Muscat: Muscat: Information Technology Authority (ITA) has joined forces with Microsoft in the agency’s ongoing efforts to digitally transform the nation, in line with Oman Vision 2040, established by the royal directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
The partnership, that will cement the cooperation between ITA and Microsoft, was signed during a visit earlier this month of senior ITA delegates to Microsoft’s Executive Briefing Center in Redmond, Washington, where the delegates witnessed the advanced technologies designed for ambitious digital transformation journeys.
As the Oman government’s frontline force in driving digital transformation across the Sultanate, the ITA’s areas of responsibility span national infrastructure projects and the supervision of all programs related to the implementation of the Digital Oman Strategy, including providing professional leadership to other government entities engaged in the digital transformation projects.
The strategic collaboration between the ITA and Microsoft will focus on how Oman can take advantage of the societal shifts occurring as the result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and how the Sultanate can best leverage technology to stay ahead of changes and ensure that 4IR’s benefits accrue to all Omanis.
Under the terms of the partnership, Microsoft will work with its global partners to put Oman’s ITA leaders in touch with the world’s most innovative solution providers, working in 4IR arenas such as artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, machine learning, blockchain and the Internet of Things. Through such regional and global outreach, it is envisaged that Microsoft will promote and enable knowledge transfer and capacity building that will accelerate digital transformation across the public and private sectors of the Sultanate.
“Industry 4.0 is a runaway train that cannot be stopped,” said Dr Salim Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA.
“Instead, we in government must look for ways to harness the change to the benefit of all who call Oman home, in line with His Majesty’s vision. That is why we have partnered with Microsoft; because its leaders tell a compelling digital transformation story – one where the benefits of change are shared by all.”
Each month, Microsoft will deliver technology-awareness sessions for government officials. Separate, quarterly “ideation workshops” will be devoted to capacity-building, turning ideas into practical solutions, and delivering a high-level implementation roadmap. Technology proofs of concept will also play a significant role in the partnership. The ITA, will provide cloud infrastructure for hosting technology workshops and proofs of concept, and facilitate connections with business and technical stakeholders.
“Microsoft is on a mission to empower every individual, organization to achieve more,” said Sheikh Saif Al Hosni, Country Manager, Bahrain & Oman, Microsoft. “We have long admired the ITA’s vision for digitization and its efforts to accelerate digital transformation in the public and private sectors of Oman enabling them to empower, engage, optimise and transform. Through this partnership, we will take the next steps together.”