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Head of IT Strategy and Governance

Financial Institution

Manama, Bahrain


This senior IT executive role serves as the Technologies second-in-command, providing leadership for the cross-functional management of information and technology across the enterprise.

The position focuses on ensuring that Technologies "does the right things" through ownership of IT strategy and governance, as well as "does things right" through the execution of organisational and operational model development and performance management.

Principal Accountabilities

This role is responsible for IT strategy, governance, performance management and the definition of new ways of working (for example, common methodologies, processes, and tools for developing and operating IT).

IT Strategy

  • Is the custodian of the IT Strategy and partners with the CIDO to provide technology vision and direction.

  • Ensures that Technologies strategic execution is continuously aligned with the overall enterprise strategy by leading the strategic plan development as well as instigating the continuous strategy context scan and execution review.

  • Directs the preparation, review and consolidation of business plans and budgets for Technologies.

  • Drives focus and prioritisation within Technologies through establishing strategic planning and governance principles and processes.

  • Owns the Technologies workstreams for RFPs and puts in place governance and standards to ensure that RFPs are of requisite quality and are aligned with the enterprise strategy.

IT Governance

  • Owns and drives continual improvement of the IT governance framework. The framework includes the objectives for IT, governance principles, policies, IT governance roles and responsibilities, and processes.

  • Ensures appropriate management of IT budgets and finances. Regularly reviews IT costs and cost structures so that the financial implications of IT projects and processes are transparent and well understood.

  • Benchmarks IT investment against peer organisations and industry best practices to help drive informed decisions.

  • Overseas the IT and CyberSecurity Risk Management process, ensuring that risks are being appropriately captured, assessed, and managed. Provides guidance to other stakeholders in the conducting and updating of risk assessments for IT projects, systems and operations.

  • Ensures the right interplay, governance and reporting is in place between IT Risk Management and Enterprise Risk Management.

  • Owns and supervises IT Vendor Management processes, ensuring a comprehensive and consistent manner of vendor evaluation, management, and oversight. Works with other IT leaders to ensure the processes are followed.

  • Works with the Information & Business Intelligence Manager to design and implement comprehensive data governance frameworks, policies, and procedures. Collaborates with cross-functional teams to define data governance objectives and align them with business goals Establish data quality standards, data classification guidelines, and data lifecycle management processes.

  • Owns compliance management processes, ensuring that Technologies continually meets any regulatory, statutory, and legal obligations, and follows the IT governance framework.

  • Drives engagement with internal and external auditors.

  • Owns IT’s ESG workstreams and acts as Technologies single point of reference for the organisation’s ESG initiatives.

IT Operating Model

  • Leads the transformation of IT from a process optimised to a service optimised IT operating model by owning the transformation and orchestrating of workstreams. Uses industry frameworks as appropriate for the size and complexity of the enterprise.

  • Establishes and implements continuous improvement programs for the Technologies.

  • Oversees the development and maintenance of IT policies, procedures, and methodologies — as well as performance management frameworks and metrics — to ensure Technologies delivers optimal, transparent, and demonstrable value to the enterprise.

IT Performance Management

  • Defines, develops, implements, and monitors reporting mechanisms for governance, service, vendor and risk practices to support compliance and highlight areas of exposure.

  • Ensures that there is a clear and transparent picture of how IT is performing against SLAs, by ensuring all SLAs are appropriately defined and establishing and updating IT dashboards.

Other Responsibilities

  • Functions as an incubator of new capabilities and new and undefined ad hoc tasks that require special focus for a short period.

  • Oversees the execution of high-impact, enterprise-wide, strategic programs, or digital transformation initiatives.

  • Assumes full CIDO responsibilities (or those responsibilities as directed) during the CIDO's absence.

Unique Knowledge & Skills


  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in IT or a related field, or equivalent work experience.


  • Over fifteen years of experience in IT.

  • A minimum of five to seven years of experience of IT leadership responsibilities.

  • Experience in managing cross-functional teams or projects.

  • Experience in influencing senior-level management and key stakeholders.


  • Expertise in budget planning, financial management, and value management.

  • Broad knowledge of current and emerging technologies, technology directions, and strategic application to business needs, including the ability to differentiate between a relevant trend and hype.

  • Ability to improve operational efficiency, service delivery and information management across the IT organisation.

  • Ability to effectively drive business, culture, and technology change in a dynamic and complex operating environment.

  • Expert in IT strategic planning, IT governance formulation, and organisational change management.

  • Strong customer and user experience focus.


  • Business-minded. The ability to understand business challenges and opportunities, and to always seek to understand the business objective before looking for an IT solution.

  • Bridge builder across the enterprise, with the ability to accomplish goals through influence rather than direct line management control.

  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to explain technology solutions in business terms, establish rapport and persuade others.

  • Credible with executives, with an ability to understand business challenges and opportunities, and to always seek to understand the business objective before looking for an IT solution.

  • Analytical problem solver. The ability to visualize problems, ask the right questions and find the right inputs.

  • Big-picture thinker. The ability to think long term, and to connect tactical solutions to a long-term strategy.

  • Proactive: Individuals who seek out solutions to issues without waiting to be told.

  • Ability to adapt to a wide range of diverse activities without losing focus.

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