Dubai – MENA Herald: Digital transformation presents a $4.9 billion worth of opportunity for Dubai over the next five years, according to latest statistics. With the government undertaking numerous ‘smart’ initiatives, the benefits of digitalisation are expected to percolate to every sector in the economy, especially utilities, transportation, aviation and tourism.
“The UAE’s leadership is taking active initiatives toward becoming the world’s smartest place. The initiatives are inspiring companies to actually push themselves in the direction to digital transformation. In a recent survey, CISCO estimates that over the next five years, this digitilisation will contribute $4.9 billion to the GDP, which includes $3.7 billion from the private sector,” said Ashley Woodbridge, Customer Solutions Architect, Cisco, while addressing the CIOMajlis on a session on ‘Digital Transformation’.
More than 30 UAE-based CIOs from different sectors including oil and gas, infrastructure, logistics, finance, energy and IT, shared experiences and discussed the challenges and opportunities in the way to digital transformation during the recent CIOMajlis, held at Al Badiya Golf Club, Festival City.
Ahmad Al Mulla, Senior Vice President, Information technology, Emirates Global Aluminium, Chairman of the CIOMajlis, said: “The rapidly changing technology necessitates that companies keep up with the pace and gain out of it, which can be challenging particularly as the CIOs need to align new technology initiatives with the goals of the organization and at the same time, face challenges in form of global competition and availability of resources. At the CIOMajlis, the biggest advantage is the sharing of tried and tested methods. We are getting tremendous response to the CIOMajlis and expecting number to grow multiple times within a few months.”
Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Smartworld, said: “The UAE government’s initiatives toward adopting smart technology and driving innovation across all sectors is a driving force for organisations to follow the path and successfully meet competition at global level. The experience at CIOMajlis will help companies across the UAE to implement effective strategies, which will also bring more international business.”
During the session, the CIOs shared the challenges and opportunities that digital transformation brings forth.
Ali Abdul Aziz Al Ali, Vice-President, Information Technology Division, ADNOC, said: “The government’s initiatives are driving organisations such as ours to actively work toward excellence through digital transformation. We believe that digital solutions will serve a lot in terms of performance, operations, security, control and business growth and we have been actively working toward it. We have put our plans in place and also started implementing those plans; our next step is SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytic and Cloud) technology, which for a business like ours, where our customers are spread across different countries, will be greatly beneficial. It will help us meet customer expectations and stay ahead of competitors.”
Thameem Rizvon, Group IT Director, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, said: “The CIOMajlis is a unique and strong platform that provides an opportunity to learn from experiences of other organisations. As CIOs when we get together, the best advantage is hearing what others have done, what are the areas that challenges issues you can face. It will help us prepare better and the advantages are long-term.”

The CIOMajlis members have regular monthly meetings during which the members get an opportunity of learning from local and world renowned leaders on topics relevant to them and their businesses as well as participating in local and overseas field trips and educational sessions.