The Bahraini Technology and Business Society (TBS) in partnership with the NGN International, an IT system integrator and Consultant headquartered in Bahrain, organized a webinar that reviewed the effectiveness of performance and productivity during and post the COVID-19 Era. The webinar also discussed the various effects of the pandemic on the government and business landscape, such as working remotely and changing methods of providing services and products to reduce human contact and the negative impact of the pandemic on specific sectors such as banking services and education.
Dr. Khalied Al Mutawa, Director of Governance and Enterprise Architecture Directorate at the Information and eGovernment Authority, spoke during the webinar about post COVID-19 from a government perspective, stressing the government’s endeavor to keep pace with the requirements of digital transformation and provide reliable remote services to users.
While Mr. Mohamed Bucheeri, Head of IT operations and Infrastructure at Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK), discussed recent data that proves the immense shift in the growing dependence on digital banking services. This includes CBB’s announcement of a 700% increase in transfers via Fawri+ And 31% via Fawri, 90% through Fawateer, 81% through other various electronic payment channels. This is compared to an 8% decline in using ATMs spread across the Kingdom. Mr. Bucheeri stressed that all this encourages and urges us to invest more in digital infrastructure.
“Banks are currently working rapidly to meet the growing expectations of customers to obtain easy, affordable and safe digital banking services, especially after more customers discovered how easily digital transactions are, compared to wasting their time and efforts in performing the same procedures through the bank. At the same time, there are new challenges that have emerged during this transformation; among them are cybersecurity challenges due to two reasons, first is the use of digital banking services by customers who do not have sufficient knowledge of protecting their data. The second challenge is remote work by banks’ employees and their use of computers that may not be protected against cyber-attacks.” Mr. Bucheeri added.
For his part, Mr. Yaqoob Al Awadhi, CEO of “NGN” International, spoke about the growing trend of managed services and outsourcing as tools to optimize IT operations. He stressed the fact that more institutions, companies and organizations in Bahrain and the world tend to use outsourcing as a strategic management model that depends on transferring all or some of the managed services to another company as a third party that performs its administrative services on a daily basis.
Dr. Aisha Bushagir, head of the Computer Engineering department at the University of Bahrain, elaborated on how to bring up next-generation of specialists ready to meet “Black Swans”, stressing the importance of providing students and graduates with the advanced skills required by the labour market in the Era of the 4th industrial revolution.
The Chairman of the Technology and Business Society, Mr. Mishal Al Hellow, said that this webinar focuses on the measures that must be taken by IT managers in companies and institutions to strengthen the flexibility of their institutions in dealing with the repercussions of the pandemic and the extensive damage it can cause. “We must be equipped for the coming economic recovery by securing digital collaboration tools, information security controls, network support, and providing day-to-day operational needs, and increasing investment in digital projects.” Mr. Al Hellow added.