Leadership is an essential skill for any technology leader, says Wafi Mohtaseb, CIO at Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co.

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Leadership is an essential skill for any technology leader, says Wafi Mohtaseb, CIO at Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co.
Leadership is an essential skill for any technology leader, says Wafi Mohtaseb, CIO at Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co.

I would recommend that fellow technology leaders focus on three things: staying abreast of new technologies; being able to effectively communicate with non-technical stakeholders; continuously developing their leadership skills; and putting people at the centre of attention

This is an exclusive interview conducted by the Editor team of CIO News with Wafi Mohtaseb, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co.

How did you plan your career path to be a successful technology leader?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each person’s career path will be unique. However, there are a few general tips that can help you become a successful technology leader:

Get a solid foundation in technology.

Make sure you have a strong understanding of the technology you’ll be working with. This will allow you to manage and lead teams working on complex projects effectively.

Develop your leadership skills.

Leadership is an essential skill for any technology leader. Take the time to develop your ability to motivate, inspire, and guide others.

Stay up to date on the latest industry trends.

Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest industry trends. This will allow you to identify opportunities for your team and your organization.

Cultivate a network of contacts.

Having a solid network of contacts can be invaluable as a technology leader. These contacts can provide insights, advice, and connections that can help your career.

What challenges did you face in your career path and how did you overcome them?

Even though I faced many challenges in my early career, I eventually overcame them by being persistent, working hard, and networking. These skills have helped me succeed in my field, and I know they will help. If you put in the effort, anything is possible.

What are the challenges faced by technology leaders today while implementing digital technologies?

There are many challenges that technology leaders face when implementing digital technologies. These include:

  1. Ensuring the technology is secure and compliant with data privacy and security regulations is paramount.
  2. Managing the costs associated with implementing and maintaining digital technologies.
  3. Ensuring that digital technologies are seamlessly integrated into existing business processes and systems
  4. Addressing the skills gap within organizations, which may require training and reskilling of employees.
  5. Managing the expectations of senior management and stakeholders, who may have unrealistic expectations of what digital technologies can achieve.

How can technology leaders overcome the challenges they face?

Technology leaders can overcome challenges by investing in staff development, encouraging innovation, and promoting collaboration. They can also overcome difficulties by embracing change and staying ahead of the curve. They should also be willing to invest in new technologies to help their company stay competitive.

Any best practices, industry trends, or advice you’d give to fellow technology leaders to help them succeed professionally?

I would recommend that fellow technology leaders focus on three things: staying abreast of new technologies; being able to effectively communicate with non-technical stakeholders; continuously developing their leadership skills; and putting people at the centre of attention.

Any other points which you would like to highlight?

According to recent research in the digital transformation domain, around 70%–90% of initiatives fail to achieve their goals. The main reason behind this alarming failure rate is that people are not well engaged in the change process and are left behind. Therefore, to have a successful transformation journey, start with your staff and customer. Try to understand what they need to make this successful, let them be part of the decision-making process, and embrace innovation.

Also readUsing technology to solve real-life problems has always fascinated me

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CIO News, a proprietary of Mercadeo, produces award-winning content and resources for IT leaders across any industry through print articles and recorded video interviews on topics in the technology sector such as Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Cloud, Robotics, Cyber-security, Data, Analytics, SOC, SASE, among other technology topics