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Sangeetha Interview - Technology - 2013

Sangeetha Interview - Technology - 2013

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Published by Sangeetha Sridhar
OMAN -technology - expert view
OMAN -technology - expert view

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Published by: Sangeetha Sridhar on Sep 16, 2013
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09/16/2013

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Building adigital society
ICT
Large businesses in Oman have streamlinedtheir operations through their IT investments,with small and medium entities ollowing suit
normation Communication Technology (ICT)has received a strategic thrust rom the Omangovernment where it plays the lead role along withan evolving private sector to execute projects withthe required level o competence and resources.Oman’s vision is to ensure a better lie or its residentsthrough the means o telecommunications and ITutilising modern devices and channels. While largebusinesses have reaped streamlined operations andseamless payment handling through their IT investments,the small and medium scale industries are looking orincentives to harness technology within their scope.According to the UN bi-annual E-Government Survey2012, Oman ranked 16th in the world on the UnitedNations eParticipation Index, which reects citizen-engagement. Oman is one among the 25 elite memberstates that oer separate m-government portals. The2012 His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Award or Excellence inE-Governance has seen some intense competition thisyear reecting the maturity o public sector services witha prime ocus on citizen-centric delivery, engagementand perormance management.Business inrastructure systems have demonstrated asteady growth while new trends are witnessed involvingonline payments, business analytics and intelligence,mobile-based services, including apps and buzzing socialnetworking activity. Over 90 per cent o the businesseshave access to Internet but ewer than 50 per centutilise this connectivity to serve their customers directly.Big data sits in silos waiting to be explored or potentialmessages rom the customers.While the web-presence is becoming mandatory, someagile brands are moving towards social media presence
Sangeetha Sridhar
Consultant - OperationalExcellence, InformationTechnology Authority, Oman
I
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THE SULTANATE2013
 
along with online shopping-carts and payment services,too. The uturistic cloud-based services, single-signon identity or all residents through unied identitymanagement electronic postal system are taking shapeas o now.“I would like to make a mention o a landmark decisionhere. Acceleration o E-Government services via portalsand mobile platorm is the catalyst, spurring activitywithin the market at public sector, private sector and thepublic in one massive spin. This being compounded bythe support or promoting small and medium enterprise(SMEs) with a avourable terrain or growth, is the nextbest thing happening in the Sultanate,” says SangeethaSridhar, consultant - operational excellence, InormationTechnology Authority (ITA), Oman.The promotion o open-source development,community-wide ree ICT training, KPI-driven ICT-certication or public sector sta, vibrant sotware,service and web competitions are all healthy signs ogrowth within this industry, which will continue in uture.Talking about the gap between between collegeeducation and industry requirements, Sangeetha says,“Currently ormal vendor certications and product /platorm-specic trainings are lling in the much talked-about gap between college education and industryrequirements but the e-learning model is not yet prolic.The current education system continues the teacher-ledlearning pattern and hence the sel-learning model is notyet signicant among the graduates or the employed.”Faster devices, intelligent equipment and smart-gadgetsand hand-held devices are expected to become a norm,indicating the need or enterprise mobility. As per IDCprojections, the enterprise app market could growto USD7.7 billion by 2015. In line, mobility and cloudwill emerge as major trends initiating a related app-development arena.There are other challenges as well. The demand orskilled-nationals continues to escalate, well beyond thecapacity o the existing higher education institutionsand training organisations. Sangeetha urther says,“Inrastructure investments are being patchy over legacysystems, where-in there exists a looming arch o demandor web 2.0 based technologies and cloud-to-handhelddevice service delivery which require completely re-engineering service-oriented deployments. Further theinternet penetration is dense in the capital and primecities while it is sparse or even lacking in remote areas.This hampers mushroom-growth o local adoptionnationwide. Broadband service inrastructure has moremountains to scale and valleys to bridge.”Social networking driven by a business environment willbenet the entire community at large but only a ewbrands are using this approach. Local content creationhas not taken a systematic approach yet.With the expansion o ICT space in Oman, there isconsiderable scope or emergence o new businessopportunities in the Sultanate. A mobile penetration levelo 173 per cent with a CAGR o 17 per cent as projectedby the Telecommunication Authority’s ve year summaryreport indicates the potential market or mobile-based
 According to theUN bi-annualE-GovernmentSurvey 2012, Omanranked 16th inthe world on theUnited NationseParticipationIndex, which refectscitizen-engagement
108
 
Celebrating Oman’s 43rd Renaissance Day

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