UAE CIOs should plan for busy times in 2017




VAT and new IFRS 15 standards are expected to come into effect from 1-Jan-2018 in UAE. Implementation of new financial standards in systems is likely to bring in a flurry of activities for CIOs and their IT teams in the region. UAE-based IT leaders should plan any upcoming workloads and review team capabilities in advance, to avoid wrath from CFOs for failing to implement regulatory changes in systems before 31-Dec-2017.

Recommendations for CIOs and IT Leaders

  • Maintain an executive level relationship with your CFO. It is important to onboard your CFO early and set clear expectations on the scope, timelines, and budgets your team will need to deliver.
  • Review your current IT project portfolio and change requests related to financial systems. Some of the change requests and projects might need to be pushed to 2018 to free up team’s bandwidth. If there is a need to hire temporary staff, now is the best time to ask.
  • Document, Review and Update key business processes related to Finance & Sales modules. Readily available and accurate Process documents can give your team a jumpstart when discussing the process changes with implementation partners.
  • Prepone any year-end administrative activities such as Annual planning, budgets and audits to make time in Q4 for steering critical system changes. Educate your stakeholders that Q4 will be busy for IT team, so they can preschedule some of their IT dependent activities.
  • A lot of people will have to be trained in a short amount of time, in case system’s training is falling within the preview of IT. Block calendars in advance to make sure the training rooms, remote training delivery systems, and trainers are available just before December holiday season.
  • Put together a project governance committee with both business and IT team members to track changes in regulatory environment and implications on systems. Since UAE is experiencing VAT for the 1st time, any change in interpretations of regulatory policies may require an additional rework on systems, which may cause a delay in go live.
  • Many IT vendors incentivise their sales teams based on the overall value of deal which includes (Licences, Maintenance, Implementation etc.). With IFRS 15 becoming effective from 1-Jan-2018, Vendors will have to recognize revenue from the deal only when the services are actually delivered. Hence Q4 – 2017, will be a time when sourcing discounts are likely to be higher. CIOs looking to add additional ERP licenses to top up existing usage should leverage this opportunity to save on IT costs.
  • Upcoming festival season of Ramadan and Eid might slow things for a while. However, activities will pick up speed in July-2017 and it will get busy for UAE IT teams till year end.

How are your teams gearing up for busy times, Share your thoughts?

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