High-level IT executives operating at the top of modern enterprises face more challenges than ever before. Mubarik Hussain, Director of IT, of Abu Dhabi-based Bloom Holding, is uniquely placed to offer an astute insight into the challenges faced by IT professionals.
Mubarik Hussain is a highly versatile, award-winning IT Leader and CIO who has successfully positioned IT at the forefront of business transformation. This has been demonstrated with a deep understanding of how to combine challenging business and technical requirements.
Described as an empowering thought leader and speaker on Digital Transformation, he advocates a consultative approach and brings together diverse cross-functional teams to enhance profitability and efficiencies, while reducing costs.
“My technical skills in Digital Transformation, ERP, infrastructure, service delivery, data and applications are combined with a real passion for developing others and sharing my knowledge,” says Hussain, who is regularly requested as a keynote presenter, speaker and panellist at prestigious CIO Events, presenting on topics such as Digital Transformation, business and IT transformation, IT security, innovation and technology entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Here he tells us about his career, his managerial style, helping others progress professionally, the future of the IT sector and more.
Could you provide some details about your current position please?
I have overall responsibility for IT and telecoms for the Bloom Holdings group of companies. Bloom Holding companies include property, hospitality, retail, health care, education and facilities management which build communities and enhance the experience of customers through their lifestyle ecosystem.
What are the main opportunities of your role as Director of IT at Bloom Holding?
As a group it is forward thinking and investing in the latest and best technologies to provide the best lifestyle for its customers. This provides me with many opportunities to enhance the customer lifestyle experience using technology across the group’s property, hospitality, retail, education, healthcare, retail and facilities ecosystem.
What is the importance of versatility for the role of CIO?
Versatility is very important in my opinion, in a period of accelerating Digital Transformation, in which technology is shaping businesses, the world and the future, being versatile is one of the most important characteristics as being adaptable to the changes that are taking place.
Being able to use the latest technologies and change business processes and value propositions, will position businesses ahead of competitors and enhance the experience for customers.
What is your managerial style?
I believe for management and leadership styles there has to be flexibility and adaptability to use the style appropriate to the situation which is preferable to using one particular style of management and leadership for all situations.
How important is a consultative approach to the way you do your job?
I believe a consultative approach is very important. Running departments, businesses or developing new ways of doing business requires working together with people, getting the best results requires them to be aligned to shared values and goals and finding common ground among them.
You’ve been described as having a real passion for developing the skills of others, how have you put this into practice?
Learning and developing skills is a continuous process and it is important to develop your skills and the skills of others if you want to move your organisation forward as people also need to move with you. I believe in the importance of embedding training and education into work activities and outside of work to help improve the skills of others.
What advice would you give to aspiring CIOs?
Shape the future through technology. Use technology to give your businesses an edge and enhance the experience of customers and lifestyle of people.
In what ways do you see the use of technology enhancing the experience of your customers?
There are technology solutions which use IOT, Machine Learning, AR, Artificial Intelligence, analytics, robotics, Blockchain and cybersecurity across the different verticals but work together across the ecosystem. These solutions will enable smart homes, enhance the community experience, provide better facilities management, improve the educational and retail experience.
What is the best way to tackle the skills shortage in IT?
Training and education can tackle the skills shortage. People like to learn and develop so they can progress in their careers and it is important to give them the opportunity to do so whether they are in work or not.
What do you see as the biggest cyberthreat facing organisations in the Middle East?
Cyberthreats are an evolving landscape and there are a number of threats that face organisations in the Middle East and also globally. The importance of vulnerability assessments and penetration testing as well as deploying security solutions, whether through software, hardware, or security operation centres, are important to mitigate the risks.
What will the data centre of the future look like?
Data centres will be more powerful, cost effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly. Data centres will continue to be deployed around the world which will enable businesses within the countries and citizens to get access to the latest technologies and digital services.
How do you see the technology landscape evolving over the next few years?
The technology landscape will continue to grow and evolve and be more integrated with people’s lifestyle with the infrastructure also in place to support the deployment of the latest technologies.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career?
Have a meaningful goal. It will enable you to stay motivated and passionate about what you want to achieve in your career. Using technology to enhance people’s lives and lifestyle is a goal I strive towards.
What recent implementations have you been involved with?
I am currently involved with a number of implementations across the group from ERP, property, educational, retail, facilities management solutions, ERP, infrastructure, cybersecurity, as well as looking into new digital solutions for the group including smart buildings and communities, IOT, analytics and AI.