Interview with Noura Al Muhairi

IT Director, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Aug 29, 2021

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

Digital transformation is indeed the focus for the next three years, mainly targeting improving customer experience, analytics, cloud adaptation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to drive business value while focusing on cost optimization, operational excellence, and cyber security.

How have you helped move the business forward? 

ADGM has been a digital-by-default organization since its inception. Our technology-driven operations have aided in the seamless delivery of services for entities, our creation of an ideal ecosystem for growth and development for innovators, and an agile approach towards addressing unprecedented challenges.

What is your experience with digital transformation? 

​Digital transformation is not just a buzz word, but a concrete trend that is altering industries with the power of technology. The pandemic has demanded we change our way of thinking across all industries, while demanding that business leaders harness the importance of continued digital transformation to sustain and create a competitive advantage.

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

I believe there will be heavier reliance and investment to embrace cloud technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, which will definitely shape the future.

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

​We have recently launched our new three-year strategy which details our ambitions to embrace a customer-centric digital transformation, led by business transformation, AI-enabled digital experience, analytics, and automation. 

How do you stay current on innovations and trends? 

It’s very important to keep yourself up-to-date with trends in the area of technology and innovative solutions. Gaining access to industry peers in this regard is key, wherein ADGM is harnessing the importance of collaboration and insightful exposure to the FinTech ecosystem.

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

​Partnership and governance are critical to our stakeholder engagement strategy. I am pleased with the level of engagement we maintain with our internal and external stakeholders as we thrive to deliver value-added services to aid in our partners’ business transformation journey.

How do you retain employees? 

​I believe that genuinely caring about employees creates loyalty and a sense of belonging to the organization. ADGM continuously looks to empower its employees by investing in their career development and commending them for their contributions and achievements.

How do you upskill your employees? 

​With the advancement of technology, it is essential to continuously uplift the skills of IT professionals by creating a cross-trained workforce. It is essential to create upskilling programmes for all technology professionals within your organization by understanding the needs and demands for not only professional training, but also business awareness. We are in the process of concluding our program for the next 2 years including rewarding our employees on their upskilling efforts.

How do you support collaboration across departments? ​

​I cannot stress enough the importance of  collaboration, especially post the pandemic. I believe instilling the right culture, wherein collaboration is embedded and comes by default, is a key. We tend to have regular virtual gatherings where we celebrate team contributions, understand challenges, and identify opportunities for support. This is in addition to the team building activities that are now becoming essential in an increasingly virtual workplace.