PMI MENA calls for greater investment in technology to safeguard the region's future
Industry roundtable highlights the importance of technology to shaping a brighter, healthier and happier future for all
United Arab Emirates, Dubai, 17th Nov, 2021: Project Management Institute (PMI), the world's leading association for project professionals, has brought together experienced business leaders and changemakers for a roundtable discussion that underlined the importance of technology to overcoming challenges posed by the global economy and COVID-19.
Leaders in the meeting titled, Digital Transformation Shaping the Business World, on Thursday 4th November highlighted the role of technology in driving long-lasting and sustainable breakthroughs. Central to the discussion was the key role information technology plays in enabling leaders to execute their national visions, specifically pointing out that new technologies and innovations are fully geared towards helping governments, businesses and organisations deliver even more value and quality. The advent of cloud computing, for instance — the panel of speakers underlined — has empowered teams to work with greater security and convenience, doing so by reducing the lengthy processes of procuring physical assets.
The roundtable featured a line-up of panelists that included Dr. Mohammad Al Redha, Director, Project Management Office, Health Informatics & Smart Health – Dubai Health Authority; Eng. Eisa Khalid Al Ali, Vice President PMO – North25; Osama Al-Zoubi, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Middle East and Africa; and Peter Chalouhy, Advisory & Implementation Services Business Leader at Kyndryl.
Grace Najjar, Managing Director of PMI MENA, said: “Today, more so than ever, technology is decidedly important to attaining sustainable success in all aspects of business, life and community-building. As we cast our eyes to the future, it is crucial that we harness the potential and power of technology and tech-driven projects to not only accelerate our post-COVID recovery, but to spur the lasting changes and pioneer the innovations that will help us overcome present and future challenges — especially in a rapidly evolving business environment.”
She added: “As evinced by so many prominent examples across the region and the world, technology will be the foundation on which success is built in the Project Economy. Now — as business leaders, changemakers, project professionals, communities and nations — we must work together to build upon the progress we have already made to ensure our potential and ambitions are fully realised.”
Multiple veritical industries were discussed including healthcare and construction, noting they have greatly benefitted from digital acceleration. Hospitals of the future provide care with greater efficiency and improved, more streamlined patient journeys. Improvements in construction with the development of new solutions and practices are resulting in less risk and human error, and more advanced health and safety measures.
Additionally, the event underscored the role of technology in unlocking talent and potential, with the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within teams — for example — allowing leaders, employers and project managers to assign repetitive tasks to AI-powered resources. This enables leaders to designate more complex tasks requiring certain skillsets appropriately, particularly those that require the use of power skills such as empathy, to talent as opposed to computers or automated systems. The roundtable called on changemakers and leaders worldwide to embrace digital transformation, framing technology as essential to progress in all walks of life — be it business, community building or education. In addition to championing innovation, the event’s panelists also stressed the importance of reckoning with the challenges transformation presents, including cyber security, the importance of being people-first and humancentric in business as well as communal life, and delivering outcomes in a fast-evolving business environment.
Key to overcoming these challenges — the panelists emphasised – is ensuring that essential people and power skills, such as collaborative leadership and empathy, continue to be developed; with prospective leaders and employees being trained to apply these capabilities within the modern business ecosystem.
Dr. Mohammad Al Redha, Director, Project Management Office, Health Informatics & Smart Health – Dubai Health Authority, said: “The healthcare sector has enjoyed major transformations over the past 20 to 30 years. Digital acceleration has played an integral role in spurring these changes across the region, with emirates such as Dubai proving — from the onset of the pandemic and in its wake — that the future of the Middle East and North Africa is safeguarded by world-class infrastructure, forward-thinking leaders and innovative decisionmakers.”
Eng. Eisa Khalid Al Ali, Vice President PMO – North25, said: “. Be it in construction or project management, technology should be utilised in unison with human capabilities — such as emotional intelligence and diplomacy — to help us realise the fullness of our potential. Technology should, therefore, serve us — as opposed to the other way round. Moreover, integrating agility and gradually introducing technology to our ways of working, especially during the planning phases, have been crucial in helping digitise our project and portfolio management and transform our businesses. People skills and processes must be more advanced than technology to successfully handle portfolios of up to 30 billion US dollars and achieve far more than we ever thought possible.”
Osama Al-Zoubi, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Middle East and Africa, said: “Our vision is to empower an inclusive future for all. We aim to do so by connecting the unconnected. We believe this will create an incremental economic impact with more than 6.7 trillion US dollars being added to the global economy and over 500 million people being brought out of poverty. Advanced technology and Artificial Intelligence will allow project managers and professionals to accomplish these goals and deliver better and scalable outcomes in all sectors.”
Peter Chalouhy, Advisory & Implementation Services Business Leader at Kyndryl, said: “The last year underlines how much project management contributes to technological advancements and digital transformation. Today, more so than ever, CIOs and directors need advisors and project managers to help equip them with the tools to maximise their budgets, reach their targets and achieve their goals. Technology, paired with skilled project managers, provide real value; enabling leaders to plan today and prepare for the changes of tomorrow.”
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