Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 32 | Page 52

COUNTRY FOCUS: LEBANON With the ICT market in Lebanon expected to reach US$543.5 million by 2019, the country can boast a strong foundation for digital transformation initiatives. Intelligent CIO spoke to Kamal Othman, General Manager, LEVANT, Dell EMC, to find out how businesses in the country are using technology to transform themselves and their operations. ///////////////// An ideal platform for transformation What challenges do companies in Lebanon face when embarking on digital transformation? Limited financial resources are the most prominent barrier organisations in Lebanon face in their journey to become a successful digital business. Budgets allocated towards development of projects, reforms and initiatives for advancement of the public sector and collaboration between the public and private sector hampers the progress towards creating a digitised and innovation-focused economy. This is closely followed by lack of reliable data that is important to facilitate speedy decision-making. New avenues of business and revenue cannot be identified in the absence of accurate data and lack of knowledge management. 52 INTELLIGENTCIO Thirdly, lack of flexible rules and regulations that govern the public sector and organisational structures and mechanisms thwart efforts channelled towards automation and digitisation. Moreover, lack of workforce readiness, absence of digital vision and strategy and technology constraints to work at the speed of business also impede progress of transformation journeys embarked by organisations across Lebanon. Why do different sectors in Lebanon face a unique digital transformation journey? Most organisations across industries do not have the freedom to start anew, or rip and replace all their ICT investments in favour of modern and advanced IT infrastructure. Organisations have to contend with traditional systems that house critical data, so these systems cannot simply be transformed overnight. Therefore, while some of the industries are much further along their digital transformation journey, others are just getting started and few have adopted a piecemeal approach. This is because while some of the issues and challenges faced by organisations may be similar, their resources, capabilities, appetite for disruption, and business needs can vary quite significantly. How can organisations in Lebanon drive forward their digital transformation strategies? Digital transformation isn’t only about implementing new mobile applications or technologies. It is more about transforming an organisation to leverage possibilities provided by new technologies. However,