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Abid Butt Former CIO at Senior Consultant

Profile

A Senior Operation & Management professional, having 25+ years of rich and extensive experience, including over 8 years of International (US & Kuwait) tenure. Managed and transformed Technology units of multiple sectors including Telecom, Finance, Healthcare, Academic, and FMCG in utilizing technology as a competitive advantage.
Former Chief Information Officer for a Pan-Arabian organization with a footprint in 8+ Gulf Countries based in Kuwait. Organized and guided Cross-Cultural teams across the Gulf region in implementing Change Management process. Digital Social Strategy bringing synergies and innovation by unifying the diverse regional cultures.

SPEAKER INTERVIEW

We spoke with Mr. Butt ahead of the event and here's what he shared with us:

What are you most looking forward to with regards to speaking and attending the Cloud MENA event in Dubai this year?

At the top of my list learning is all about industry trends and future development in the Cloud echo-system. Secondly this will be my 5th attendance and I would like to keep up the tradition. Furthermore, to meet and network with Cloud Professionals.

How important is Cloud in enabling the growth and adoption of new technologies in the education sector?

Educational services are delivered to and consumed by the next generation of students is likely to be different, a modernization strategy to enable hybrid cloud delivery models.

Technology projects became Higher education sector’s transformation project, requiring the funding of a massive change in how Infrastructure to be deployed and ran its business. Cloud services and SaaS are becoming the standard for most of the networked campuses.

There are many benefits and cost savings to be realized. One benefit is that the external service filters out unwanted mail and threats before they ever enter the network. This provides the additional benefit of not bogging down the network with unnecessary traffic. By removing this network traffic bandwidth utilization could be improved. Cloud service providers can scale and deliver their services at a fraction of the cost of on-premise implementations.

Time to deployment is another aspect that should be considered. Cloud solutions allow for a rapid deployment process to onboard and there is no infrastructure to deploy, and no software to buy or install. The cost is known and therefore can be accurately captured during the budget and project planning for an acquisition.

In Conclusion, a move to the cloud is no different than other new IT initiatives that have been undertaken in the past. It will take time and budget to investigate the landscape.

You will be speaking at the event about a digital e-learning platform you have developed at Arab Open University - Could you give us a little bit of insight into what we can expect to find out during your presentation?

Institutions will expect more from online learning platforms, they will be forced to consider the increasing expectations of a changing student demographic. A high standard of teaching and learning, with the appropriate technologies to support pedagogy, is a key part of improving the student experience and meeting those needs.

Students expect technologies (i.e. video and virtual reality) to deliver integrated and personalized learning. They want to decide for themselves their education needs and rate of progress. Institutions, and faculty in particular, need to embrace and apply these technologies in the design of teaching and learning. For institutions to compete in an increasingly digital and competitive market, enabling these technologies is a critical role for the IT department.

Digital E-training Platform - DEP design personalized programs and courses, and engage students in continuous development with the help of distance-learning model. The DEP is a software for creating and managing digital e-learning content on a cloud location, allowing Lecturer to publish blended learning through the platform.

What are your views on how important Cloud will be in the future in the education sector?

As "cloud" has become another industry buzzword and the term has unfortunately become devalued, institutions have become confused as to whether the benefits are real, and whether they are worth the risks and change costs. Considering this, recommendation is to focus on differentiators that they can use to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

As students and faculty expect new and flexible ways of studying and collaborating, institutions will expect more from Digital E-learning Platforms (DEP) and other technologies that aid pedagogy. ICT Enterprise Insights survey indicates that institutions currently have a weak perception of the quality of all major learning management system (LMS) solutions. While they were all above the average rating, not even the most-used LMS solutions – Blackboard, D2L, and Moodle – were perceived as having "fairly strong" or "very strong" quality. Moving forward, LMS/DEP providers will need to focus on enriching their solutions through personalized learning and support for a range of pedagogical techniques. In this environment, a student can study and progress at their own pace, using collaboration functionality that increases interactions among students and between students and faculty.

Which sectors is Cloud going to be most important for in the future?

Companies that are making the transition to digital business shift from designing purely physical products and services to designing experiences using a combination of physical and digital together that creates value for the customer:

1 – Media delivery organizations

2- On-Line Higher education

3- Hospitals and pharmaceuticals.



Agenda Sessions