Abu Dhabi Department of Finance Optimizes Performance and Economies of Scale Across Government Agencies
 
 

Abu Dhabi Department of Finance Optimizes Performance and Economies of Scale Across Government Agencies

Established in 1962, the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance is responsible for the emirate’s sound fiscal and financial management. It plays a fundamental role in providing Abu Dhabi government entities with best-in-class financial services and specialized solutions, as well as managing available resources efficiently. The organization fosters an effective and prudent financial management framework across the government, provides proper financing for government initiatives, including private sector participation, enables optimal use of financial resources through sound planning and performance monitoring, advises the government on fiscal policies, and provides worldclass customs administration services for Abu Dhabi government.

Abu Dhabi Department of Finance has been recognized for its progressive IT management practices and holds numerous awards, such as Government Deployment of the Year 2012 presented by the Abu Dhabi Government and Best Infrastructure Platform for Optimized Data Center 2012 presented by Oracle.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Abu Dhabi Department of Finance

  • “Oracle technology enabled us to establish a shared services platform that is flexible enough to adapt to the needs of different government agencies. The platform is built on proven Oracle hardware and software, capable of delivering the availability, performance, and scalability that we require to fulfill our role of providing Abu Dhabi government entities with best-in-class financial services and specialized solutions.” – Dr. Hazem Turki El Khatib, Head of Information Technology Directorate, Abu Dhabi Department of Finance

  • Optimize government agencies’ financial management with a shared services platform that integrates centralized transaction processing, automated treasury functions, and sound financial reporting capabilities for 20 sites across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • Enable Abu Dhabi government agencies—such as Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Customs Administration, Investment Council, Securities Exchange, and municipalities—to improve core competencies by relieving them of the burden of managing their own financial systems
  • Establish a secure IT infrastructure with state-of-the-art disaster recovery for mission-critical applications, such as budgeting and reporting, inventory management, procurement and payment, and payroll, to ensure continuity of public services
  • Optimize customer service across the government by empowering the government workforce with state-of-the-art information technology

Solutions

  • Deployed a private cloud shared services platform built upon Oracle hardware and software, enabling other public entities to shift their focus from financial management issues—including budgeting, planning, purchasing, cash management, reporting, and compliance—to core capabilities, such as improved municipal services for constituents
  • Upgraded to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 to empower nearly 3,000 users across all government agencies with integrated and robust enterprise resource planning functionalities—including self-service capabilities that can adapt to government-specific vertical business needs—to provide effective and efficient services to companies and the public
  • Realized important economies of scale by moving from legacy systems to integrated systems, reducing redundant assets and investments and centralizing mission-critical financial and accounting processes—such as fixed assets, cash, and revenue management
  • Improved disaster recovery, overall service availability, and continuity of public services with a disaster recovery infrastructure for mission-critical applications—Customs, Port Authority, Chamber of Commerce, Treasury, etc.—based on Oracle’s SPARC Enterprise M3000, Oracle’s SPARC Enterprise M5000, and Oracle Solaris 11
  • Improved the experience of Abu Dhabi's citizens and corporations as well as government employees and business partners with government transactions, such as reducing supplier payment cycles from 60 days on average to five days with unified and semi-automated workflows
  • Optimized transparency, visibility, and analytics with consolidated and integrated data across all ministries, municipalities, and other government agencies for continuous service improvement to constituents
  • Reduced financial reconciliation from days to hours and supplier invoice processing from 60 days to five days only with a paperless financial services environment while enabling unified financial reporting across all Abu Dhabi government agencies, providing the government with more accurate data in much less time than before
  • Used Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation to provide accurate and sound financial reports to upper management to optimize and accelerate decision making, leveraging Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile to also deploy reports on iPads for greater convenience
  • Saved time and costs for internal and external audits with standardized account charters and budgeting processes across all government agencies
  • Worked with Oracle Consulting to build extensions for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 that enable precise collection of government agency expenses and revenues

Implementation Process

In terms of lessons learned, Abu Dhabi Department of Finance notes that organizations considering moving forward with a shared services environment for financial management should harmonize the chart of accounts structure and standardize financial systems; reduce system complexity, as complexities can cause the move to shared services to be costly and high-risk; convince business units to give up their financial authority to gain in core competencies; and develop skills and culture, as finance staff may have been in their positions for many years and have little experience doing things differently. The organization notes that a shared services initiative is unlikely to be successful if it is driven bottom up by the IT organization instead of top down by higher management.