The Business Year

Muath D. Khatatbeh

QATAR - Telecoms & IT

IT Needs Standardization

Group CEO, ITQAN Holding


Before assuming his position in ITQAN Holding, Muath D. Khatatbeh had also worked as a programmer and analyst for the Ministry of Civil Services Affairs, and as CEO of Almourouj Holding from 2009 to 2011. He boasts extensive IT skills and an astute grasp of commuter science and business and strategic management.

How would you assess the IT sector in Qatar, and how do you see it evolving in the near future? The sector is currently experiencing robust growth, amid the emergence […]

How would you assess the IT sector in Qatar, and how do you see it evolving in the near future?

The sector is currently experiencing robust growth, amid the emergence of developments. As far as the government is concerned, it is looking for new technology, which is in high demand by construction and infrastructure projects in Qatar. Cyber security is also emerging as a crucial issue for the world and for Qatar, and the IT sector will increase its focus on this area over time. ITQAN is in the business of providing unique solutions, and we attempt to work in parallel to the Qatar National Vision 2030.

What are the main challenges of the IT sector in Qatar?

While there are numerous new technologies available, they require a public vision and a standardization of the policy and procedures in terms of implementing more advanced security measures. I believe all entities need to be under a single umbrella, and as I understand the Qatari government has indeed started looking to the ministries to play this role. In developing technology, we need to focus on end users too. For example, some people send administration passwords by email, which renders them vulnerable to hacking, while elsewhere CCTV cameras are poorly used. We cannot depend on the end user, meaning developments need to be made in the technology to counter these issues.

How do you plan to educate people and avoid these potential security breaks?

ITQAN is one of the leading centers in Qatar, and has a huge capacity to provide different training programs. With the Ministry of the Interior, we began providing certification for CCTV controls and the operators and technicians of such systems. I am pushing for all operators using a system, regardless of the brand, to become capable of monitoring and reporting without the support of the technology itself. Wholesale dependence on technology is occasionally prone to failure.

What else does your portfolio include?

ITQAN is a comprehensive IT and security company. We are partially owned by the government, having been established four years ago. You can be unique by taking a turnkey solution without going to subcontractors. We are doing this step-by-step, and endeavor to innovate across a range of unique areas. Then again of course, we operate our regular IT businesses.

How would you describe the trends and the market for IT in Qatar?

The market is growing substantially today, and income levels are clearly a major consideration. The population is also rising and salaries are increasing, while retail prices in Qatar remain the same, again fuelling demand. And what’s more, the people here like their gadgets. While some countries replace technology every two or three years, this country changes every six months.

How do you work with Ooredoo to deliver its products?

We provide 90% of the telecommunications services Ooredoo delivers. This range includes bill processing, issuing numbers and SIM cards, and also the corporate side of leased lines and other related services. We want to use a disaster recovery plan with contingencies for some centers using existing services instead of establishing new ones.

How do you perceive the future for ITQAN?

Our goal remains to deliver a project successfully, and then provide a crucial after-sales service. We are creating an R&D department to mitigate the purchase of technology from external vendors. Over the next five years, we foresee our facilities entering into production. We will also be engaging in discussions with universities, and I am hopeful for projects in this field. Moreover, we are involved in ongoing cooperation with the French government, and this fruitful partnership will shortly encompass a university.



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