With the scale of development projects being undertaken in the region increasing and the level of investment in solutions rising, managing technology and harnessing it to achieve business success is a key challenge for many medium-sized and large enterprises in the Middle East.
Compounding the challenges facing companies is the exponential increase in data generated by business operations. According to preliminary data from leading research group IDC, organizations in the Middle East invested in more than 63,000 terabytes of storage capacity in 2007 – more than double than in the previous year.
Many regional businesses have not fully defined the role of CIO, however, and so may be facing major challenges ahead.
Jyoti Lalchandani, Vice President and Regional Managing Director of IDC MEA, said:
“The rapid development of information and communications technology has turned the CIO into one of the most important leaders in an organization. In most enterprises, however, the position is still being defined and will continue to be redefined as IT and communications continue to change how we do business.”
As a comprehensive response to the challenges, IDC is organizing the region’s first-ever CIO Summit, which has already attracted a full roster of the Middle East’s leading IT and communications firms and their global representatives.
With Dubai Internet City working as its technology partner, and with support and speakers from Cisco, Dell, Etisalat, IBM, Intel, Nokia, SAP, Symantec, Injazat, Alcatel Lucent, Fujitsu Siemens, ITS2, McAfee, APC-MGE, and Trend Micro, the event is set to be one of the largest and most prestigious invitation-only IT networking events ever held in the region.
Jamal Abdulsalam, Executive Director of Dubai Internet City, the largest managed ICT cluster in the region, said: “Driving business growth while meeting the daily demands of managing IT, having both the qualified skilled talent and the necessary up to date technology, as well as the discretion to determine whether a certain solution should be implemented internally or outsourced – all these are critical tasks that CIOs are facing in the rapidly growing and demanding economies of the Middle East.”
A major focus of the event will be the challenge of moving from a reactive management style through to proactive management and long-term planning, tackling issues ranging from leveraging worker mobility to cost reduction through energy-efficient hardware.
Abdulla Hashim, VP for Marketing, Enterprise Solutions, Etisalat, concurs, noting that that CIOs are increasingly called upon to position their organization to sustain competitive advantage.
“Execution of a business strategy requires certain business processes that cannot be facilitated without robust information and communications technology infrastructure,” says Hashim.
“While optimizing costs and increasing operational efficiency are both important, CIOs are also expected to drive innovation. Etisalat fully understands the challenges faced by CIOs and the solutions that can facilitate meeting those challenges. This is the primary reason we are partnering for the CIO Summit.”
The forum will also provide practical advice on leveraging technology to streamline management and reduce costs, as well as an opportunity to network with industry leaders and CIOs. In addition, it will look at the core issues of information security.
While storing and accessing data are both challenges, protecting it is essential.
“The costs associated with reducing information risk while securing information assets escalate as data volumes increase and IT environments become more complex,” says Kevin Isaac, Symantec Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “These costs can be significantly reduced through standardization and the reduction of system complexity in the data center, something all CIOs need to be aware of.”
Designed to help overworked CIOs tackle the challenges of managing, planning, and matching technology to business goals, the summit will take place on March 16-17 at Dubai’s Grand Hyatt. The two-day event will focus on the big-picture trends shaping the ICT industry and business practices.
“The number of partners and the high level of interest in the event are a testament to the challenges facing CIOs across the region,” concludes Lalchandani
IDC thought leaders and ICT industry experts will also be on hand at IDC’s CIO Summit to provide an in-depth understanding of the new role of the CIO, covering such topics as:
• The Role of the CIO in a Region of Change
• What Keeps CIOs up at Night: Governance, Risk, Compliance?
• Data Center Transformation and Enhancement of Business Strategy
• Transformation of ICT Societies
• Enterprise Mobility
• Simplifying Technology for Business Transformation
• Operational Excellence and Business Agility
• IT Services Outsourcing as Business Enabler
• The Dynamic Datacenter
• Green IT and Energy-effective ICT
• Managing, Motivating, and Retaining Staff
• The Future of IT and Communications Markets and Their Impact on Business
An invitation-only event, IDC’s groundbreaking CIO Summit is expected to involve an elite group of 100 CIOs.
Wednesday, February 6- 2008 @ 11:39 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.