Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 81 - Page 61

Disaster recovery is also a high priority issue when operating in such a challenging environment . Some years ago , we planned to establish a new disaster recovery site in Aden , with a secondary site in Hodeidah , but we realised that this would merely spread the risk rather than eliminating it . Instead , we took a bold decision to migrate and back up all operations to the cloud , thus removing the need for physical data centres to restore function in the event of disruption or infrastructure damage .
The final challenge came during the implementation phase itself and involved shifting the company ’ s approach to ERP from an internally developed , tailored model to a standardised ERP system . This process was extensive , involving the training of around 20 IT professionals in SAP ERP Modules to help our employees successfully transform HSA ’ s business units . Although the project was ambitious , at HSA we recognise the responsibility of the private sector to improve digital skills and invest in the development of people and technology . That is why we also went beyond training our own employees and funded the SAP Young Professionals Programme ( YPP ) to upskill young , Yemeni talent to shape the country ’ s future workforce . The scheme provided a unique opportunity for Yemeni graduates to develop their personal and business skills , equipping them with the tools they need to navigate the digital world . Delivered over a two-month period , all 20 graduates enrolled in the programme successfully completed the course . Based on this result , we intend to make this an annual initiative to build a community of SAP-certified professionals in Yemen .
Given the size of HSA Yemen ’ s operations , how did you involve the business line leaders and IT leaders at C-level to ensure buy-in for the project ? business leaders to constantly question their approach and venture into new technologies . The initiative helped to refine HSA ’ s approach to IT .
How long did the project take to implement from the time approval was granted to scoping , design and implementation ?
The implementation time has varied between industries . For example , the implementation of the SAP S4HANA ERP has ranged between six to nine months , depending on the number and size of the companies involved . SAP ’ s Business ByDesign programme has already been implemented by many smaller businesses among HSA ’ s operating companies and is usually a faster and more dynamic process .
Was the project implemented using in-house expertise or did you work with certified SAP solution provider partners ?
The project was implemented using both in-house expertise and by partnering with SAP solution providers on a remote basis . Our internal team at HSA managed the project in Yemen , while we partnered with Egyptian providers Solex , Spirit and Phoenix to implement the software projects remotely .
The role of a CIO / IT Director / IT Head etc is constantly evolving over the years with more C-level and business line executives getting involved in making IT and technology purchasing decisions . How hard is it for you to get the correct support and buy-in from your C-Suite peers at HSA Yemen ?
At HSA , we believe that IT is a business enabler . Establishing an awareness of the benefits of new technologies is critical to engage business leaders and ensure buy-in for new projects . To achieve this , IT leadership invited SAP to present the latest developments in their technology to our C-suite level team , making it easier for our business leaders to engage with emerging trends and correspondingly , achieve greater buy-in for upcoming projects .
Who led the business case process for HSA to implement SAP virtualisation solutions ?
The decision to implement SAP virtualisation solutions was agreed by the entire management team in 2015 . For our new Yemen-specific project , the awareness sessions led by SAP each quarter helped to inspire our
The key to attaining support from C-suite peers is two-fold : create a culture which encourages leaders to make bold business decisions and clearly present the value of technology purchasing decisions for each company function .




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