IT Meets Business as IDC Hosts Latest West Africa CIO Summit
13 May 2015
Around 100 of the region's most influential IT leaders today gathered at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos for the second annual installment of International Data Corporation's West Africa CIO Summit. With the focus firmly placed on the event's 'Where IT Meets Business' theme, a roster of expert speakers were on hand to drive home the importance of closely aligning IT and business functions at a time when the region's IT leaders are coming under mounting pressure to enhance operational efficiencies through the implementation of transformative new tech solutions.
Bola Adisa, IDC’s country manager for West Africa, got the day's proceedings underway by stressing the need for ICT chiefs and line-of-business executives to invoke the spirit of cooperation as they embrace ICT in their quest to facilitate key corporate objectives. "There can be little doubt that the 3rd Platform of computing is now in full swing, with cloud, big data, mobility, and social business set to account for one-third of all IT spending in 2015 and 100% of the market's growth," said Adisa. "But the focus of CIOs across the region is already beginning to shift to the new wave of disruptive technologies that are heading their way, with unprecedented opportunities to drive innovation and value creation across all facets of the organization. This will not only require a new breed of CIO leadership, but also a whole new era of collaboration right across the CxO value chain."
IDC's global vice president for research, Stephen Elliot, followed with an in-depth assessment of what the future has in store for the enterprise IT budget, offering pragmatic guidance on how business and IT leaders can effectively work together within a new budgetary paradigm. "The rapidly transforming nature of today's IT landscape is changing all the rules associated with buying, influencing, evaluating, and implementing technology," said Elliot. "The evolving relationship between the IT department and the business, the shifting role of capital expenditure, and the increasing ease with which IT can be purchased outside of formal IT channels are all raising questions around the percentage of technology purchases that are truly funded from within the IT budget. In light of all this, it is critical that CIOs develop a clear understanding of precisely how much of their organization's technology procurement sits within their sphere of influence and how much resides in the shadows cast by other departments."
Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional MD for MEA, then addressed the need for businesses to sense and respond to their customers and markets faster than ever before. "Ultimately, this calls for cross-functional agility, and the CIO is perfectly positioned to help facilitate such a state," said Lalchandani. "This can be achieved by ensuring that all departments have access to data and are able to collaborate efficiently and effectively, and by creating high levels of transparency and disassembling unproductive and ineffective silos. By enabling true cross-functional agility, companies and their employees are able to achieve better levels of performance, and it is crucial that the IT department is seen as the enabler of this shift in organizational culture."
The delegates in attendance at the West Africa CIO Summit 2015 were drawn from a diverse range of industry sectors, with senior IDC analysts from across the globe available for private one-to-one meetings throughout the course of the event, offering strategic advice on the most pressing concerns troubling the region's business and technology leaders today. The event also played host to an exclusive workshop based on IDC's IT Executive Program, with Stephen Elliot returning to assess the significance of the DevOps movement to organizations in West Africa and provide timely advice on leveraging collaboration to achieve optimal business outcomes.
Other sessions played host to senior representatives from some of the world's foremost technology vendors as they offered strategic advice on a broad range of issues like delivering cross-functional agility, working with CxOs to achieve IT and business objectives, embracing the evolution of enterprise mobility, and understanding the IT transformation innovations that will drive true business value. The final presentation of the day brought the curtain down on another hugely successful West Africa CIO Summit by outlining IDC's top decision imperatives for the 2015 CIO agenda. Aimed at helping CIOs step up to the next stage of leadership, this session provided the strategic context required for them to transform their enterprises through the creative application of technology to everyday business challenges.
To ensure the very latest technologies are covered at the West Africa CIO Summit 2015, IDC partnered with some of the world's foremost ICT players, including EMC and Vodacom as Summit Partners; Dell, Intel, Sunnet Systems (in co-partnership with IBM), SAP, Samsung and Oracle as Platinum Partners; Netapp, Mainone and Cyberoam as Gold Partners; Magic Software and FVC as Exhibit Partners; and Winnigroup as Lunch Partner.
For more information about IDC's West Africa CIO Summit 2015 and to learn about the range of flexible partnership opportunities on offer, please contact Bola Adisa, country manager for IDC West Africa, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet about the summit using the hashtag #IDCWACIO or visit the dedicated event website www.idcciosummit.com/lagos.
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