For 22 years, the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey has reflected the  experience of technology leaders across 83 countries. From the  dot-com bubble to 2008’s global financial crisis, our survey has  witnessed a myriad of changes.

In 2020, the world experienced yet another disruptive event: the  Covid-19 pandemic. Every sector, in every market, around the world,  experienced some degree of upheaval – technology amongst them.  While the pandemic may not have necessarily altered business strategies, it seems to have reaffirmed the importance of data,  artificial intelligence (AI) and connectivity.

For the first time, we bring you a local perspective, informed by  input from chief information officers (CIOs) across the State of Qatar. This includes analysis of data collected prior to the  onset of the pandemic, as well as additional data collected during the  outbreak. We hope this report will help your organization navigate  2021’s uncertain terrain.

Key findings from the survey include:

Board priorities and investment

During 2020, almost 50% of technology leaders, both globally and in Qatar, expected the IT/technology budget to increase. This was mainly driven by increased spending on operational efficiencies, customer engagement and data-driven insights. While technology leaders’ attention remained focused on the top three priorities, new imperatives such as investment in the cloud and workforce enablement rapidly emerged to deal with the immediate demands of the crisis.

Managing Technology

The consistently evolving nature of technology requires non-stop technology investments in alignment with the business strategy. In Qatar, digital leaders outperformed their global counterparts in investing in customer experience and engagement and Security & privacy.

Driving business performance with technology

Digital leaders in Qatar pride themselves on their ability to implement enterprise-wide data strategies. This is not surprising, given rapid innovation amongst local companies, reinforced by government initiatives.

Resourcing the technology team

leaders in Qatar are seeking enterprise architecture skills above all else, followed by AI expertise. Whereas, in the global space, 51% of the respondents believe that cyber security is the most sought-after skill.

"Kahramaa has always appreciated the value that digital and innovation can bring to the Qatari Citizens, Residents, and our Team. With the stress on operational resilience apropos the COVID pandemic, it is evident that Technology is at the forefront for maintaining growth and stability, which emphasizes the importance of having IT as a Strategic Business Partner to the core businesses within the organization. At Kahramaa, we continuously leverage digital technologies to promote customer experience while improving our agility and enhancing our resilience."

Amal Rashid Al-Mansoori
Manager Information Technology,
Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation ”KAHRAMAA"

"While in the wake of industry 4.0, today’s resilience is all about harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, internet of things and data management in order to be able to proactively predict, avoid, contain and manage the series of disruptions and uncertainties. From my perspective, I believe three areas that warrants most technology investment are: Internet of Things, Data Trustworthiness and Cybersecurity. These three areas are paramount to establish a robust digital supply chain resilience in order to manage disruptions judiciously, i.e., in a prudent, sapient, and wise manner enough to surpass problems in an efficient, fast, and economic way."

Adnan Al Banna
Consultant, Support Services,

"People did not take the risk of viral infection seriously, COVID-19 has a different opinion! Cyber is not any difference, it is a reflection of how serious and responsible nations are towards their people, business and well-being."

Rami Hasan
Head of Cybersecurity,
KPMG Qatar

"Crises and the need for change constantly test leaders, teams, and organizations. At PIH, we firmly believe in the need for being Agile and evolve rapidly. To ensure that we keep our customers' needs at the front while bringing them the best-in-class services, a digital center of excellence is necessary. PIH has always embraced changes as a primary growth enabler, and COVID solidified that belief as the need for being digital became prominent. PIH will continue to invest in digital to ensure enhanced customer experience while being secure, resilient, and agile."

Jasim Abdul Rahman
Group Chief Information Officer,
Power International Holding

"Public and Private Enterprises in Qatar further realized the importance of Digital Transformation during the pandemic. The measures taken till now helped kick start the real transformation for those enterprises. Now they need to make sure their business models can extend to be digitally sustainable utilizing technologies as cloud and AI and leverage the data at their disposal to reach the next level of their digital maturity."

Nizar Hneini
Partner, Digital and Innovation
KPMG Qatar

"Smart cities are powered by Data, this is even more true post pandemic. It is of paramount importance for the future of the smart city to build a robust data platform with a strong governance, risk and compliance methodology in place to protect the privacy of the data."

Otman Aghmou
Senior Manager - ICT,
Msheireb properties

"CIOs looking to prepare their organization to thrive in the new economy, must have a planned approach to cloud computing. It will be essential for CIOs to develop a comprehensive cloud strategy that includes: Cloud and Enterprise transformation, Analytics and Business Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence while maintaining customer centric focus and having strong cyber security defenses and procedures in place."

Suhail Shaker
Head of Enterprise Solutions,
KPMG Qatar