HR holds the key to driving innovation and digital transformation in UAE's public sector
By: QnA International
Giving HR a seat at the executive table is vital to meeting digital workplace needs
15 July 2018: The global HR tech industry is worth an estimated USD 400 billion, according to Bersin by Deloitte. The Middle East contributes a sizeable and growing share to the global market, and increasingly, uptake of HR tech solutions in the region is being driven by public sector organizations looking to transition into the digital age and build organizations of the future, with GCC states such as the UAE leading the charge. However, for government and public entities in the UAE to adequately prepare their organizations for the workforce of the future, they might need to assign a larger role for HR in driving and managing the transformation strategy.
"To support the implementation of Vision 2021 and the National Innovation Strategy, public sector organizations throughout the UAE are seeking out and embracing HR technologies that not only empower employees to be better and more productive at their jobs, but also prepare them for the challenges of the future as the digital wave brings dramatic and irrevocable changes to the workplace," said Ackash Jain, Director of Dubai-based QnA International, the organizers of the annual GOV HR Summit which is the biggest government and public sector event in the GCC.
"HR is critical to the digital transformation of every organization, and prioritizing HR as a strategic business function and giving it a seat at the executive table is becoming essential to addressing the needs of the digital workplace. By placing technology and innovation at the center of organizational change and people development, government entities will be able to make a meaningful contribution to the UAE's mission to achieve a 40% increase in knowledge workers by 2021. Adopting such a considered, future-focused approach to HR will also help to accelerate the 'UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence' announced last October," Jain added.
The UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, the first of its kind in the world, aims to position the country at the center of disruption in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The Strategy envisions using AI to boost government performance at all levels, and analysts observe that many of the healthcare, education, transportation and communication challenges facing the region could be minimized by the application of AI and machine learning. HR being the heart of organizational transformation, human resources departments at government and public sector entities across the UAE will have a pivotal role to play in driving this change.
Today, there is virtually no government ministry or department – or state-owned enterprise or institution – in the UAE that has been left untouched by the digital revolution, and this in turn is leading to enhanced cooperation in human resources development within the government and public sector. A case in point is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed recently between the Dubai Committee of Military Human Resources and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU)that aims at developing the internal capabilities and human resources expertise of the Committee through smart transformation.
Jain said, "Even as the Emiratization program designed to increase participation of UAE nationals in the workforce has become a key feature of public sector HRM over the past decade, technology has come to play a larger role than ever before in all major HR functional areas including talent acquisition and retention, training and development, and employee relations. A particular focus area for public sector HR managers is providing young Emiratis joining the workforce with the right training and knowledge to ensure they are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century workplace."
Key issues relating to the changing role of HR and the challenges faced by HR managers in the digital workplace will be among the topics of discussion at 6th GOV HR Summit, which will take place from 23 – 24 October 2018 in Abu Dhabi.
To be held under the theme "Because People Matter", the Summit will bring together HR leaders from top government, semi-government and state-owned entities in the UAE and across the GCC for a series of powerful keynote presentations, panel discussions, and roundtable sessions.