The fight for enterprise IT sovereignty in 2019

Ahmed Adly, senior director at Oracle MENA.
Updated 21 January 2019
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The fight for enterprise IT sovereignty in 2019

In 2018, emerging technologies such as AI, automation, data and blockchain have achieved much, but failed to win the big cash prize and become the overall winner. Which of these will become the overall champion in 2019? Ahmed Adly, senior director at cloud computing leader Oracle MENA, lists his predictions for 2019:

Stealth adoption of AI

Artificial intelligence will be key — but only if companies can tame this data athlete, and understand how to apply it within the confines of the business. With Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights Survey anticipating that 60 percent of organizations will have an enterprise-wide strategy for AI in 2019, we expect a lot more companies to look for practical ways to bring AI into the business; and a key path will be through having AI embedded into their applications. 

Increase in productivity

One of the key business drivers for AI adoption is its immense power to increase human productivity and business efficiency. A recent Oracle survey of international senior decision-makers showed 42 percent are already looking to AI technology to improve efficiency within their organization. Looking ahead, we predict that by 2025, the productivity gains delivered by AI and augmented experiences could be as high as 50 percent compared to today’s operations. 

Autonomous database

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 90 percent of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical enterprise asset, with analytics becoming an essential competency. As the levels of data currently at hand are too much for humans to handle, a new approach is needed. Oracle has already taken the next step in extreme automation with the Oracle Autonomous Database.

Trust in blockchain 

From being the new kid on the block, distrusted for its association with bitcoin, blockchain will not only start to become more commonplace in business, it will also become the king of transparency and trust in 2019. The technology is being used to certify the ethical production of extra virgin olive oil, for tracking solar energy usage and to bring a single source of truth into the documentation processes underpinning the global shipping industry. In 2019, we we will see it being used in even more broader contexts — from verifying the authenticity of precious stones and tracking the source of food contaminations to confirming the production of drugs in accordance with industry regulations. 


Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

Updated 18 June 2019
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Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

The Ascott Limited is developing its training program across the group’s properties in Jeddah, whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the array of skills needed to succeed in top managerial positions within the Kingdom’s burgeoning hospitality sector. 

To be eligible to join Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program, Saudi graduates must have at least a bachelor’s degree with honors and be willing to learn and develop their career within an international group. The program comprises theory and practical training across all departments and is followed by overseas training in one of Ascott’s properties.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting period of growth in Saudi Arabia,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “The Kingdom’s tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and is creating many new jobs within the hospitality sector. We launched Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program in line with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote, nurture and develop this valuable homegrown pool of young talent and offer successful individuals a dynamic career path within the Ascott group.

“In just a short amount of time the program has made a significant impact. Our turnover ratio of Saudi colleagues has fallen from 58 percent in 2016 to less than 15 percent to date in 2019; staff loyalty has been positively affected and guest satisfaction levels have increased. What’s more, Ascott Sari Jeddah was recently named as Saudi Arabia’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2019 for the second consecutive year in the annual World Travel Awards.

“We are also proud to announce that one of our current trainees who will shortly take on the running of a property, is female. A key element of Saudi Vision 2030 is job diversification and women’s access to the employment market, and at Ascott we are committed to playing an active role in making this a reality,” added Miccolis.

From on-the-job training in housekeeping, handling reservations, checking-in and checking-out procedures and managing VIP guests, Ascott’s graduates must master the day-to-day facets of how to run an international-standard serviced residence, in addition to behind-the-scenes essentials such as HR, sales and marketing, finance and procurement. 

While the Saudi Graduate Program is currently available only within Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties, plans are in the pipeline to roll out the scheme to all of the group’s residences in the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha.

Ascott’s Jeddah properties include Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah.

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as over 42,000 units, which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.