11 November 2008

IT initiatives in the sultanate - Business Today November 2008

National IT strategy implementation

Oman’s integrated national IT strategy, pioneered by the Information Technology Authority (ITA) for implementation in close cooperation with other government bodies, has set the direction and pace for eGovernment.This model has worked well in the public sector, with successful projects such as the commercial registration by MoCI, eServices from Muscat Municipality, National Registration System by the DGCS, HR Management System by MoCS, eServices from ROP and the Social Development Ministry and eTendering approach by the Tender Board.

IT & Telecom infrastructure

Oman’s telecom infrastructure providers Omantel, Oman Mobile and Nawras have increased their phone penetration and network coverage significantly. With customised IT solutions, they offer several value-added services including SIM-based Internet.

Maturity in IT solutions

The local IT sector demonstrates a higher level of maturity in its IT solutions portfolio. Along with automation and infrastructure solutions, fresh activity is seen in enterprise management and business Intelligence systems.The number of international IT vendors with a physical presence in Oman is on the rise and they provide state-of-the-art support services.


Since the implementation of its RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement) system in 2005 and ACH (Automated Clearing House) in 2006, the Central Bank of Oman is acting to modernise the nation’s banking industry.The new electronic image-based Cheque Clearing system (CCS) expedites the cheque processing cycle. Banks in Oman, connected through a high-speed, secure switch network by Omantel, are able to improve process efficiencies and both phone banking and Internet banking are gaining momentum.

Education portal & HEAC

The education sector is experiencing a surge in activity with the education portal and the Higher Education Admission systems (HEAC).Most schools and all colleges are connected to the Internet and the school curriculum now includes IT literacy. Over 25 institutions offer IT-related academic programmes building IT knowledge and skills within the community with a number of private technical training institutes.

Al Shifa Medical System

Healthcare in the sultanate has matured with the implementation of the Al Shifa – Medical Records Management system in most referral centres and all hospitals across the country. This system integrates the management of patients’ medical records, pharmacy, treatments and appointments.

e-Payment gateway & e-Law

A spike in electronic commerce is expected with the implementation of the national e-Payment gateway and the enactment of the Electronic Transactions Law. Businesses in the sultanate are currently considering revamping their websites to be more interactive as well as be capable of making payments online.

Secure, e-procurement systems

Business sectors in the sultanate such as oil and gas, tourism and aviation have sophisticated IT systems that are constantly being expanded and upgraded. There is a trend to assure business continuity by implementing secure e-procurement systems and enabling secure web-based interfaces.

e-document handling systems

Both private and public firms can benefit by moving towards Electronic Document Exchange and e-procurement. Such e-document handling systems often provide a secure web-based interface between their clients to handle business documents as an outsourced service. Tracking solutions enable effective administration.

IT-savvy generation Y

People in Oman are becoming tech-savvy and this particularly applies to generation Y. All school graduates are digitally literate through an integrated curriculum. Over 7,000 students study diploma and baccalaureate programmes in computing, IT and related disciples, and the number is growing by 70.6 per cent annually. Civil servants are to become digitally literate and fresh IT graduates are also well placed.

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