Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 67 | Page 37

Muhammed Mokhtar – Regional Chief Architect , Middle East and Turkey , Software AG , said the company is focused on supporting the region in upskilling and enabling youth and potential tech leaders of the future in many different ways .
For example , explained Mokhtar , the Future Disruptors Programme is an annual initiative for undergraduate students from UAE and Saudi universities .
“ The programme aims to nurture innovation by bridging the gap between the current developments in the corporate world with increasing expectations of the ‘ digitally native ’ workforce and citizens of tomorrow . Participants are encouraged to address real-world challenges through IoT , AI and Machine Learning based innovative models . The programme spans for months featuring extensive resources and in-depth training on Software AG ’ s industry leading technologies led by the firm ’ s technical team ,” he said .
Aside from that , Mokhtar explained that in Saudi Arabia , and since 2020 , Software AG has enabled more than 100 professionals from its customers , prospects and partners , purely as an investment from our side to support the nation .
“ We also have an active internship programme called the Future Digital Leaders , every year , where professionals join the company , get on-job training for 3 months , preparing them for the market and some of these successful ones are also absorbed by the
company for permanent positions . I ’ m proud that many of these brilliant interns are now my colleagues at Software AG .”
Mokhtar added that the expansion of the region ’ s first of its kind IoT academy by Software AG into the Kingdom is aimed at providing learners with the knowledge and skills to build and lead IoT-based transformations , boost the tech industry and stimulate IoT adoption over 12 weeks of intensive IoT-focused courses and live workshops .
Going forward , Heriot-Watt University ’ s El Gayar said although HR personnel have a large role to play in upskilling and training IT talent , it cannot be done without the understanding and leadership of CIOs .
She said CIOs need to guide HR personnel by articulating the range of skills required , both soft and technical skills , to fill in the gaps . “ With the management knowledge that CIOs and IT leaders have , they can identify the skills needed in emerging technologies and work processes . Since CIOs are responsible for aligning technology skills with strategic objectives of their company , they can identify where competences are needed . In addition to their technical prowess , CIOs understand how to leverage technologies to achieve their strategic goals . Currently , the skills required to hire IT leaders have significantly changed as did the strategic objectives of enterprises . With their skillsets and complex organisational vision , the input of CIOs in hiring new talent is valuable to HR departments .” p
Tom Clarke , Principal , Heidrick & Struggles Dubai
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