to deliver, and supported.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Being able to develop the next generation of technology leaders, ideating, co-creating, and bringing to market innovative technologyenabled solutions that make an impact on the bottom line, as well as people’s lives, is profoundly satisfying. Secondly watching my team grow and develop. This is what gets me out of bed every morning, the privilege of seeing someone grow as a person and soar.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Definitely, people are related in two regards. The first is finding and retaining top technology talent. There is a significant shortage of talent in the market relative to the demand and speed of change. Recruitment is also painfully time-consuming. The second is transforming our culture across the organisation to identify and leverage the power of technology.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT?

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

We are delivering on the strategy that was developed and have had numerous launches of these initiatives covering multiple teams and areas across the organisation. This will continue to iterate on the solution and launch the other initiatives on our roadmap.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

The technology function is undergoing an incredible period of growth as we set ourselves up to deliver on our ambitious plans. In order to do this, we are bringing in talent externally with the right skills as well as upskill to promote from within. We have also built (and continue to build) a talent pipeline as a strong feeder. We do this in line with our DE&I aspirations and try to ensure sufficient gender and minority representation. This

is underpinned by table stakes such as governance, project & operational excellence.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

My team is made up of people from different nationalities around the world across 4 continents working virtually within diverse cross-functional teams. In order to be successful, it is important to foster a culture of open communication in order to understand and embrace cultural differences and channel this into gaining a diversity of thought.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

We have developed the digital strategy and technology roadmap to define key enablers to futureproof our business and deliver significant technology-enabled commercial growth. This covers various aspects of the business from big data to automation of operations to optimisation of our portfolio. We are proud of developing and delivering our advanced analytics (visualisation & modelling) capabilities which have democratised data and enabled integrated decision making and by doing so it transformed the way we operate across teams.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS. Acceleration, Inclusion, and Sustainability

TOP GLOBAL CIOs THE TITANS OCTOBER 202238
POWERING CODING INGENUITY THE WORLD’S LARGEST MEET UP FOR THE DEVELOPER & CODING COMMUNITY Supported by Featuring the inaugural Gold Sponsor Silver Sponsor Founding Partners 10-13 OCT 2022 DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE For delegate group booking, call Fahad Khalife at: +971 4 308 6805 | globaldevslammarketing@dwtc.com #GLOBALDEVSLAM GLOBALDEVSLAM.COM Sebastian Ramirez Montano Creator Travis Oliphant Creator of NumbPy & Co-Founder Pablo Galindo Salgado Physicist & Software Engineer - R&D Python Infrastructurea Ketan Umare Co-Creator of Flyte, Co-Founder & CEO USA USA Germany UK TECH PIONEERS ON STAGE DON’T MISS OUT, GET YOUR DELEGATE PASS

Why Technology is the Key to

Business Value?

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

The current buzz in the industry is the ‘Metaverse’ where products and customer experience are at the forefront of innovation for many industries. As it grows, the applications would expand to various industries providing immersive experiences in many areas of the business. The continued growth of Automation, AR/VR, Predictive Analysis, AIassisted IoT, and Smart Technology based ‘Digital Transformation’ is key to creating a synergised and technology-enabled environment within the business.

The technology is seeing another exciting curve with Web3.0 that may significantly change the landscape of how we conduct business and interact with customers in the years ahead.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

I think this varies based on the industry segments, however, efforts are still required to create greater awareness of the benefits of increased diversity in

The technology is seeing another exciting curve with Web3.0 that may significantly change the landscape of how we conduct business and interact with customers in the years ahead.

ADITYA KAUSHIK, ICT Director / Head Zakher Marine International

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202240

the workplace. The mindset needs to shift from this being a target to achieve to a natural adoption in the workplace. UAE provides a very diverse and multi-cultural environment with continued efforts being made in achieving increased diversity across the workplace, so organizations can surely benefit from this by leveraging these efforts.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

An enriching environment where there is empowerment for individuals to think, act, own their decisions, and grow are the ideal work culture. A workplace that is innovative, creates opportunities for learning and inspires its people while aligning its growth objectives with the growth of its employees is a dream environment.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

I excel in bridging the gap between ‘Technology’ and ‘Business value’, achieving this through an effective change in processes and efficient adoption of Technology within the organization. A work environment that empowers me to affect change and leverages my knowledge and experience is the most satisfying aspect of my job.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

The impact on the ‘work culture’ created by technology is the most

challenging yet equally rewarding aspect of my role. Besides an engaged leadership, addressing this requires a multitude of skills to effectively understand individual motivations, team dynamics, embedded processes, aversion to risk & lack of adoption to address them for a successful change.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

My new role within the organization is required to achieve an organization-level ‘Digital Transformation’ that would allow the Leadership to achieve greater visibility on the performance of ‘Operational & Commercial’ metrics. The process would include the deployment of new technology and enhancements across various departments and ICT Systems that will create a synergised and seamless view of the business.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

The organization has a young and enthusiastic ICT team that is aligned with key areas of ICT functions that align with the various aspects of the business objectives providing implementations, technology support, and enhancement in a fast-paced work environment. The focus would be to create initiatives that expand their exposure to new technology while creating business value from these implementations for the

organization. The goal would be to enable a learning culture and create opportunities for growth within the team in line with their personal development objectives.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

I have worked with culturally diverse teams in the past and working with one in my current role as well. This is a very enriching experience as it allows you to learn and understand different mindsets, aspirations, motivations, and working practices across cultures.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

As I have changed jobs very recently, my contribution in my last organization during 2021 was the continued standardization of the Business applications to create a seamless working environment for the organization. The key projects were implementing a successful rollout of business automation applications and an ERP for two companies within 6 months. This was implemented to create standardized financial reporting and allow for continued transformation in other areas of the business.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS. Acceleration, Disruption, and Transformation

TOP GLOBAL CIOs
THE TITANS 41OCTOBER 2022

Through Digitalization Business Process

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADING IN 2022?

Insurance is an ancient industry that has deep roots over hundreds of years, yet it’s aware of the digital transformation era, therefore, and as a reaction against the emersion of InsureTech companies I see the entire industry is obliged for accelerating the transformation. In 2022 we should be able to see massive shifting in digitalizing the insurance operations and associated processes inside legacy insurance companies and expect qualitative development in terms of Customer Journey and Experience.

IN YOUR OPINION HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE AWARENESS OF DIVERSITY AND THE POSITIVE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE WORKPLACE?

Yes, the level of awareness has been increased proportionally over time and shifted lately into

I dream of a fully digitalized business process that comprises the entire work operations whereby staff spends more time interacting humanly on developing new business opportunities.

WAHEED Y. KHAYYAT,

Chief Information Officer (CIO), United Cooperative Assurance (UCA)

TOP GLOBAL CIOS
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K THE TITANS OCTOBER 202242

GLOBAL CIOs

an exponential increase of awareness due to the increase of the wave boosted by modern and digital channels like social media and enterprise eServices that give an undeniable competitive advantage, furthermore, the enforcing role played by the governments, especially during the peak of COVID19. Finally, not to forget how the customer’s expectations increased to an unprecedented level which heavily contributed to spreading awareness both inside and outside workplaces.

PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM WORK ENVIRONMENT AND WORK CULTURE?

I dream of a fully digitalized business processes that comprises the entire work operations whereby staff spends more time interacting humanly on developing new business opportunities and focus more on innovating new ways to meet customer’s expectations with a lot of confidence supported by the power of Advanced Analytics and AI.

WHAT IS THE MOST ENGAGING OR SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

Leading & working with all teams across all business functions to innovate, and develop new solutions to overcome our business problems, and improve the performance of our company using modern digital technologies. Also, the ability to access services and resources at any time, from

anywhere, gives me the pleasure of work.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB ROLE?

In Change Management, it’s very challenging to manage changes in a way that could satisfy the expectation of all stakeholders, resolve conflicts and resistance against change, and yet, meet the objectives of the initiatives in complete alignment with the business aims. Furthermore, keeping compliance with regulations and auditor’s demands.

WHAT IS YOUR 2022 PLAN FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT? HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD WITH TECHNOLOGY?

To acquire more advanced skills for the IT workforces and individuals, accelerate the digital transformation initiatives and increase the current digital maturity level of the company by achieving the hyper-automation level of all business processes using different AI-based technologies. Moreover, to start to shift our “Data Analytics” capabilities from the descriptive level to the cognitive level.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR TEAMS?

I must maintain a continuous learning environment and culture, achieve growth of knowledge and skills through providing access to a digital learning platform, and set new certifications as targets for the staff. Additionally, to sharpen

my knowledge with experience by assigning challenging projects while encouraging teamwork. Rewards are another important aspect of retaining staff.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU LEAD A CULTURALLY DIVERSE TEAM?

Undoubtedly, having a culturallydiverse team creates a healthy and more exciting environment. I had a long experience in leading such types of environments, such teams enjoy bi-directional transitioning of experiences and knowledge, which maximizes the value and efficiency of the teamwork, and individual skills. In addition to that, it helps the leader to put better and more diverse plans.

WHICH WAS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMPANY IN 2021 AND HOW DID IT IMPACT OR INFLUENCE THE BUSINESS?

I worked on three pivots: People, Technology, and Processes. In 2021 I was proud in helping to cultivate digital thinking by implementing a new digital workplace, helping many IT staff to acquire advanced skills, and leading teams across multiple business functions to re-engineer the old business processes. Finally, we implemented modern digital tools to digitalize the processes.

DEFINE 2022 IN 3 WORDS.

Digitalization, Automation, and Robotization.

TOP
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202244
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 31 October - 3 November 2022 Supported By The Future of Energy: Sustainable, Affordable, Secure Strategically taking place before COP27, ADIPEC is the global platform for leaders to reinforce commitments that will drive the industry towards reducing emissions, meeting decarbonisation goals, and providing a realistic view on short- and long-term energy outlooks. View the Strategic Conference Programme www.adipec.com/strategicprogramme Innovation and the energy transition: pioneering a new era of technology development The road to COP27 and COP28 The long-term impacts of geopolitics on the global economy and energy industry The new management agenda: future workforce and the leaders of tomorrow An industry transitioning: adapting to the new fundamentals of supply, low carbon and new energy solutions • Offshore & Marine Conference • Strategic Conference • Forum for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference • Downstream Technical Conference • Smart Manufacturing Strategic & Technical Conferences • Technical Conference STRATEGIC CONFERENCE THEMES: CONFERENCES AT ADIPEC: • Decarbonisation Conference NEW Partners Gold Sponsors Venue Partner Host City Official Hotel Partner Strategic Insights Partner Technical Conference Organised By ADIPEC Brought To You By Knowledge Partner

A Fine Touch of

Cloud-First Strategy

The adoption of the cloud strategy and Oracle ERP ensures innovation in technology gearing up FHH for growth and for the IPO in the future.

Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH), one of the world’s leading wellness groups and the MENA’s leading hygienic paper manufacturer, provides an expansive range of products to more than 80 countries across the globe as the demand for clean, sterilized, and ethical hygienic products globally has increased. FHH sources ethically manufactures, and distributes across markets such as Jordan, Egypt, KSA, and the UAE, with a growing presence in Pakistan and Africa as well as Europe. These countries require technology that enables global expansion as well as full auditable trails from the raw material of pulp paper all the way to the markets of Cairo & Amman. Even more so as it accelerates its plan to go IPO in the very near future.

Innovation in technology is a pillar of success and FHH was one of the first companies in the region to openly adopt a Cloud-first strategy. One of the initial steps was to enable the “work from anywhere” policy pre and post-pandemic which enabled the use of Microsoft 365 as well as the associated security products and protocols to enable these features. This allows sales professionals to meet their clients with the available and needed data in the palm of their hands in a secure environment that protects FHH’s data as well as clients’ information.

As a secondary phase the sales enablement software of Salesforce and Salesbuzz has provided the most granular data of sales patterns, and behaviors as well as predictive analytics into the needs of its consumers so that FHH can service the most important people in the business, the customer. All of the above data then sits in a central cloud-based autonomous data warehouse provided by Oracle which enables immediate analysis and provides key sales and inventory data. The result has been a significant reduction in downtime and consistent upgrades every quarter to the entire company in a seamless fashion.

The largest part of the transformation is still to come which is the total transformation from the on-premises Oracle ERP they have today to the new Oracle Fusion platform from manufacturing to reporting. This is one of the largest programs in the region and indeed the company. It encompasses all processes within the company to become automated and reliant upon system processes and utilizing ML (Machine Learning) capabilities that the Oracle Fusion platform provides to drive business from better inventory management to efficient distribution channels.

“The three strategies will provide Fine Hygienic Holding with accurate data, a stable platform for growth, cloud-first strategy and will enable the company’s growth globally as well as being prepared for IPO in the near future,” said Yahyah Pandor, FHH’s CIDO.

YAHYAH PANDOR,

Chief Information & Digital Officer (CIDO) Fine Hygienic Holding

TOP GLOBAL CIOS
THE TITANS OCTOBER 202246
cpcaworld.com #cpcaworld 09 DEC - UAE Brought to you by

Glimpse of largest gathering of CIOs in

Flickr

2022 ROADSHOW 15th SEP 2022 THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL, SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID BLVD – DOWNTOWN DUBAI FOLLOW US BROUGHT TO YOU BY
UAE CIO 200
22 – 24th November 2022 Thailand
40 COUNTRIES 4000 C-LEVEL EXECS 300+ SESSIONS 200+ EXHIBITORS 2022 ROADSHOW AUGUST-NOVEMBER 2022 POWERED BY GRAND FINALE 23rd NOV 2022 THAILAND WHERE TECHNOLOGY IS BORDERLESS, AMBITIONS ARE FEARLESS, AND LEADERSHIP IS LIMITLESS