Mon, 27/01/2020 - 10:01
Current Issue 34
Injazat is best described as a catalyst of change, combining cutting-edge technologies with industry expertise and experience at scale to deliver benefit to customers across the UAE
Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki
It is strange to think that video games are still a relatively new phenomenon in the grand scheme of history, their origin dating back to a 1958 interactive exhibition resembling digital ping pong at the Brookhaven National Laboratory open house in New York.
Today, games consoles can be found in 70 percent of US households as developers and producers battle it out in what has become a $135 billion global industry to create and market the next big hit.
AAA titles released week after week are unbelievably detailed and incredibly life-like, built on motion capture and 3D scanning technologies that often best the world’s leading movie sets. And that’s without mentioning the ever-evolving world of virtual reality gameplay.
Indeed, the big budgets; the heavyweight productions; the 4k all-immersive experiences have created a global entertainment phenomenon. Yet it may come as some surprise that it was the now-retro titles of the 1980s and 1990s which played a huge role in paving the career paths of many of today’s technology enthusiasts.
“I have always been fascinated with technology!” declares Mohamed Al Qubaisi.
“I remember sneakily using my father’s Tulip computer and launching Flight Simulator and other games from the big old floppy drives. Gaming had a big influence on me, and I appreciated the yearly updates and constant enhancements of gameplay and AI.”
A self-proclaimed gaming fanatic, this influence led Al Qubaisi to pursuing a career in IT, starting out as a systems analyst and programmer dealing with automation, databases and code before diversifying his expertise into project and programme management.
“I picked up different technical skills along the way,” he affirms, “and feel super blessed that I can utilise everything I have learned to help transform the organisation I currently work for.”
The company in question? Injazat, a recognised industry leader in the UAE for information technology solutions and data centre managed services and systems integration. Or so it used to be.
Since joining the organisation as its Chief Technology Officer three years ago, Al Qubaisi has helped to diversify this offering to include relevant, cutting-edge technologies and product lines like hybrid cloud and cybersecurity solutions, the firm now considered to be a specialist across a much broader spectrum.
“I joined in April 2017 with a mandate to introduce a new product roadmap to help our clients transform rapidly, while ensuring we remain relevant and competitive and scale globally,” he reveals.
“Digital transformation is not just an exciting space. In my opinion, it is the most exciting space.
“It is the fourth industrial revolution where traditional businesses need to rethink their models and converge with the digital world. We are at the forefront of this in the UAE and have already begun this journey with many of our customers.”
Listening to Al Qubaisi, it quickly became clear that Injazat is driven to not only meet but often exceed the expectations of its customers.
The business works with each client on partnership basis, maximising value by entwining their visions, missions and objectives with those of its own, leveraging best in class tools and methodologies. And the resulting synergy is often impressive.
“We have a public-private partnership with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi in the form of a digital venture called Malaffi,” the CTO states, pointing to a primary example of its collaborative model.
“Malaffi is the first Health Information Exchange in the Middle East and will connect all public and private healthcare providers in Abu Dhabi. It will enable the meaningful, real-time exchange of important patient health information between the healthcare providers, that will improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes in the Emirate.”
The CTO also points to a second digital venture, named Hassantuk, that’s been launched in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior, again with the purpose of saving lives.
In a nutshell, Hassantuk is an early fire detection and response system that makes use of smart monitoring equipment, a private secure mobile network and advanced AI capabilities to respond better to emergency events.
And with installation of these state-of-the-art alarms having been gradually introduced across high priority buildings such as schools and hospitals since 2018, it is hoped that by 2021 more than 150,000 buildings across the UAE (excluding Dubai) will house these same systems.
“With a target to respond quicker to alarms, we strive to provide an extra level of security and comfort to the citizens of the UAE,” Al Qubaisi adds.
These two solutions, among countless others that the company is able to call upon, are the result of the agile culture cultivated through investing in people, tools and technology.
In terms of innovation, the firm abides by its Design Thinking methodology – an approach specifically aimed at bridging the gap between creators and end users comprising a five-stage process of empathising with human needs, defining the problem at hand, ideating and brainstorming, prototyping and finally testing.
“Agility means everything these days,” muses Al Qubaisi.
“Therefore, we have our hybrid multi-cloud approach alongside our emerging tech and its agile factory capabilities, secured by our cyber capabilities and with full support from our ecosystem partners, startups and others.”
The wider purpose of its products is something equally important to Injazat, however.
Both Hassantuk and Malaffi are geared towards meeting the UAE’s ambition of becoming one of the safest countries in the world, for example, and the company openly admits its ambitions are to help address many challenges currently facing not only its home country but the entire world.
Al Qubaisi affirms: “Technology is one of the most important tools available for us to solve major issues like climate change, hunger, water, pollution, health and so many others.
“We have invested and will continue to invest in AI and data science capabilities to tackle some of those issues alongside our partners, and are also launching a venue to embody our vision and allow collaboration, innovation and practical execution of critical solutions to our biggest problems.
“We do not stop at our own culture transformation either. We want to take this culture change to everyone – citizens, school students, clients and more. Having an outcome-based mindset and being adaptable and agile is key to our success as humans.”
It is at this point that the CTO pays tribute to the efforts of the Injazat team, a workforce deemed to be the key proponent of its enviable culture, continually meeting the firm’s calls in regard to proactive adaptation in the market.
New individuals with different approaches and ideas are brought on board all the time to maintain innovation in the face of ongoing shifts. Yet the firm has also retained a family-feel, with each individual encouraged to operate in an entrepreneurial manner and take ownership of new developments.
“We like to think we operate like a startup, but with a little bit of corporate discipline,” he states.
“Our employees are constantly challenged, and they learn every day through experience and training.
I believe in Injazat’s vision and feel that our people do too, and that alignment is greater than any incentive scheme.
“It is true we are a technology company, but we consider ourselves a tech hub that focuses on empowering human achievement. Our vision and its execution are entirely dependent on the very talented people we have. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
Outside of the organisation, external entities are viewed as similarly critical.
In the way of procurement, the firm not only works closely with traditional technology enterprises, but also engages actively in what is a growing startup sphere, recognising the potential of this field as a source of critical innovations and ideas.
“Honestly, as the CTO I am more focused on the latter as we intend to disrupt alongside promising startups to provide cost effective, cutting-edge solutions,” Al Qubaisi admits.
“We play a major role in not only qualifying and vetting those companies, but we also enable them by providing the resources they are missing and platform that they need via access to clients and their use-cases.
“To date, we have already had major success with numerous local and international startups.”
Indeed, through sound startup engagement, an undeniably innovative spirit and dedicated, highly qualified personnel, Injazat stands in particularly good stead to continually adapt and help others to follow suit in the changing world of technology moving forward.
It is the company’s mission to bring the grand opportunities made available by modern developments to the fore of UAE enterprises while simultaneously ensuring that this is done in a cost-effective manner.
By helping to educate workforces in becoming digitally literate, delivering clear business strategies regarding technology integration and ultimately transforming organisations for the better, Injazat is expected to play a critical role in preparing the UAE for future market challenges and broadening the horizons of businesses.
“What are our priorities for the coming year?” Al Qubaisi ponders as our conversation comes to a close.
‘We are expanding within the UAE and are looking at opportunities in the wider GCC. We have a target of launching at least two more digital ventures in the near term. Using our blueprint, we can reach the next level and hopefully make a positive impact in the region.
“Long term, I predict that we will play a major, if not the biggest, role in realising the UAE’s digital roadmap.”