07 Feb

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WASLA – It’s Connected!

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Wasla bookIt’s common knowledge in today’s world that our teenage kids are more tech-savvy than most of us older parents, especially when it comes to using social media or the latest apps. My children exchange looks of resigned despair when their ancient dad says he doesn’t ‘get’ Snap-chat, or struggles to update his profile on more or less anything.

Teens have surpassed all other age groups, older and younger, in their knowledge of connected software and devices, so who better than our geeky children to teach older generations how to use the latest technologies that might have passed them by?

Well, in Qatar an innovative project is doing just that. The Inter-generational ICT Learning Program, or WASLA, as it’s known locally, is an initiative of the Ministry of Transport and Communications that is run through schools and youth centers. WASLA, which means “connection” in Arabic, enables school facilitators to recruit children aged 15-18 to become ‘Digital Champions’ and provides them with orientation, support materials and tools that they can use to help their older relatives in learning how to access online government services, communicate through social media and use the internet to retrieve information or make online purchases safely. Continue Reading

13 Jan

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Disrupt or be Disrupted? The Age of Transformation is coming…

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“By 2018, one third of the top 20 companies in every industry will have been disrupted by digitally transformed competitors.” So says Frank Gens, chief analyst at IT intelligence specialists IDC. In simpler terms, that means there’s an Uber knocking at the door of almost every company in every sector.

In a recent report by IDC, Gens makes many more predictions about the our digital future: by 2018, almost 50% of IT budgets will be allocated to digital transformation; by 2020, 60% of companies will consider digital transformation so important that they will have created a specific executive position, along the lines of a Chief Digital Officer, to manage it; and in three years there will be over 22 billion internet-of-things devices creating a market for some 200,000 new apps and services. Continue Reading

04 Jan

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The Rise and Rise of Smart…

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Smart! shutterstock_188833142The new buzz word for urban development in the 21st century. Smart cities, smart communities, smart society. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the industrial revolution created the wealth to build roads and railways that brought people closer together. 150 years later mobile communications meant that people didn’t need to be, well, mobile anymore. And now in 2015 we’re already well into the next phase of (im)mobility with the latest generation of smart phones and tablets connecting to a myriad of electronic services allowing us to run our lives from the palm of our hand, literally. Continue Reading

16 Dec

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Let the Cyber Games Commence

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ceber security team 3This week has seen the third edition of ictQATAR’s Cyber-Security Drill, STAR-3. Conceptualized by ictQATAR and held at Qatar University, the event is a role playing exercise that places IT security teams from nearly 50 of Qatar’s leading corporations and government departments into a simulated business environment facing a series of unexpected cyber-threats, while trying to maximize profit and maintain confidence. The idea is to build a cyber defense strategy by making choices from amongst the best pro-active and re-active controls available. Continue Reading

07 Dec

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‘Tis the Season… to be Wary!

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Business SecurityBlack Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, the ultimate celebration of shopping. Many US states even declare it a public holiday. Stores open their doors in the early hours to welcome the seething hordes of frenzied shoppers in search of their one-day deals – minor injuries are common in the dawn stampedes and even violence occasionally breaks out… mainly in the home electronics sections! Continue Reading