Muscat: Microsoft participated in COMEX 2023 as the official Innovation Partner, where demonstrated industry-leading technological innovations and highlighted the key role artificial intelligence (AI) plays in the successful digital transformation journeys of governments and businesses. In an interview with Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Country Manager, Microsoft Oman and Bahrain, he confirmed that this participation reflects the company's commitment to supporting the accelerated adoption of technology amongst individuals, organizations, and across key industries contributing to Oman Vision 2040 which places communications and information technology at the center of its economic strategy to reimagine a more sustainable future for all. He added Microsoft's innovative and leading technologies are enabling digital transformation across all industries and organizations, driving growth and productivity by delivering new opportunities to engage with customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and reinvent products and business models. We are committed to driving economic growth by fostering innovation in Oman and encouraging a culture of tech-intensity - the ability to not only adopt new technologies but also build digital capabilities. He added “Fueled by our mission to empower every person and organization to achieve more, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers and partners achieve digital transformation success as well as accelerate the Digital Oman Strategy (eOman) which aims to enhance government services, enable businesses, and empower individuals with the skills to transform Oman into a sustainable, knowledge-based economy. We will continue to serve as a key enabler and trusted partner in Oman's journey to create a diversified and sustainable economy based on technology, knowledge, innovation and support Oman's adoption of its National Digital Economy Program which aims to build and develop a prosperous digital economy that responds to the requirements of the future.”
When asked about the artificial innovations the company had showcased, he said “AI is the defining technology of our time. It has the power to revolutionize many types of work, bringing people greater satisfaction and providing substantive productivity gains and a differentiator for organisations. We believe we are in the midst of the next massive shift in computing with AI, an inflection point similar to the magnitude of the personal computer, the internet, mobile devices and the cloud. With this shift comes immense opportunities for people and organizations. We're seeing rapid advancements in large models and generative AI that are not only capturing our imaginations, but unlocking even more possibilities across search, productivity, creativity, and in uses like healthcare or security. Microsoft's advancements in AI align with our company mission to help every person and organization on the planet achieve more. Our investment in AI spans the entire company, and it's our goal to democratize our breakthroughs in AI through Azure to help people and organizations be more productive, and solve the most pressing problems of our society. We're committed to making the promise of AI real — and doing it responsibly:
Securing the cyberspace in a multi-cloud world
When asked about the company's efforts to protect customers data; he said “As businesses increase adoption of cloud technologies, it is creating an even bigger need for organizations to focus on cloud security solutions. We are facing a moment of reckoning as the world witnesses a rise in increasingly sophisticated and expansive cybersecurity attacks. This reality—coupled with work entering its next great disruption, the move to hybrid environments—has created an urgent opportunity for all companies around the world to adopt a Zero Trust approach and assume all activity, even by trusted users, could be an attempted breach. . Signals across the industry highlight that every company needs to create a culture of security and modernize their approach to ensure they are protected. This is why Microsoft will invest $20 billion over five years. a four-fold increase from current rates, to speed up our cyber security work. Our approach to security is unmatched as we provide a truly end-to-end solution, we are the only company that brings together security, compliance, identity, and management. Through the power of the cloud and AI, our integrated approach enables us to think holistically about security and to address the most challenging problems confronting the world today, like passwords, decentralized identification, data regulations, and more.
New technologies require new skills!
Talking about the importance of building the digital capabilities of the local workforce, Al Hosani said “While technologies are part of the equation, at Microsoft we believe that the other critical aspect of successfully deploying them lies in knowledge transfer. Beyond continuously investing in technology infrastructure, an important part of our empowerment mission is our commitment to skilling and enhancing the digital capabilities of the Omani population.
-Launched 'Build the Skills of the Future' training program focusing on cloud, data and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
-Launched “AI Business School Masterclass for Leaders in the Public Sector” to help enhance the knowledge of non-technical leaders in the government sector about artificial intelligence solutions and capabilities and how to benefit from them in building smart government institutions within the government digital transformation program in line with Oman Vision 2040.