Amidst the celebration of 25 years of unwavering commitment and success in knowledge orientation and business building, Datamatix brings to the region the 20th edition of the GCC eGovernment and eServices Conference. The 20th GCC eGovernment and eServices Conference underlines the journey of the government and business organizations in the region towards smartGovernment.
The conference is sponsored by: Future Group, Brother International, Dubai Courts, DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority), Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Naseej, Tawasol, General Information Authority of Libya, Umm Al Suqueim Model School Majid bin Mohammad Learning Center, University of Hail, Sejel, Saudi Post, Ministry of Hajj, Arab Planning Institute, Sure, Qatar Airways Holidays, Emirates Auction, Digital Flow, ]init[, Middle East Aura Portal, Almarai, Carlsbad Mineral Water, Al Riyadh Newspaper, Capital Business, Al Shabiba, Al Ain TV and Al Anba.
Dr. Ahmed Tahlak, President of LEVENBRET opened the conference. He explained the key motive and role that the conference plays in the ICT development of the region and welcomed all participants to the 20th year of eGovernment and eServices Conference.
On day 1, Mr. Ali Al Kamali, Managing Director of Datamatix opened the conference with a welcome speech extending his pleasure and gratitude for the support and love bestowed on Datamatix since the past 25 years. He elaborated the journey of Datamatix as a knowledge service provider in the Middle East and thanked all the intellectuals, supporters, counterparts and patrons of Datamatix for their undying spirit and support for the past quarter century.
He gave a brief introduction to the GCC’s GDP and economy to the guests and added that the government is striving its best to implement more effective ICT to improve the existing economic infrastructure.
It was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Measuring the GCC Region’s eAchievements and eFuture Challenges in the age of Smart City and Government. The panel was chaired by Eng. Ali Bin Saleh Al-Soma, Director General Yesser of Ministry of Communications and Information Technology; and Mr. Chan Meng Khoong, Chief, IT Strategy & Management Practice / Evangelist, e-Government Leadership from National University of Singapore; and Dr. Usman Zafar, Country Manager (Middle East & North Africa) of ]init[ Services for the e-Society.
The panel discussed the 5 challenges in smartGovernment transition that are Knowledge Management, Info society, Data sharing, Mobile apps and Information digitalization. Eng Ali Bin Saleh elaborated on the big data in government organizations that is based upon various demographics and financial data that forms a huge accumulation which needs to be studied in detail that can then be transferred into knowledge. He also discussed the smart government infrastructure and said that governments are more social in this age that establishes a greater connection with the citizens and maintains transparency. He also emphasized on the KSA info society infrastructure.
Mr. Chan Meng Khoong presented a comparative analysis of eGovernment in GCC and in Singapore. He discussed the growing ‘Consumerization’ that is changing the ways of government operations and which plays a key decisive role in the ICT developments and particularly the eGov services.
Dr. Usman Zafar talked about the challenges in old legacy systems and migrating towards smartGovernment. He talked about the provision of value added services to the citizens and the tradition of GCC in providing fastest eGov services. He elaborated on the streamline of government services to establish eService integration and the 2014 roadmap whilst discussing the role of CEOs and CIOs in achieving this roadmap.
The panel also discussed the varying eGov patterns in Saudi, UAE and Singapore that have been implemented and used by the citizens for many years including mobile services, data integration, one-stop-shop services and national security. The Q and A session that followed discussed the government working patterns of countries like Nepal, Bangladesh etc and how they are coping with the needs of the citizens and other; challenges in eGov that restricts the advancement of GCC to the Singaporean and other global level; data sharing to build capabilities of the employees; centralized database for region; crowd sourcing and leveraging resources.
The coffee break and networking session was followed by a global guest speech by H.E. Dr. Ali Abbasov, Minister of Communications and High Technologies of Republic of Azerbaijan on ‘2020 Global Megatrends’.
He threw light on the changing regional and global demographics and the impact that globalization has on the societies and organizations and thereby the entire economy. He also elaborated on the growing environmental concern and the growing threat that it poses to the social stability. He drew attention towards the Republic of Azerbaijan and their eGovernment infrastructure and elaborated on how the structure is created. He also discussed the strategy of info society devised by Azerbaijan that engulfs digitalized public services that is available and accessible to one and all.
He further talked about the +400 eServices that are made available to the citizens with increased transparency and most importantly to the rural areas. He also talked about Azerbaijan’s regional and global cooperation with neighboring countries which includes one of the most important aspect of funding the eGovernment issues.
He also added that Information and communication technologies (ICT) are one of the priority directions of paramount importance in sustainable economic development of Azerbaijan. This sector holds leading position in innovative technologies and attraction of foreign and domestic investments compared to other sectors of the economy. One of the main targets of the policy pursued by ICT sector was to expand the ICT infrastructure and up-date telecommunication infrastructure applying new technologies.
A second panel discussion followed on ‘Measuring the GCC Region’s eAchievements and eFuture Challenges in the age of Smart City and Government’ that was chaired by H.E. Abdulla Abduljabbar Al Majid Al Mheiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services, Ministry of Justice and Dr. Saleem Zoughbi, Global advisor, ICT UN eGOV Center, Macao & UN APCIC in UN ESCAP. Dr. Usman Zafar, Country Manager (Middle East & North Africa), ]init[ Services for the e-Society; and Ms. Safeyah Alshehhi, Expert - Open Data & Smart Eservices.
Dr. Saleem discussed the changing ways of government operations and the dynamic role of CEOs and human capital that will become an ever greater source of value. He elaborated on the disruptive trends impacting the work and the transforming workers and working. He also elaborated on the organizational transformation and transformative leadership that poses threat to the 2020 CEO/CIO.
The panel further discussed the website portals online transactions and the various criticisms that the organizations received in the wake of ICT globalizations. H.E. Abdulla Abduljabbar Al Majid Al Mheiri talked about the various collaborative programs under the patronage of the supreme leaderships in the region that have helped creating benchmarks in ICT services in the ministry of Justice.
There were elaborate discussions on the eServices legislations in the GCC and the associated challenges; new technologies that are exploited during the early stages of initiation; redesign and restructuring of programs and applications for better prospects; changing mindsets for change;
Dr. Usman Zafar, Country Manager (Middle East & North Africa) of ]init[ Services for the e-Society concluded the day with his presentation on Global Best Practices in: Mobile Apps and Payment Gateways.
He spoke on the next generation of government eService delivery tools through mobile payment gateways that would include full eSociety integration. On the basis of GCC that has the highest internet penetration, he elaborated on the relevance of all the information accessed. He talked about the evolution of the mobile apps and how it has become a mandate in the lives of people.
He discussed the benefits of mobile government in its simplification, proximity, transparency and efficiency. His presentation also emphasized on the strides of UAE in mobile app government and the position of the emirates in global government service ranking, themes of the 2014 survey and open government data. He concluded by emphasizing on the transition to mGovernment and the various associated initiatives and organizations that have emerged in realizing the vision of a transformative smartGovernment in the region.
The first day of the conference, elaborately explored various topics like GCC Region’s eAchievements and eFuture, info society dynamisms, transformative leaderships, and digitalization of eServices and showcased expert case studies on regional and global ICT strides and smartGovernment development.
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