Testing transformation

The rise of as-a-service models will play a pivotal role in the digital transformations of organisations worldwide. With this in mind, CNME hosted an enthralling roundtable discussion in partnership with TransSys Solutions to gauge senior decision-maker sentiment on the topic. TransSys

TransSys representatives Prabu Balasubramanyan, executive director and Stephen Fernandes, executive vice president, got the discussion underway by asking what digital transformation meant to the executives around the table.

Dr Jassim Haji, director of IT, Gulf Air, said that digital transformations had the power to be game-changing, but only if organisations had the appropriate strategy and infrastructure to deliver on their promise. “The customer has to be the driver of the move,” he said. “Co-existing architectures are a general indicator of not being fully prepared, but once you are, a digital transformation is a pure business driver. Many organisations use a ‘digital transformation’ as an umbrella of promise, but are not able to deliver proper ROI.”

Representing the Dubai Smart Gov organisation was Matar Saeed Al Humairi, director of the infrastructure management department. He highlight the use of PaaS and SaaS models in Dubai and how they are playing a key role in the emirate’s digital journey. “The Smart City initiative has been based on this,” he said. “We’re producing personalised dashboards for government officials which will enhance their experience.” He went on to highlight how government initiatives will leave slow adopters of digital solutions behind. “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has made it clear in the context of this digital journey – change will come.”

Saeed Al Ghailani, director of IT, Department of Transport Abu Dhabi, described how the customer would have to be put first in this journey. “We have to ask ourselves what it means for them,” he said. “I believe digitalisation will be driven more by governments than the private sector. The Abu Dhabi Government is building its own cloud for its infrastructure and applications and this is setting the tone for the next few years.”

Anshul Srivastav, CIO, Union Insurance – a relative newcomer to Dubai, having arrived three months ago – explained how his previous experience with digitalisation had been pivotal for his former employers. “It worked wonders at AXA,” he said. “It’s important to stay ahead of the curve in this journey. IT is now advising CEOs and CXOs what should be done, and we need to continuously improvise what we do.”

Al Safeer Group CIO Kumar Prasoon discussed his work in the retail industry, and how he has modernised legacy architecture to improve customer experience. “I consider the process as a digital metamorphosis,” he said. “We’re on a journey to digitalise the core components of our back office, with Oracle Retail at the centre of that.”

Sreedhar Reddy, IT director, Aldar Properties, discussed his implementation of a marketing platform for improved campaign visibility. “The platform gave improved visibility for sales and marketing teams,” he said. “We need to convince business users who aren’t in favour of ERP to see its benefits.”

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