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Interview with Abdallah Al Ali, IT Director at DMCC


Aug 19, 2021

What do you see as the CIO’s top priority? 

​Our role has changed dramatically during the last decade. First off, the CIO today manages much more technology, staff, and projects than ever before. In addition to the day-to-day functionality of digital solutions, we must also look at short and long-term roadmaps in innovation and digitization to enhance customer loyalty, increase efficiency & business growth, and employee performance. We must be diligent in protecting our resources, clients, and personnel against a growing cyber threat.  At DMCC, we have achieved multiple milestones such as protecting DMCC assets and internal and external stakeholders against cyberattacks, cloud adoption, cost sustainability, digital acceleration, and many more. ​

How have you helped move the business forward? 

​We have implemented a great deal of augmentation to accelerate and digitize processes across the organization. In doing so, we have increased the efficiency of operations and enhanced customer experience. Crucially, we have also managed to reduce risks. It’s not an easy job, but it is a responsibility shared by all our staff. We all work hard to ensure a maximum return on investment, and all technologies used will drive our operations to meet the organization’s strategic vision and objectives.

What is your experience with digital transformation? 

​The digitalization journey at DMCC has accelerated dramatically with IoT, 5G transmissions and other advancement opportunities that have presented themselves along the way – it’s about being adaptable. For example, DMCC adopted IOT, Smart City, Blockchain, 5G, Chatbot, Robot, RPA, and collaborated with government entities to improve the quality of services and increase productivity and relationship with internal and external stakeholders. Digital transformation must yield tangible and intangible benefits.

Where do you see the industry heading in the next three to five years? 

While I don’t pretend to have a crystal ball, I think we can all look down the road and imagine the importance of technologies in the corporate and personal world to enhance the quality of life for everyone. The future is all about the digital world, and if you don’t adapt, you will be falling behind, and you’ll eventually be surpassed by those who are proactive in digitisation. 

What’s your strategic plan for your current IT organization for one year, three years and five years out? 

​DMCC has an ongoing need to align ourselves with organization objectives and increase the productivity of all employees through the implementation of digital tools. Some of the objectives are; continuous enhancements and automation, optimizing security and governance, implement the best technologies to achieve corporate / business objectives and building a strong and effective relationship with our internal & external partners. 

How do you stay current on innovations and trends? 

Innovation is part of our strategy, and we have committed to adopting the type of innovation that brings value and benefits to our organisation. As such, IT receives support from DMCC’s leadership as they understand and value that innovation is one of the most important competitive advantages. As such, the leadership at DMCC values the outcomes of digitalisation & innovation and is keen to support the digital initiatives. In addition, we continue to partner with innovative organisations to achieve the objectives.

How do you engage and get buy-in from your diverse groups of stakeholders? 

​We are fortunate in DMCC because collaboration between stakeholders is high and transparent. We have corporate-wide initiatives to leverage the benefits of technologies in our work, and work together to improve our organization performance across the board. In addition, we motivate our team to achieve their goals and provide all the necessary support, services and recognition for their contribution and achievements.

How do you retain employees? 

​Employees are a company’s biggest asset. Any company that wants to retain employees should listen and respect and motivate their employees, provide continuous support, guidance and training, offer opportunities, recognize the talented and high performers, offer appreciations, rewards & compensations and building a positive culture and environment.

How do you upskill your employees? 

​We continue to train our employees through different ways, such as learning management solutions containing many courses in all domains, attending events and webinars, as well as conducting proof of concept for the new solutions.

How do you support collaboration across departments? ​

​Technology is a thread throughout an organization. We have deployed many tools that enhance the collaboration across the departments such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Yammer. We cascade the vision and objectives to all employees to contribute jointly in achieving the vision as a team. Encouraging, motivating and supporting the team plays a crucial role in enhancing the collaboration between departments.