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Nortal to Serbian media: IT is the icing on the cake

by Nortal HQ, december 5, 2018

Not everything is about IT alone. Creating digital societies requires strong leadership, political interest and organizational capacity, Nortal’s General Manager for the Middle East and Africa Marek Helm told the Serbian press in an exclusive interview.

“We modify processes and approaches, and our expertise in the field of technology is only the icing on the cake,” Helm said in an exclusive interview with eKapija, the largest online business publication in Serbia.

He emphasized that high-impact and mission-critical projects don’t simply involve technology but rather, and most importantly, the skills, mindset and experience required for creating change.

In the interview, Helm was speaking in the context of e-governance projects executed by Nortal’s Belgrade office, including the Invest Easy one-stop-shop business register in Oman that allows entrepreneurs to register a company in less than three minutes.

Currently, Nortal is in the process of rolling out e-tax, a VAT system and excises, to Oman — and completing e-solutions related to work permits as well as introducing an e-census for the country.

Although challenging, these online processes change entire societies and countries,” he said.

Creating digital societies requires strong leadership, political interest and organizational capacity. #Nortal #DigitalTransformation

Ingredients for success

Helm has a unique perspective and deep understanding of the potential brought about by such changes after having spent most of his career working in public authorities and ministries in Estonia — taking part in, and enforcing, similarly needed high-impact changes. Helm was head of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board from 2011 to 2017, an authority repeatedly recognized for the most competitive tax system in the OECD according to a Tax Foundation report.

The resounding success of the country’s e-tax system has been central to the story of Estonia’s digital transformation, which Helm says couldn’t have happened without the right leadership, decision-making and will.

“In Estonia, we said: We’re going to create a good business environment that we will benefit from,” he explained. “Estonia has had that political viewpoint since the end of the 1990s. Now, the country is well known for its e-government.

“In sum, the most important thing is the appropriate leadership, whereas IT is simply a tool.”