Why the upcoming Saudi Coms and IT summit will pave the way for business and the future
The summit will have a mix of lectures and presentations (File/AFP)
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UNDER the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2014 will take place on Sept. 9-10 at the Four Seasons Riyadh. This represents the fourth consecutive tie-up between the Ministry and International Data Corporation’s (IDC) event, and features in-depth insights from IDC’s global leadership team and senior representatives of the world’s foremost technology vendors.
The gathering of the region’s most prominent ICT leaders will focus on exploring the pivotal role of the CIO in the new business world of technology transformation.
“It is a tremendous privilege for all of us at IDC to once again receive the backing of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology,” said Abdulaziz Al-Helayyil, regional director for IDC Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. “The Saudi government is a firm believer in the crucial role that ICT can play in furthering not only the business interests of organizations across the Kingdom, but also the future prospects of individual citizens, and its ongoing support helps validate the efforts we are undertaking to facilitate high-level discussions on the very latest trends shaping the rapidly evolving Saudi ICT market”.
Great efforts are being done to improve eGovernment maturity in the Kingdom. This is clear as Saudi Arabia’s ranking in electronic transactions jumped from the 105th position in 2003 to the 36th in 2014, according to the United Nation’s eGovernment Development Index for 2014. The public sector ICT spending is expected to reach $1.63 billion in 2014 (9.3 percent over 2013), with a forecast of 11.4 percent over 5 years CAGR .
Saudi oil and gas companies will witness a significant growth in ICT spending in the next few years, from US $623.76 million in 2014 to US $870.39 million in 2018 (8.69 percent CAGR). The transition towards intelligent upstream operations will continue in the next few years with the concept of resilient oilfield gaining increasing momentum the Kingdom.
“The last five years have seen the emergence of a new era in computing,” continues Al-Helayyil. “This new era is called the 3rd Platform. And by 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. Against this backdrop, it is critical that CIOs are truly empowered to effect real change within their organizations, which is why IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit focus on disseminating cutting-edge global best practices remains so popular”.
The summit will cover 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. More than 100 senior ICT executives will be in attendance, drawn from a diverse range of industry sectors that include banking and financial services, government, oil and gas, construction and real estate, utilities, and healthcare. As a consequence of this remarkably broad vertical representation, the learning experience has been customized by introducing a series of industry-specific sessions that deal with the unique challenges faced by CIOs operating in these individual sectors.
“The constantly evolving nature of the technology landscape is having a profound impact on the leadership challenges facing those tasked with managing it,” said Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and regional managing director at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
“In this regard, it is clear that IT leaders now need a trusted source of information, advocacy, and resources to help them define their strategies, enhance their processes, and navigate their future roadmaps. And as we celebrate our 50th year of providing international markets with groundbreaking IT analysis, we are profoundly excited and proud to be joining forces once again with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology as we strive to facilitate a new wave of IT development across the region.”
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