Flexible friend

IT agility remains a collective figment of the imagination at some vendors' marketing departments rather than something which can actually be realised.

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By  Administrator Published  May 1, 2007

"Companies today are finding that to successfully address these pressures they need to look outside their organisations and more effectively collaborate with their stakeholders. That demands IT to provide a flexible, adaptable and ever evolving infrastructure that allows continuous improvement without disruption to core processes," he says.

Flexibility, says Van der Ven, will be crucial for the Gulf as businesses become aggressively competitive, and free trade becomes an inevitability.

Nowadays, the infrastructure is normally over-heightened as IT managers want to have all types of different solutions in place.

One person who is very much a part of the Gulf's aggressively competitive environment is Gadde Rao, IT manager at Dubai Refreshments who says that because his company has set growth business objectives for the company, IT has decided to invest ahead of the curve. It wants to be in a position to meet a changing and growing environment.

He believes SOA has an important part to play in all this: "It is very important, and SOA is kind of a hot topic. This gives more flexibility to your customers and suppliers. Sooner or later almost all applications will focus on SOA."

His advice to IT managers looking for agility is to have a clear and long vision related to the company vision.

"If the vision is clear then the IT manager will know exactly what he has to do," he says.

One of the company's strategies that Rao oversees is the unification of business units under one umbrella to enable greater data transparency. This has facilitated the analysis of data to a minute level to take quick, effective strategic decisions.

Getting the infrastructure right is what Khalid Khougali, head of IT, telecommunications and business at Sharjah Institute of Technology (SIT) maintains. The issue of strategic flexibility poses requirements on the IT capabilities to provide cost-effective, scalable IT infrastructures to enable the institute to design and implement new business process applications to respond to emerging business opportunities, he says.

In early 2004, the IT department began the process of aligning the information infrastructure with its new corporate strategy by uniting all of its vocational departments into a common technical strategy.

In 2005, the IT department started with the implementation of a new strategic infrastructure platform. With this platform, the Institute's main goal was to invest in an internal foundation to meet its strategic objectives.

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