Top honours for DUBAL at ISACA Excellence Awards 2014

Soon-to-be EGA operating subsidiary recognised at inaugural awards platform for excellence in information technology implementation and leadership

Reflecting a corporate commitment to excellence and the strength of its leadership and good governance, Dubai Aluminium PJSC (“DUBAL”) received two of the top honours at the inaugural 2014 Information Systems Audit and Control Association (“ISACA”) Excellence Awards. DUBAL, which operates one of the world’s largest single-site smelters at Jebel Ali, Dubai, is set to become an operating subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium (“EGA”) – the jointly-owned, UAE-based aluminium conglomerate being formed by Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi and Investment Corporation of Dubai – upon EGA’s official incorporation (scheduled for Q1 2014).

The awards won by DUBAL were:

  • “CIO of the Year 2014”, which went to Ahmad M Almulla (Vice President: Information Technology), as a joint winner, for the excellence and leadership traits he demonstrates, the tangible business benefits he delivers to the company, and his inspirational leadership that provides sound and fully business focused solutions blended with technology and governance. The key theme for the award was the implementation of Disaster Recovery (“DR”) Solution at DUBAL. The project that was focused on developing well-drafted, versatile DR solution using an external DR site that describes how the company can return to normalcy after a disaster has struck. DR planning can be the critical factor that makes the difference between organisations that successfully manage crises with minimal cost and effort and maximum speed, and those that are forced to wind up their businesses.
  • “Chief Governance Officer/Head of IT Governance of the Year”, which was awarded to Kavinda Walatara (Manager: I.T. Governance), who has played a key role in building, implementing and testing the IT governance framework of DUBAL over the years. Under his leadership, DUBAL’s I.T. function in 2013 was gauged at 4.1 (in a scale of 0 to 5) by His Excellency The Ruler’s Court based on COBIT 4.1 assessment – the highest rating ever awarded to any company by His Excellency The Ruler’s Court of Dubai. Other personal attributes that contributed to Kavinda receiving this award included his delivery of many challenging projects at DUBAL in areas such as ISO certifications, Information Security & Strategy, Project Management Office (PMO), KPI Reporting; and his reputation for providing deliverables contributing to effective governance in particular.

Organised and hosted in Dubai by ISACA on 15 March 2014, the objective of the 2014 ISACA Excellence Awards was to recognise the achievements of individuals in the industry in seven key areas, including IT Management, IT Security, IT Audit, IT Governance, IT Risk, IT Service Continuity and IT Professional Services. The awards ceremony was attended by leading technology professionals, providing a strong platform to honour the industry’s top performers.

ISACA is an international professional association focused on IT Governance. Having originated in the USA in 1967, ISACA currently serves more than 110,000 constituents (members and professionals holding ISACA certifications, working in nearly all industry categories and verticals) in more than 180 countries. A network of more than 200 ISACA chapters has been established across the globe, each chapter provide education, resource sharing, advocacy, networking and other benefits to the industry.

This 2014 ISACA Excellence Awards ceremony (the first-ever of its kind) was organised by the ISACA UAE chapter, which is one of the biggest chapters in the world. The winners were selected from entries from countries across the GCC region.

Commenting on the awards, Ahmad Almulla stated that it is imperative that professionals focus on the Ends rather than the Means. “By focusing on the goal constantly in our thoughts, and imagining the picture of the end result in our minds all the time, helps us stay on course and achieve the original objective,” he explained. Kavinda Walatara added that receiving an award from an institute such as ISACA carries special significance as it is an organisation that promotes and endorses values, principles, and ethics all leading to good governance. “Such aspects help us become better human beings, better professionals and be more responsible in what we do within the organisations we serve,” Kavinda said. Both Ahmad and Kavinda describe their honours as team achievements, acknowledging the contributions of the dedicated and gifted team as well as the work atmosphere that inspires great accomplishments at DUBAL.