Last week I had the pleasure of attending ManageEngine’s first user conference and training event in the Middle East (Dubai to be specific); with event attendees not only from the UAE, but also Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.
The one-day user conference element of the two-day event, offered me both fresh insight into how IT service management, ITIL, and enabling tools are being adopted in the Middle East, and first-hand experience of ManageEngine’s customers within the region.
This quick blog is intended to capture my views, thoughts, and opinions for the benefit of all.
The current state of IT service management in the Middle East?
My previous experiences of IT service management and ITIL in particular in the Middle East had been somewhat limited; but as with most things I had drawn my own opinions and conclusions based on the exposure (the proverbial joining of dots). So before last week I believed:
ITIL was talked about but with “implementations” driven from the higher echelons, or even outside, of the IT organization; adoption was slow and susceptible to resistance. It was a “good thing to do” rather than a business-focused means to an end.
That while customers (end users) are important the focus was still very much on the IT – the creation of IT rather than the consumption of IT services.
Middle Eastern companies value “prestige” and as such were most likely to buy Big 4 solutions for IT service management.
Enterprises in the Middle East are increasingly aware of the strategic value of mobility to enable or enhance business processes, particularly as they focus less on concerns over compatibility and uniformity. Oman Air’s recent deployment of SITA’s resource management solution for its 2,500 employees at Muscat International Airport is a clear example. The solution will provide a platform for planning, rostering, management, and real-time scheduling of work tasks and enable communication of tasks via mobile devices and monitoring of operational status and billing information in real time.
But as the perceived importance of supporting mobility increases over the next two years, we expect more organizations in the region to re-evaluate their mobile technology choices. After 10 years of using BlackBerry, Halliburton, a major energy provider headquartered in Dubai, decided to switch 4,500 of its employees to the iPhone as its preferred platform for expanding mobile technology usage by giving employees secure access to internal applications from outside the corporate network. In addition to security, compatibility, and access, organizations will increasingly evaluate mobile OS platform support for developing and localizing their own applications, e.g., developing applications in Arabic.
Below I’ve highlighted several of the drivers of further mobility adoption for enterprises in the Middle East: