When Faisal Ali was a child, his schoolteacher would always encourage him to solve small problems while keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Fast-forward to the present, the now group CIO of the Gargash Group in Dubai still follows that same philosophy.
Beginning from when he first played on an Atari 2600 console when he was just 11-years-old, Faisal knew that when he grew up, he had to do something which involved problem solving and technology.
Faisal now leads the Automotive, Financial Services and Real Estate sectors of the business enterprise, all with the main goal of enabling business growth through technology.
It is his passion for technology combined with this love of problem solving which has and continued to inspire Faisal to be successful in his role today.
How has technology transformed how you work?
Faisal believes that technology has completely changed his approach to work. New innovations in the digital era allow him to connect and collaborate with co-workers at any time or from any place possible, which is hugely important for his job.
Summarizing how technology has developed over the course of his career, he said:
“Over the last 25 years of my professional life technology has changed my working lifestyle many times over. “
“I remember back in the 90s when dialing into work was almost impossible. The most I could do was send a few emails and upload a few excel files. “
“In the Noughties broadband was in its early stages and mobility was becoming a reality, I could use a blackberry to stay connected to my mail and VPN to the office to do my work. “
“In the last 10 years’ workplace and systems are transforming from being on premise to cloud and becoming more social. It’s a connected digital world and everyone is a citizen.”
Microsoft technologies have particularly benefited Faisal during his working life. He reflected on this, saying that Microsoft’s technology has inspired him to be as innovative as possible at work.
“You can’t make me switch back from my Microsoft Surface Pro”, he said. “It was truly love at first sight. The integration between desktop and mobile, wired and wireless, mouse and touch is seamless and natural.”
How do you use technology outside of work?
Outside of work, he recognizes that technology is just as useful and enjoyable in his everyday life.
“I am lucky in that way, as both my passion and my profession are technology”, he said.
“I love smart devices. I measure my physical activity, track my trips and can even message my 10-year-old son whenever I like. I guess you could say a good mobile phone is a man’s new best friend.”
He does admit that technology cannot be allowed to dictate our lives, however.
He believes connections between humans can never be replaced, and added:
What does the technology of the future look like to you?
Although believing that technology can never replace humans, he sees it as crucial for future developments in improving many aspects of our lives.
“This is a really interesting discussion point. I completed my Masters in IT Systems and am keen to learn how technology will continue to advance and benefit our lives.”
“I think that we’ll see a more natural integration of human technologies into our daily lives, meaning humans and AI will collaborate to improve society.”
“We’ll see devices that can help manage and monitor our health better, and systems which seamless keep us all connected online.”
“Technology isn’t just the present. It’s the future, and it’s going to help us act faster, think better and ultimately enhance the way we live.”