More firms need to digitise: SAP Country Manager

Energy Wednesday 25/April/2018 20:39 PM
By: Times News Service
More firms need to digitise: SAP Country Manager

Muscat: Organisations in Oman and across the world need to adapt to technological advancement and imbibe digitisation in their operations, according to the Country Manager of SAP.
“Only 3% of the CIOs or companies were digitised in 2017. Digitisation is a must. Everybody wants to digitise and transform,” said Waheed Al Hamaid, Country Manager of SAP Oman.
“In 2018, I think we will see a massive change in the transformation of digitisation because everyone wants new streams of income and revenue through digitisation. The 3% of companies, which have already adopted digitisation will see a competitive advantage this year, compared with the ones who have opted to remain in old school.
“Many companies and stores don’t exist anymore because they didn’t adapt to the change in behaviour of citizens or customers. So, it’s very important that you adapt to these technologies so you maintain your stand or market rank, and grow,” he said.
e-commerce and online shopping, which is slowly seeping into the market, is an example of customers shifting preferences. However, Al Hamaid doesn’t believe that it can replace the mall culture in the near future.
“I think that by 2018, 5% of people will be shopping online and 95% will be shopping from malls,” he said.
He also spoke about the Oman Vision 2040 and how digitisation plays an important role in the plans and proposals drafted so far. “Oman Vision 2040 will be released next year. Digitisation is one of the core areas. IT is one of the 15 important pillars of the proposal,” he said.
While the Sultanate is actively trying to push and encourage SMEs to mushroom in the country, Hamaid explained how SMEs and MNCs can work hand-in-hand to boost the economy. “SMEs are a very important part of the economy of Oman. We need SMEs to provide services, if we want to move towards artificial intelligence and machine learning, because each company can’t provide all the services alone. Therefore, there will be a lot of job creation and companies will be created through this,” he said, giving an example of how Oman Broadband would want to focus on its core services and outsource its subsidiary services
from SMEs.
Smart Cities has been a discussion point at COMEX and Al Hamaid too touched upon it. “The government and private sector are taking initiatives. Oman did a lot of tests at the wave and it has tried a few services such as smart parking, smart waste management etc. Madinat Al Irfan and Muttrah are the next smart cities and they are driving towards that,” he said.
“This is an important topic because it will create a big economy for Oman,” he said, adding, According to BMI, Oman’s economy will be worth $122 million by 2020. There will be lots of vendors, customers, job creation, and it will help everybody.”
Urbanisation has also led to necessitating the development of smart cities in the country. “In Oman, there are a lot of villages and everybody coming to the main city will make it congested; so, you need to have smart cities to help citizens and to provide the right services,” he said.