Spotlight on tech challenges
Dubai, March 16, 2008
More than 120 chief information officers (CIOs) from some of the Middle East's most respected businesses are holding talks.
Leaders and representatives from 18 of the world's foremost IT and communications firms are discussing management, leadership and technology challenges in the region at at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai.
Over the past five years, IT spending has more than doubled in most Middle Eastern nations and its growth will stand solidly in double digits for the foreseeable future. This reflects IT's rapid inroads into business, industry, and government and the need for strong technology leadership.
According to IDC, the position of CIO is still relatively new and technology is changing so fast that management traditions have not yet been established.
This makes addressing key business issues, like contributing to the bottom line and keeping pace with development, that much more challenging, said the organiser of the event in a statement.
Built from the expressed needs of CIOs in research carried out by IDC, the agenda has sessions dedicated to core technology issues like security, data centres, and infrastructure management to larger areas such as the impact of business mobility, staff retention and training, and the overall role of the CIO, it added.
IDC expects the summit to spur long-term professional friendships and business relationships that will affect everything from the types of technology employed to how people go about their day-to-day work.
Part of the summit's value rests with networking. Representing countries from Egypt to Pakistan, the gathered CIOs are examining and sharing strategies for using IT to tackle business challenges.
Coming from a wide range of industries (represented by firms as diverse as Dubai World, Dubai Holding, Saudi British Bank, SAMBA, Saudi Alliance, Qatar Gas, Oman Oil, National Bank of Egypt, Gulf Air, American Express Bahrain, Jordan Armed Forces, Equate Petrochemical CO KSCC from Kuwait, and Mobilink from Pakistan), the CIOs will also hear from IDC thought leaders on top-level strategies, the organiser said.
Two of these thought leaders are John Gantz and Frank Gens. As IDC's chief research officer and senior vice-president, Gantz has his finger on the pulse of technology innovation and is presenting on how the ICT cycles impact business as hype gives way to reality and long-term gains in productivity. By singling out key trends and how market leaders anticipate and use them, he will provide a framework for developing a progressive ICT strategy.
As senior vice-president and chief analyst Frank Gens spends a great deal of time with CIOs. In his presentation, he investigates opportunities for levering specific information technologies and collaborative approaches for meeting business goals. He also moderates a panel discussion on what keeps CIOs awake at night.
Complementing presentations and discussions by Gantz, Gens, and other IDC senior managers are the vendor presentations focused on specific aspects of IT strategies and technology innovation. In addition to the support of Dubai Internet City as a technology partner, the summit has partnerships with and presentations from APC-MGE, Alcatel Lucent, Cisco, Dell, Etisalat, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, IBM, Injazat Data Systems, Intel, ITS2, McAfee, Nokia, Research in Motion, Samsung, SAP, Symantec, and Trend Micro.
Gold Partner and IT security solutions provider and training firm I(TS)2 considers the CIO Summit an important event in aiding CIOs with strategy development.
"We are excited to be the only Saudi company at this pivotal summit as our regional research, which is largely based on IDC research, has identified improving enterprise security as the number one issue facing CIOs today. The introduction of Raqeeb Managed Security Services, the region’s first world-class MSS, will provide CIOs with real security soluti