Insights

ME PoV Spring 2019 issue

On mastery

About this issue

The master is dead. Long live the master.

In this new Democratic Republic of the Internet, any Karim, Nabil or Dina can become an author, an artist, a designer, a professor and even a doctor. Even this author admits to having eschewed one or two doctor’s appointments, opting instead to consult and self-diagnose with Dr. Google.

The accessibility of the internet can carry both benefits and disadvantages: the benefit in this case being that, to be a big fish in a big pond, you have to truly master your subject.

So what does it take? Malcolm Gladwell famously said that it takes 10,000 hours. Others have added to that score with notes of their own, such as the importance of mentorship and creativity and working within your inclination. But the general consensus does seem to agree that if you want to be good, you have to capitalize on what you have, put in the time, and be willing to learn.

In many ways, this issue of the Middle East Point of View is about mastery and what it takes to truly grasp one’s subject. Tamer Charife and Mohammad El Nems in their article on the security of Cloud services (Silver or black lining?) mention that Cloud services can offer many benefits to organizations but that these should have a full understanding of the subject in order to mitigate the risks associated with these services. In his article on the risks associated with delegating to third parties, Ethical fallout, Collin Keeney also alludes to the fact that understanding what is at stake when an organization works with third parties is important if that company is to avoid serious penalties and sanctions due, not to their own, but to a third-party’s fault. In a similar vein, Adnan Fazli and Niraj Bachani in their article on the future of oil service companies (Oilfield services: changing dynamics of the sector and implications for the investor and the invested) mention that these companies are “well placed to capitalize on this positive outlook if they have their fundamentals sorted (and a bit of luck).”

But in this age of technology and machines, when a chess master is beaten by a computer simply because of its sheer capacity to crunch innumerable possible situations at speeds yet inaccessible to the human brain (Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov, New York, 1993), is it worth going through all the time and trouble to truly master one’s subject?

The example illustrated above shows that, in many cases, machines can process information faster than humans and speed things up. But is that always a good thing? In his article on the future of immigration and government interfacing, Automation for the people, Amir Mayo argues that an “automated immigration system will certainly expedite a laborious process” but that in some cases, when an algorithm or automated process alone simply cannot determine the “panoramic context” of a given situation, a human touch is still necessary.  There are many sectors in which automation still has not taken hold and one of these is the construction sector in the Middle East, which still relies heavily on migrant labor. Hence the importance of workers’ welfare, as elucidated by Hisham Zeitouny and Dina Fakih. In their article, Workers’ welfare, the authors argue that “welfare measures in an organization are one of the factors for the workers to stay […] and to work towards its success” and that businesses would do well to see implementing welfare measures as an investment rather than a cost.

One way to save cost, according to Oliver Morgan, especially for small to medium enterprises, is to share working space. In his article Not just (co)working 9 to 5, the author says that while in the Middle East “flexible office space occupies less than one percent of the region’s office stock,” a shift in key regulations could be the catalyst for major growth of this sector during 2019.

Our final article from the Deloitte Review, A reality check on advanced vehicle technologies will hopefully fuel the debate on what it takes to master a subject and if man or machine are better versed at it. In the meantime, make sure to revisit this platform, the Middle East Point of View. We humbly hope that we can provide you with sufficient insights and knowledge that will contribute towards your own journey to mastery.  

On mastery

The security of Cloud services

Services offered by cloud providers have been in high demand in recent years. Giant companies like AWS, Microsoft and Google are topping the list of cloud service providers, and it is expected that the demand for these services will continue to grow to over US$400 billion by 2020. 

Click here to read the full article.

Oilfield services: changing dynamics of the sector and implications for the investor and the invested

The outlook for the energy sector in the Middle East is looking strong with changing dynamics designed to create value for the region. Oilfield service businesses that have successfully weathered the downturn are well placed to capitalize on this positive outlook if they have their fundamentals sorted (and a bit of luck).

Click here to read the full article.

Ethical fallout

As the regulation of global businesses moves into a new era, the compliance obligations of firms are becoming more extensive; the implication for acquisitions, joint ventures, and local distributorships/agencies are more serious than ever. Short-term thinking should never outweigh long-term brand considerations.

Click here to read the full article.

Automatic for the people

An automated immigration system will certainly expedite a laborious process but can removing the human touch be more harmful than beneficial? For some groups of people, this author argues, it just may be.

Click here to read the full article.

Workers’ welfare

With the issue of sustainability high on the agenda of senior management and boards of directors, these authors explain what it means to be truly sustainable today and why ensuring workers’ welfare is good for business.

Click here to read the full article.

Not just (co)working 9 to 5

Coworking is not a new concept. From its roots in coffee shops and hotel lobbies, the first flexible office space was launched as Regus in Brussels in 1989. Serviced office space and incubators had been around since the 1960s, but there has since been a blurring of the lines between these concepts as coworking.

Click here to read the full article.

A reality check on advanced vehicle technologies

The idea of self-driving and electrified vehicles is gaining acceptance among global consumers, but is this enough to make our utopian dreams come true?

Click here to read the full article.

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