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Profile: Faisal Al-Rashoudi, VP and Head of Digitisation and Automation at Bank Aljazira

Profile: Faisal Al-Rashoudi, VP and Head of Digitisation and Automation at Bank Aljazira

Banking & FinanceKSATop Stories

Faisal Al-Rashoudi, Vice President and Head of Digitisation and Automation at Bank Aljazira, is a highly-skilled Management Information System and Project Management professional with a proven 16-year track record in the field of Information Technology and related business project management.

Bank Aljazira is recognised as one of the leading Shari’ah compliant, fastest- growing financial institutions in Saudi Arabia.

It is a client-driven and service-oriented Saudi financial group which provides individuals, businesses and institutions with innovative Shari’ah compliant financial services through its staff.

In April 2018, the Capital Market Authority approved the request of Bank Aljazira to increase its capital through a rights issue of SR 3 billion to increase its capital from SR 5,200,000,000 to SR 8,200,000,000.

Intelligent CIO spoke to Faisal Al-Rashoudi to talk about his career, the evolution of the technology landscape and the potential of Artificial Intelligence.

You recently spoke at the World AI & RPA Show in Riyadh. What did you talk about?

In general, how AI and RPA impact the way we serve our customers and what the biggest challenges are during Digital Transformation.

What have been the main IT achievements of your organisation in the past year?

To start applying the agility approach by delivering changes in much less time and cost. Also to deliver important services which enhance customer experience such as digital accounts.

What are the main challenges of your role at Bank Aljazira?

Change the way we work from a traditional approach to an agile approach, and also change the mind set of some of our key people on how we should perform. 

In what ways do you use technology to enhance the experience of your customers?

In many ways – by starting to automate most of our services this will reduce human error and also the waiting time for customers to be served. 

What technologies are you looking to invest in?

RPA to enhance the performance and reduce the cost of our processes. 

How is technology impacting your industry and how are you leveraging it for business growth?

It impacts us in many ways – one of them is to give the opportunity to some of the companies to offer different services even if they are not specialised such as a new Fintech company.

What are the main IT challenges in the Middle East at the moment?

For big organisations it’s how to replace the current legacy system.

How would you describe your managerial style?

Between participative and coaching.

How have you seen the evolution of the technology landscape evolving over the past few years?

The world has changed a lot in the past 10 years. The rapid development of new technology and the changing landscape of the online world has changed the way we work and, for many, where we do our work from. One example is the Internet for All.

Ten years ago many offices were in need of dedicated Internet resources. Wide Area Networks were dependent on expensive leased lines or slightly cheaper ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) lines.

Broadband Internet was not widely available and was often quite restricted by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). After a couple of years, however, broadband technology rapidly began to replace dial-up connections and leased lines in the home and office.

How do you see Artificial Intelligence changing the workplace?

A workplace run by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of the workplace and will continue to shape the labour market.

Therefore, employers need to anticipate changes in job functions and be aware of legal pitfalls associated with evolving technology. In the past, automation was prevalent in manufacturing and other industrial settings, but AI and robotics are being introduced in the service industries too.

Eighty percent of U.S. jobs are service-oriented, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. AI developments in the service sector will have a dramatic impact on the labour market and the types of jobs that will be available in the future. In the past, we saw trends coming slowly. But now, new technology is disrupting whole industry sectors, and business leaders may not see it coming. That’s scary for companies.

What does your typical day look like?

Exploring the market to understand the technology trends and forcing the change towards digitalisation.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career?

Change will happen and to be successful we need to be part of that change.  

Could you name some of the key technology vendors you work with?

IBM and MS.

How important is a consultative approach to the way you do your job?

It’s important so we can modify our plans to meet customer expectations.

Could you highlight some of the previous positions you have held and what they entailed?

Head of PMO at SAMBA

Head of PMO at Bank Al-Jazira

Head of Infrastructure at SADAD – SAMA

What advice would you give to aspiring CIOs?

You are the future.

Why is versatility an important characteristic for a CIO?

Versatility is the most successful key if we want to compete and offer different services. 

Should CIOs seek to become CEOs?

Yes.

What is the best way to tackle the skills shortage in IT?

Outsource.

To implement your plans and strategy what kind of talent would you be looking for?

An innovative and IA specialised skill set.   

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