Dr Jalal Al Alowibdi, Andy Turner, Cleo Hoo Chong Long and Dr Farooq Wasil during a panel discussion on the final day Digitrans 2019 in Dubai on Thursday.
Dubai - Make sure to first check and see if the innovation will bring real value to your organisation
While it is true that investing in technologies that are known to help with digital transformation is a sound economic decision, organisations need to realise that they shouldn't adopt technology only for the sake of adoption.
Experts at The Digital Transformation Forum (Digitrans 2019) stressed this message, while sharing their insights on how organisations can improve their margins by carefully researching technologies that will have the most positive impact on their operations.
The event was presented by Khaleej Times and MIT Sloan.
"Never adopt technologies just for adoption's sake," said Andy Turner, head of education technology and innovation at Aldar Education. "While it is important to be agile, when it comes to adopting technologies that have the power to disrupt your operations, you need to first check and see if the technology will bring real value to your organisation."
Schools, he said, can act as great incubators for new technologies and result in innovators that will excel in the world of ever-changing technology. However, for this to happen, educational institutions will have to be aware of the latest technologies, adopt and change the technology to fit their current infrastructure, and agile enough to react to the needs of society.
Cleo Hoo Chong Long, education director and founder of Malaysia's Tech Incubator and Digital Media, agreed and added that schools need to build a syllabus that allows for digital transformation, as well as the disruption that follows. This can be challenging if the school has not evolved from teaching computer literacy courses that still struggle to teach students the basics of using computer programs.
Naushad Oomer, director of operations for India at Virgin Hyperloop One, said as the world becomes more connected and people increase the frequency of their travels, airports across the world are looking to expand to cater to the growing number of passengers. He noted that installing a hyperloop at major airports would significantly improve operations.
"We want to make the whole experience seamless and stress free," he said. "Many of us are already familiar with taking a train or metro to get from one end of the airport to another, so think about the possibilities of introducing a high speed hyperloop that can take you out of the airport and to another major city in just minutes. Not only that, think of how much more effective it will be to shift cargo."
One front that organisations absolutely cannot fail at will be cyber security, said Dr Fadi Aloul, professor and department head of computer science and engineering, and director of the HP Institute at the American University of Sharjah.
"You need to think about cybersecurity in everything that you do," he said. "To get an idea about just how deadly cyberattacks are getting, simply look at the fact that the World Economic Forum listed cyberattacks as being the third most dangerous threat that nations face today. This was followed by data theft at number four. The way to combat this threat is through a three-way approach that brings together academia, the industry, and security companies."
Other experts at the event were Dr Jalal Al Alowibdi, CDO of the University of Jeddah, and Dr Farooq Wasil, global head for affordable schools at Gems Education Dubai.