Leaders from the UAE?s industrial, education and private sectors have defined skills, collaboration and mindset as key factors required to develop an ecosystem for digitalisation to flourish, during the first in a series of Siemens Digitalization Roadshows
?Digitalisation is happening now ? we have to embrace it,? said Samer Bohsali, partner and leader of the digital business and technology practice at Strategy&. ?You need to ask yourself where you want to be. Do you want to use digitalisation to facelift your organisation? Or do you want to be disruptive? If you really want to protect yourself from the competition, you have to go as far as you possibly can.?
Leadership was a recurring theme when discussing the mindset required to drive the digital transformation.
Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE, noted that while vision from the top is crucial, making sure the rest of the organisation is empowered to bring about meaningful change is essential. ?It?s important to empower people inside your company because even if you have a solid digital strategy, you can still fail if the rest of the organisation isn?t on board,? he said. ?The digital transformation has to be embraced by everybody, but the CEO needs to drive the change.?
Ghazi Atallah, CEO, NXN Group, stated that those charged specifically with driving digital change should also be proactive, saying, ?The CEO should be visionary, but CIOs should be more ambitious in the way they can affect the company.?
Ensuring the right skills are present in the regional market is a challenge faced by all, and Husain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of AUS Enterprise, mentioned that digital change will require investment in education. ?The youth will decide what the future looks like,? he said, adding that it?s important to invest in research, development and innovation to drive transformation across universities in the UAE.
Siemens has invested around US$10.9bn in software in the last decade, which is essential for ensuring the right tools are available to those who need them, Siersdorfer pointed out.
The grant was inspired by the UAE?s Year of Giving and seeks to educate students on MindSphere, Siemens? open, cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) operating system for industry, and the company?s product lifecycle management (PLM) software. It is also part of the company?s focus on supporting the UAE?s ambitions to build a knowledge-based economy.
Adding on skills and education for the digital era, Atallah said, ?Data skills will be the most important moving forward. You need to find the right people who can make sense of data, and create decisions from it.?
The Dubai Digitalization Roadshow was the first in a regional series, which makes its next stop in Abu Dhabi on 23 May before moving to Kuwait City, Doha and Cairo. Also taking part in the panel sessions and discussing the potential of digitalisation in creating value for customers were Pieter-Jon Buitelaar, head of infrastructure and data management, and general manager of Atos in the Middle East, Abdelqader Abusafieh, head of R&D, aerospace communication technology and defense services, Mubadala, and Assem Khalaili, executive vice-president of industry services, Siemens Middle East.
?Our intention with the roadshows is to encourage open, honest and meaningful dialogue between key stakeholders in the digital transformation,? said Siersdorfer. ?We want to address the challenges, share knowledge and develop a roadmap for the implementation of digitalization, building stronger businesses, economies and societies.?
Siemens is a premier partner for intelligent infrastructure and operations for Expo 2020 Dubai, and will implement MindSphere, an open operating system for the IoT, for the optimisation of energy and building management at the site.