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Interview with Mohammed Al Rais, Director of IT at ENOC


Jun 6, 2023

How would you describe yourself?

I am a highly dedicated and self-motivated individual who consistently demonstrates a strong work ethic. I possess a calm and composed approach when making decisions, and I am a firm believer in leading by example and fostering a positive and forward-thinking team dynamic. I thrive in environments that promote teamwork and collaboration, and prioritise empathy and active listening in all my interactions with others.

What does your typical workday look like?

My typical workday at ENOC is fast-paced and varied, with many different stakeholders to interact with, making it both exciting and challenging. To start my day on the right foot, I like to begin my day before reaching the office, and I find it important to keep a structured and organised schedule to manage my busy schedule of meetings and calls. Despite the high demands of my role, I make sure to take the time to engage with my team and key stakeholders, as their feedback and input is essential to my personal and professional growth.

What are your key responsibilities in the organisation?

As the head of IT for ENOC Group, my key responsibilities include providing strategic direction and leadership for all of the organisation’s digital initiatives. This includes leading the implementation of technology projects that drive business value and benefits, and overseeing the performance of key IT functions such as IT Service Delivery, Cyber Security, and IT PMO. Additionally, I am responsible for ensuring compliance with internal and external mandates, such as implementing best practices and achieving target states, standards, and certifications. This includes working closely with the organisation’s senior management team to align IT goals and objectives with the overall business strategy. Overall, my role is focused on driving innovation, efficiency and ensuring the IT infrastructure supports the business needs effectively and efficiently.

How do you leverage technology to help your organisation achieve its business goals?

At ENOC, we leverage technology to drive our organisation’s business goals in several ways. One of our key focuses is on developing digital capabilities that improve the experience for both our employees and customers. This includes investing in new technologies and platforms that make it easier for our employees to work remotely and communicate effectively, as well as implementing tools and systems that make it easier for customers to engage with us and access the products and services they need.

We are also positioning ourselves as a business partner and eventually a business innovation driver, by adopting new technologies like 5G, mobility, e-commerce and IoT based technologies to expand the business while balancing the requirement to build resilience to protect our systems from cyber threats. This will enable us to create a digital connected ecosystem that is agile and adaptable to the ever-changing business needs.

Additionally, we are working to alter the IT landscape within ENOC to bring a unified, integrated, and proven system that can cater to all ENOC businesses digitization needs and enhancing information exchange between the various entities in the group that operate at various stages of the Oil and Gas downstream value chain. This will enable us to streamline processes, improve data analytics, and increase efficiency across the organisation, which ultimately helps us achieve our business goals.

What are the main challenges you face and how do you overcome them?

As the head of IT for ENOC Group, there are several main challenges I face on a regular basis. One of the biggest challenges is the need to adopt open, agile, and hybrid architectures while balancing with the cyber laws mandates and restrictions. This requires a lot of planning and extra measures to be taken to ensure that new technologies are implemented in a compliant and secure manner.

Another major challenge is the quality of services and access to technical resources. To overcome this challenge, we focus on building the right ecosystem and selecting the right partners and technologies. This includes thoroughly testing new systems and technologies before implementing them, and continuously monitoring and evaluating the performance of our existing systems to ensure they are meeting our needs.

Another major challenge is user adoption, change and culture management. To overcome this, we put efforts and top management commitment and support is a key success factor, effective engagement of our resources and partners. This includes building support networks, creating training programs, and providing employees with the tools and resources they need to effectively use new technologies. Additionally, we work closely with our partners and vendors to ensure that they are fully integrated into our organisation’s culture and that their goals align with ours.

Overall, the key to overcoming these challenges is to stay proactive, anticipate potential roadblocks, and have a clear plan of action to address them. This requires a combination of technology and people skills, as well as strong communication, collaboration, and leadership to make sure everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction.

How do you stay up to date with current technology trends?

I stay current with technology trends by regularly reading books, tech blogs, newsletters, and following relevant accounts on social media. I also actively participate in tech forums and attend industry events. Additionally, I network with my peers to gain insight and knowledge from their experiences and expertise.

What are the key technology trends that you consider implementing?

When considering new technology trends to implement, our focus is on improving agility, sustainability, and speed of service. To achieve this, we are actively working on implementing DevOps to streamline our development and operations processes, expanding our cloud computing capabilities to support sustainability initiatives and reduce overhead and energy consumption, enhancing our ERP digital capabilities to more effectively manage and understand our resources and assets, implementing paperless initiatives to reduce waste and increase efficiency, and incorporating connected IoT devices and sensors to monitor consumption and create smart stations for the future.

In your opinion, how do you see the future of your industry? And how technology will play a role?

I see the future of our industry as one that is heavily focused on innovation and sustainability. At ENOC, our vision is to be an innovative energy partner, delivering sustainable value and industry-leading performance to all our stakeholders. In order to achieve this, we recognize that leveraging technology and digital solutions is crucial. Going digital is not only optional, but it is a key component of our group strategy. By leveraging technology, we will be able to simplify our processes, gain real-time visibility into our operations, and make fast, proactive decisions. This will help us to enhance our customer experience, streamline our enterprise operations, reduce costs, and provide fast and responsive services. Overall, I see technology playing a critical role in shaping the future of our industry and helping us to achieve our goals.