The 7th edition of IDC’s annual Middle East CIO Summit enjoyed a successful start at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel, with visionary discussions on what the new IT landscape will look like in 2020. It also highlighted the end-to-end technology transformation that is required to align IT with the evolving needs of today’s business environment as the role of the CIO moves into the realms of business innovation. And there was much buzz around the Smart City concept as IDC’s senior vice president for research, Steven Frantzen, presented a five-pronged approach for successfully developing a truly technology-enabled master community that utilizes the right blend of technical solutions to boost cost efficiency and raise the effectiveness of existing urban systems.
Crawford Del Prete, IDC’s chief research officer and executive vice president for worldwide research, analyzed the significant changes that have impacted the cybersecurity landscape over the last few years as a result of escalating advanced persistent threats. IDC recently predicted a significant increase in spending on security within the government, finance, and energy sectors of the Middle East, and the situation is showing no sign of abating with increasingly sophisticated threats forcing many local governments to set up national security authorities to monitor and protect their critical communications networks. Against the backdrop of this current predicament, a number of speakers addressed the impact of these developments on the implementation of so-called 3rd Platform technologies, and outlined a series of relevant new strategies that should be employed by CIOs across the region.
The discussion then moved on to explore the role of technology convergence and the importance of redefining the network to create an open and simplified framework for business in a constantly evolving environment.
“The way we define the network is rapidly changing thanks to the technological innovations that are emerging to combat the many challenges faced in the world of business today,” said IDC’s global CIO, Mitchell Rose.
“CIOs are always asking how they can better manage their IT networks to ensure they are always optimized. As such, it is crucial that they fully understand the potential benefits of accommodating the future of software-defined networking: faster business decision making, a freeing up of resources for core business needs, and greater flexibility to address future business challenges.”
IDC also invited a number of international CIOs from leading organizations in India and China to share a variety of revolutionary global best practices, with the aim of assisting the region’s technology leaders in their triple-pronged quest to optimize their IT infrastructures, enhance the efficiency of their operations, and align their IT strategies with the wider business aims of the organization.
Drawing on actionable insights from around the world, the session delivered advice on harnessing the full benefits of cutting-edge technology solutions while simultaneously ensuring that a strategic focus is maintained, business expectations are met, and maximum value is delivered.
IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, Jyoti Lalchandani, brought the Summit to a close by outlining his predictions for the region’s ICT industry in the year ahead, once again reinforcing the significant transformation that is set to take place.
“IDC’s latest findings indicate that over the next two years, more than 70% of CIOs will change their primary role from directly managing IT to becoming innovation partners that deliver information insights and value-added services to the enterprise,” said Lalchandani.
“It is now time for CIOs to examine their current roles and come to an understanding of what is expected of them. CIOs must adapt to what they think their role should-or should not-be, and other corporate executives must shape their own expectations about what the CIO role and its accountability should cover. And as with everything related to ICT, none of the CIO’s current responsibilities are set to disappear – these are very much ‘new’ responsibilities.”
The delegates will move on to the Burj Al Arab tonight for a lavish ceremony that will see the winners of this year’s IDC Insights IT Excellence Awards announced. Hosted under the patronage of His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE’s Minister of Economy, the awards will highlight excellence in the areas of innovation, IT governance, change management, business enablement, and IT cost efficiency, providing much-deserved recognition for the region’s top-performing CIOs from both the public and private sectors.
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