Tell us more about Kentech Group. When was the company established and what are its key projects?
Kentech Group is an Oil and Energy engineering services provider headquartered in Dubai and operates globally. Our core capabilities in the sector are construction, commissioning and maintenance across a multi-discipline range of services. With a heritage dating back to 1919 in Ireland, Kentech was founded in 1994 to provide engineering contracting services globally and today works in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. We have 3500 employees, 40 nationalities, and 15 Global locations. 2018 was our strongest year to date, when we expanded into Canada, USA, and Egypt and launched our “Engine for Growth” with a plan to be a $1Bn company by 2025 and grow to 10,000 employees. People have always been at the heart of our business and today, more than ever, respect, empathy and care – for ourselves, our colleagues and our clients and partners – are central to everything we do. Given the nature of our work and the environments we work in, employee safety is the top priority.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities in the organization.
My role is Group IT Director overseeing all aspects of technology across the group. This includes developing the IT and Digital Strategy, and it’s implementation.
What plans do you have for the company? What technologies have you introduced or plan to introduce?
In 2019 we will be modernising and digitising our systems portfolio to give us a reliable, integrated and scalable platform to support our growth ambitions. Cloud computing will be a central theme of our transformation. Our approach will be very much cloud first, SaaS first. We currently have specialist point systems with some limited integration. We want to deploy a new holistic ERP as quickly as possible that will cover our global footprint.
Are you looking into any key project implementations? If yes, what do you expect from the vendors?
Yes, we will be exploring a new cloud based ERP. Given our ambitious growth plans, we expect suppliers to be agile, deploy solutions quickly, but perhaps more importantly to help us ensure their technologies are embedded and adopted by our organisation along with meeting the benefits and return on investment. We expect our vendors to become tightly integrated with us, understand our business, and become a true partner: Our success is their success.
As you have a cross industry background covering various sectors, in what area do you think technology has made the biggest impact?
My career has spanned Healthcare, Retail, Defence, Media and now Oil and Energy. I think the biggest impact from technology has been in the Media sector. The introduction of OTT (Over the Top) has really disrupted the industry against traditional broadcasting. I also have seen very positive impact in Healthcare with the advent of electronic patient records giving clinicians access to real time insights on patients, which has saved lives. The Oil and Energy Services sector has definitely lagged behind other industries in this regard but with the advent of Industry 4.0, it is also the one of the fastest growing in terms of technology spend so it is a very exciting industry to be a part of. There are actually many parallels that can be drawn across industry and the IT skill, process and technologies are definitely transferable between domains.
As a Group IT Director for the company, what are your top 3 priorities for this year?
Building a modern, scalable, agile, corporate IT platform that will support challenging growth targets. We want to get this in place as soon as possible.
Digitise our systems to support the mobile worker. The nature of our business means we have many employees out in the field. We want to ensure they have access to the right tools and information to hand wherever they are globally. We will also want to digitise our Health and Safety management, using tech to keep our employees safe.
Standardise our infrastructure platform globally. We have many servers and IT management software in our infrastructure. We will be looking to standardise and centralise our global footprint.