Skills and mindset are key for GCC digitalisation

Skills, collaboration and mindset set to drive the digital transformation according to industry, private sector and education experts at the Siemens digitalisation roadshow in Dubai

Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE
Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE

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 digitalisation roadshows.

The themes emerged during a day packed with debates, designed to investigate the challenges and opportunities facing companies and institutions, and the factors required to ensure success with the digital transformation.

“Digitalisation is happening now - we have to embrace it,” said Samer Bohsali, Partner and Leader of the Digital Business and Technology practice at Strategy&, in an opening keynote. “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 a 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 organization isn’t on board,” he said. “The digital transformation has to be embraced by everybody, but the CEO needs to drive the change.”

Bohsali agrees, saying that leadership is about ownership and vision. “If you want to use digitalisation as a disrupter, it has to come from the top,” he said. “It will never work unless the CEO himself pushes the agenda.”

Ghazi Atallah, CEO, NXN Group noted that those charged specifically with driving digital change should also be proactive.

“The CEO should be visionary, but CIOs should be more ambitious in the way they can affect the company. Don’t wait for the CEO to tell you – you need to be ambitious and effect change as a business,” he said.

Ultimately, Bohsali added, firms must carefully review their operating mindset when considering any digital transformation, and go about it with an agile, failure-friendly attitude. “You have to embrace a culture of learn-fast, learn often,” he said. 


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