IDC kicks off 7th Annual Middle East CIO Summit in Dubai with 300+ industry leaders in attendance

February 25, 2014 2:44 pm

Celebrating its 50th year of delivering leadership in global IT advisory services, IDC launched the 7th edition of its Middle East CIO Summit, held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE’s Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community Development. His Excellency inaugurated the two-day event at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel by delivering the Summit’s keynote address to the 300+ senior technology decision makers in attendance.

With delegates drawn from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, and Iraq, this gathering represents the largest social network of CIOs, IT thought leaders, and vendors in the Middle East, and promises to explore the pivotal role of the CIO in the new business world of technology transformation.

“The last five years have seen the emergence of a new era in computing,” says Crawford Del Prete, IDC’s chief research officer and executive vice president for worldwide research products. “At IDC, we call this new era the 3rd Platform. Harnessing the power of key technology pillars such as Big Data, mobile, cloud, and social media, this unstoppable force is driving an evolution in the role of the CIO, transforming entire industries, and empowering customers in new ways.”

Mr. Del Prete got the day’s proceedings underway by assessing the ways in which this new era of transformation will impact the Middle East IT landscape over the coming 5–10 years. This was followed by an eclectic mix of insightful presentations, real-life case studies, and informative panel discussions on everything from developing enterprise mobile strategies and building Smart Cities to employing global CIO best practices and capturing competitive advantage with analytics and cloud.

The 300+ delegates in attendance represent a total of 13 diverse industry sectors, including banking and financial services, government, oil and gas, construction and real estate, utilities, and healthcare. As a consequence of this remarkably broad vertical representation, IDC has customized the learning experience by introducing a series of industry-specific sessions that deal with the unique challenges faced by CIOs operating in these individual sectors. IDC has also enabled a more formal structure for the immense networking opportunities available at the Summit, facilitating an incredible 248 CIO-to-vendor meetings, 267 CIO-to-analyst meetings, and 274 CIO-to-CIO meetings across both days.

The opening day of the Summit highlighted insights from IDC’s recent CIO Survey, which prioritized a number of key themes based on their varying levels of importance to CIOs and other key stakeholders. “Our extensive research shows the region’s technology leaders are primarily concerned with driving innovation through IT, managing growing expectations from users, and measuring the ROI of their IT initiatives,” says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“The proliferation of 3rd Platform technologies is not only changing the solutions that CIOs need to implement, but also fundamentally affecting the role of IT in the organization, the tasks and responsibilities of the IT department, and the skill sets required by CIOs and their IT staff,” he continues. “Indeed, the CIO is no longer simply focused on cutting costs, maintaining IT infrastructure, and ‘keeping the lights on’; he is now a fully-fledged business innovator tasked with creating more value, and this is backed up by the movements we are seeing in the distribution of IT budgets within organizations across the Middle East.”

This year’s Middle East CIO Summit plays host to the inaugural meeting of IDC’s newly formed Technology Advisory Council for the Gulf region, a peer-driven committee comprising the region’s most influential IT leaders. Tasked with providing a far-reaching platform for thought-leadership on issues relating to strategic planning, R&D, and technology innovation, the Council’s members have all played a hands-on role in shaping the agenda for this latest Summit.

They are also sitting on the judging panel for the annual IDC Insights IT Excellence Awards, which is set to bring the curtain down on this year’s Middle East CIO Summit during a lavish ceremony held tomorrow evening at Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. 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.

Senior IDC analysts from across the globe are available for private one-to-one meetings throughout the course of the Middle East CIO Summit 2014, offering strategic advice on the most pressing business and technology concerns facing the region’s CIOs today. Day 2 of the Summit will get underway at 08.00 tomorrow morning with an opening address from Mr. Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone.

To ensure the very latest technology developments are covered at the Middle East CIO Summit 2014, IDC has partnered with some of the world’s foremost ICT vendors, including: Dubai Internet City as ICT Partner; Samsung, EMC, Dell, Intel, Etisalat, and IBM as Summit Partners; Schneider Electric as Smart City Partner; CSC, Huawei, and Injazat Data Systems as Platinum Partners; Wipro, VMware, BlackBerry, Vision Solutions, Cognizant, Tata Communications, Kaspersky Lab, Riverbed, HCL, MetaByte, F5 Networks, FireEye, and CA Technologies as Gold Partners; MobileIron as BFSI Track Partner; SquareOne Technologies, OpenText RightFax, Redington Value, LifeSize, ORSYP, and ITC as Exhibition Partners; Centrify, Seclore, and BOARD International as Lunch Partners; Software AG and InfoWatch as Gala Dinner Partners; and Security Kaizen Magazine as the event’s official Media Partner.

For more information about the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2014, please contact Ms. Ronita Bhattacharjee, associate vice president for conferences at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, on +971 4 391 2747 or at

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