Region's leading IT decision makers gather in Dubai for sixth annual IDC CIO Summit
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, February 21 - 2013 at 12:37
- PRESS RELEASE
International Data Corporation (IDC), the world's premier IT and communications market intelligence and events firm, brought together more than 150 of the top IT end users from across the region yesterday for the first day of its prestigious Middle East CIO Summit 2013. Held at Dubai's Jumeirah Beach Hotel and running under the theme 'Seize the Moment: Transform, Innovate, Collaborate', the two-day conference provides in-depth insights into the emerging ICT trends that will soon shape the Middle East's business landscape.
Drawing on IDC's extensive CIO research, he also highlighted the key issues topping the agendas of IT decision makers in 2013, detailed the critical challenges facing today's Middle East CIO, and assessed the overall ICT investment outlook for the region.
Jarkko Huhtaniitty, regional manager of HP Financial Services Middle East, Mediterranean, and Africa, then took to the stage to offer advice on building the business case for IT investment and developing a proactive asset-management strategy that takes into account not only the IT imperatives, but also the financial constraints that most companies face today.
He was followed by Rashmi Knowles, RSA's chief security architect for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), who lamented the fact that existing security systems are no longer up to the task of thwarting the type of stealthy, tailored cyber attacks that have recently impacted numerous government agencies and prominent corporations in the region by exploiting vulnerabilities, disrupting operations, and stealing valuable information. The solution, he said, is a new model of intelligence-driven security that offers a clear understanding of the different phases of an attack, while providing continuous threat monitoring capabilities, as well as rapid attack detection and remediation.
Explaining how the advent of IT consumerization, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, social media, cloud computing, and big data is set to force a significant shift in the way we procure, implement, and use our IT assets, Dell's enterprise product manager, Basil Ayass, presented the case for the adoption of converged IT systems, outlining the benefits of such an approach as lower operation expenditure, faster time to deployment, and quicker ROI.
IBM's global head of cyber security intelligence, Nick Coleman, followed by assessing the threats posed by cloud adoption. Explaining that the major concerns relate to the location and privacy of data, the auditing and inspection of security capabilities, and the protection of highly virtualized environments from targeted threats and attacks, he offered some insights into how security has been evolving to address such issues within the latest 'smart' cloud environments.
The delegates were then split into two individually themed parallel sessions that were specially designed to enhance the relevance of the topics under discussion for each CIO. Chaired by IDC's research director for software and IT services, Ranjit Rajan, and featuring speakers from Symantec, Kaspersky Lab, and CA Technologies, the first session, 'Facing Up to Targeted Attacks and Cybercrime - Lessons from Recent Incidents', included discussions on the evolving threat landscape in the Middle East, the importance of placing governance at the center of any security strategy, and the need to strengthen organizational defenses against targeted attacks.
Speakers from Wipro and Cognizant then offered advice on deconstructing IT's value to business through the implementation of new IT models and frameworks.
The second parallel session was hosted by IDC's research director for systems and infrastructure solutions, Adriana Rangel, and focused on the theme of 'BYOD Initiatives: Driving Policy and Technology Solutions', with speakers from Blue Coat and Citrix assessing the security implications of this increasingly popular trend and detailing strategies for enabling it through desktop and application virtualization. This was followed by speeches from VMware and Riverbed on evolving datacenter strategies and delivery models
Bringing the first day of the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2013 to a close, IDC's program director for Insights and vertical industries, Mark Walker, chaired a panel discussion with Sebastien Marotte, vice president for EMEA at Google Enterprise, and Adriaan Bloem, senior manager for online platforms at MBC Group, during which they examined the capability of social media to reinvent the way in which we do business and help build more effective teams of employees, customers, and suppliers.
To ensure the very latest technology developments are covered at the Middle East CIO Summit 2013, IDC has partnered with some of the world's foremost ICT vendors, including: HP, EMC, IBM, Intel, and Dell as Summit Partners; Schneider Electric, Lexmark, Oracle and BlackBerry as Platinum Partners; and Blue Coat, VMware, Wipro, Symantec, Riverbed, Kaspersky Lab, Cognizant, CA Technologies, and Citrix as Gold Partners. FVC and Polycom are the Exhibit Partners; Board Middle East and AGC Networks are Lunch Partners for Day 1 and Day 2, respectively; and Future Systems is the Gala Dinner Partner.
Day Two of the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2013 started at 09:00 this morning with a panel discussion featuring Ismail Abed, CIO of Agility Logistics, Ahmed Al Mulla, CIO of DUBAL, and Fayyaz Alam, vice president of IT at Emirates, on the importance of correctly aligning technology strategies with the wider interests of the business. Next up on the agenda for IDC is the Africa CIO Summit 2013 in Cape Town on March 12 and 13, which will be followed by the Turkey CIO Summit 2013 in Antalya on April 7 and 9.
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