CSE faculty present forum focused on technologies for SMEs’ digital transformation
In cooperation with Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Science and Engineering (CSE), the Ministry of Transport and Communications launched its fifth virtual forum on digital transformation to enhance the continuity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), on March 29 and 30. The two-day forum, titled “The Digitization of SMEs: An Alternative to Survive,” presented an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences between the speakers and participants in the forum, as well as have the participants answer related questions.
The forum introduced Qatar-based SMEs to the emerging technologies they need for their digital transformation, with a focus on cloud services and blockchain. CSE faculty and speakers from the MOTC led the online sessions, which also gave the SMEs a platform to share their challenges in keeping up with trends in digitalization and automation.
On day one, Dr. Aiman Erbad, associate professor at CSE, focused on cloud services and how Everything-as-a-Service (EaaS) revolutionized the startup. The session discussed multi-cloud environments as a new normal and how integrated edge clouds enhance the real-time performance of local services and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. AlHasan AlSammarraie, CSE PhD alumnus, and founding partner of Qatari company, AppLab, shared his success story and best practices using cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and data-driven intelligence to support his online platforms development venture.
The benefits of blockchain for SMEs was the focus on day two, which highlighted CSE’s research outputs. Dr. Mohammed Abdullah, associate professor in CSE’s information and computing technology division, discussed how SMEs can benefit from blockchain - a transparent data structure organized as a chain of blocks and managed by a network of computers - through enhanced transparency and traceability. Participants gained practical exposure on how to develop a decentralized application using smart contracts from design to deployment. Focusing on use cases and applications for SME innovation, Dr. Roberto Di Pietro, professor of cybersecurity at the computing and information technology division, showed how blockchain can solve the typical challenges that prevent SMEs from growing and going global, demonstrating how new technologies can represent a game-changer for SMEs.
Dr. Mounir Hamdi, Founding Dean, CSE, commented: “Data-driven business models require SMEs to adapt to new practices that increase their efficiency in a rapidly changing economy. Our aim through this forum was to share the expertise and research on emerging technologies we are advancing at CSE to highlight their application for SMEs. We were pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and support an important national objective, which is developing the country’s SME sector.”
For more information on the work of the College of Science and Engineering, please visit cse.hbku.edu.qa