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  • Nabil El Masri

Tripoli Digital District: Transforming the City's Economy into the 21st Century

“Digital Transformation” is a phenomenon whereby the IT infrastructure of corporations shift from being systems of records to become systems of engagement and insight. More specifically they engage with the data of their clients and end-users in order to cater to their needs and understand their motives. Consequently, Digital Transformation has led to the creation of new business processes, culture, and customer experiences that meets volatile business and market requirements. Digital Transformation is in the backbone of every modern and robust economy. So, the question is simple. Given the importance of Digital Transformation, why don’t we push forward with such solutions to help mitigate the effects of the lifelong economic crises that we have been facing in the city of Tripoli specifically and in Lebanon generally?

The answer to that question lies in the current state of the IT and Solutions sector. It can be noted that these private institutions rely exclusively on private and internal funding as well as internal research and development to ensure their survival. A helping hand can be sent towards these companies through the opening of a technology park or a digital district that fosters the growth of tenant firms through associations with governmental and research bodies. The development of a digital district in Tripoli plays an instrumental role in the stimulation and formation of new high-technology firms that can attract foreign investment and promote exports.

Technology parks have become the precursor of economic wellbeing, and that is for all the right reasons which include but are not limited to the following:

1- Creating a platform for Innovation

A technology park would bridge the gap between highly motivated and competent students, which are abundant in Lebanon, and firms which require modern innovative solutions to respond to growing business demands.

2- Creating a platform for communication between firms

Technology parks feature wide-open spaces that facilitate business growth and expansion, as opposed to the traditional office buildings these allow for a more free-flowing line of communication between institutions. Thus, breeding a culture of sharing within the community leading to a streamlined definition of market benchmarks, requirements, and standards

3- Advancement through competition

By having a large set of high-tech firms operate within the same community and compete over the same set of consumers and product markets the incentives to innovate will be vastly pushed.

4- Corporate Interest in Innovation

Through the aforementioned points, innovation can be impelled, which may attract the giants in the technology scene like Google, Microsoft, and Apple which can in turn make large investments and share their expertise in a wide array of subjects.

The points stated earlier revolved around one main point: innovation, a concept far from alien to Tripoli.

The points stated earlier revolved around one main point: innovation, a concept far from alien to Tripoli. For years on end, this city has shown innovation in art, culture, and science. Given the meritocratic medium of the internet and the market of consumer and client technology that rewards competence, a technology park would be a source of economic salvation in Tripoli. It will create a target for long term investments, it will also create jobs in both direct and indirect manners. That is by employing fresh graduates and professionals and allowing them to complete the digital transformation of their clients and end-users which will in turn bring them closer to their clients. This is done realizing what the current technology is capable of providing in terms of business intelligence and how the business can be adapted to leverage digital transformation rather than have the technology change for the business. It will allow the companies to realize the opportunities within their data thus identifying new potential customers and providing value for existing customers. By being able to hold on to these customers a sustainable circular economy can be ensured. By doing so, the welfare of all factions of society will be ensured by increasing consumer satisfaction while driving costs to a minimum.

About the author:

Nabil El Masri is a software and database developer and computer engineer that graduated from the Lebanese American University with a Computer Engineering Degree. He currently works on international projects with Apgar Consulting.

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