IT Managers of the Year

ACN reveals the ten most outstanding individuals in regional IT for 2010.

Tags: Dubai Mercantile ExchangeJumeirah GroupKamal Osman JamjoomQatar UniversityZamil Industrial Investment Company
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IT Managers of the Year Paul O'Kirwan, IT Director, Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME
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By  ACN Staff Writer Published  January 10, 2010 Arabian Computer News Logo

Paul O'Kirwan

Position: IT Director

Company: Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME)

It's a testament to how the world has changed over the past 12 months that we have only one IT manager from the world of finance on our list this year. Fortunately, our pick, Dubai Mercantile Exchange's Paul O'Kirwan, is absolutely top-notch.

How good is O'Kirwan? Consider this fact: the average ERP implementation takes anywhere between two and five years to implement, can require hundreds of staff with specialised consultants and according to folklore, virtually 80% of these projects are bound to fail since companies fail to understand the extent of the changes required.

O'Kirwan and his DME team of just 11 staff selected a vendor and installed a Great Plains-based ERP system in a mere six months. The even more amazing part is that the implementation team consisted of just two individuals: O'Kirwan himself and a young graduate from the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology. Despite the massive potential for catastrophe, the system met all its deadlines and continues to trade today without incident.

When he's not performing minor implementation miracles, O'Kirwan is a keen proponent of both localisation and the need to have young, enthusiastic staff. As a result, nearly half of his team are Emirati and virtually all are in their 20s. These are results that many larger organisations would struggle to deliver.

In the current difficult economic climate, many companies struggle to finish huge overambitious projects on time and under budget. For Paul O'Kirwan, that's just another day at the office.

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