IoT and big data to propel digitalisation in Oman

IoT provides a powerful driver for digitalization and connecting devices to the internet


The 4.0 Digital Trends Forum, organised by the Information Technology Authority (ITA) in Salalah last week, attracted a large turnout of IT officials and professionals from various government and private sector organisations. It opened under the auspices of Eng Ahmed bin Hassan al Dheeb, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Deputy Chairman of ITA Board of Directors. Also present was Omar Salim al Shanfari, ITAs Deputy CEO for Operations.

The forum, focusing on the theme, Internet of Things (IoT), explored a range of emerging technologies associated with the 4th Industrial Revolution, notably IoT. Various presenters underlined the need for institutions to adopt IoT in various economic sectors in the Sultanate.

Hassan Fida al Lawati, Director General of the Digital Society Development Division at ITA, said: IoT provides a powerful driver for digitalization and connecting devices to the internet. It provides an enormous opportunity for innovation and transformation. IoT is projected to grow rapidly over the years. Estimates of installed IoT devices worldwide vary widely. We can expect upward of 20 billion devices by 2020 to be installed globally, he noted.

Hence, we are putting digitalization as a core focus of our future strategy that is being worked on. We are proposing to enhance our national digital strategy to focus on developing the necessary digital skills for the future among certain sectors of the society and ICT professionals, gearing the ICT industry towards delivering digitalization services and mobility solutions and moving the government beyond eTransformation and towards digitalization of operations and cloud services propelled by IoT and analytics of big data. This will require that we continue to evolve our infrastructures toward being more intelligent and capable of supporting IoT as well as the real time massive and continuous flow of data generated from these smart infrastructures.

He added, Governments are one of the biggest adopters of IoT solutions as it contributes to increase productivity, lower costs, and enhance the quality of citizens life.

Speakers at the forum discussed different topics related to IoT. Jane Zavalishina, Co-founder of Mechanica AI and an international speaker, presented a paper on IoT and governments role in using AI and other technologies to utilize data in building smarter cities. Salim Abid, Developer Ecosystem, Region Lead (Middle-East and North Africa) at Google, highlighted in his paper the future technology trends of AI and provided solutions for the challenges facing IoT.

In addition, Mohammed al Yahyaee, General Manager Customer Services at Diam, presented a paper on Diams experience in incorporating IoT for smart metering. He highlighted that IoT technology helped to serve more than 500K customers of Diam and recommended that creating a policy to governorate IoT deployment is necessary.

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