22 Feb 2022

H.E. Wesam Lootah Opens IDC Middle East CIO Summit with Keynote on the Importance of Digital-First Leadership

Dubai – International Data Corporation (IDC) today launched the 15th edition of its annual IDC Middle East CIO Summit at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre. With more than 200 of the region's most influential ICT decision makers in attendance, the event — which this year runs under the theme 'Accelerating Your Journey to a Digital-First World' — was opened by His Excellency Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government, Digital Dubai.

"As we gradually move out of the pandemic, we all have many questions in mind, and as leaders, we must think of all these questions, consider all the possibilities at hand, and plan the best course of action for the future," said His Excellency in his opening address to the gathered delegates. "We are aware that digital platforms, e-services, augmented reality, machine learning, and cloud computing are important digital tools that act as enablers in the new digital economy. However, our role is not restricted to only providing and applying these tools in our organizations. We need to embrace a digital-first leadership, one that truly understands how people choose to communicate, learn, bank, shop, and live their lives in a digital world."

Steven Frantzen, IDC's senior vice president for the EMEA region, presented the IDC keynote, revealing that many organizations are making slow progress in achieving their digital ambitions even after recognizing the pressing need to pursue a digital-first strategy.

"One in two companies worldwide will generate more than 40% of their revenues from digital products and services by 2023, and a recent global IDC study showed that 79% of organizations worldwide have already shifted to a digital-first strategy as a result of the pandemic," said Frantzen. "However, many organizations are struggling, with 50% still trying to figure out exactly what it means for them or only now just starting to execute their plans."

Day 1 of the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022 served up strategic guidance on overcoming these digital roadblocks, with a series of Best-Practice Sessions that saw senior IDC analysts, respected tech pioneers, and industry heavyweights from the vendor community address the following themes:

• From Secure to Trusted: A Journey to Digital Leadership

• Cloud Computing: The Springboard for Digital Transformation

• The Future of Work & the Long-Term Implications of a Distributed Work Environment

These sessions were supplemented by a number of dedicated Technology Focus Groups that provided expert advice on key CIO priorities for the digital-first era, such as building digital trust, driving cloud-native app transformation, leveraging the capabilities of hybrid cloud, and moving beyond digital transformation to facilitate enterprise-wide digital innovation.

Speaking at the event, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the META region, Jyoti Lalchandani, reinforced the importance of pursuing a digital-first strategy, while highlighting other key areas that are set to influence the CIO agenda over the coming years.

"The pandemic has led many organizations in the Middle East to bring their digital road maps forward by up to two years and increasingly shift towards a digital-first strategy," says Lalchandani. "While this is a critical first step, it is not enough on its own. Indeed, at IDC, we believe there are three broad themes that will shape the tech investment decisions of the region's CIOs and the organizations they represent through 2022 and beyond – the implementation of a digital-first strategy, the quest for digital resiliency, and the pursuit of hybridity."

Day 2 of the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022 commences at 9.00 am tomorrow and will feature exclusive insights from His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of cybersecurity for the UAE government, and Dr. Peter Diamandis, a New York Times Bestselling author of three books and founder of the XPRIZE Foundation. Renowned Emirati blogger, columnist, motivational speaker, and social media influencer Khalid Al Ameri will also be participating as the event's master of ceremonies.

The in-person portion of the event will conclude with the IDC Excellence Awards 2022, which will recognize the efforts of the Middle East's leading technology executives across three categories: CIO of the Year, CISO of the Year, and Women in Technology and Business. There will then be a special one-day virtual edition of the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022 on February 24, with more than 500 influential tech and business leaders set to gather online from across the region.

The annual IDC Middle East CIO Summit is the place to come for thought-provoking, in-depth discussions about cutting-edge tech solutions, emerging use cases, and proven strategies for driving success. For 15 straight years, it has served as the ICT world's premier source of learning about the industry's latest developments. To learn more, please visit www.idc.com/mea/events/69074-idc-middle-east-cio-summit-2022  or contact Sheila Manek at smanek@idc.com    / +971 4 446 3154.

The IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022 is supported by the Cyber Security Council UAE, Dubai Police, the Saudi Data and AI Authority, and by a number of leading companies from across the region, including: Strategic Partner: GBM; Digital Transformation Partners: Tech Mahindra and Oracle; Innovation Partner: Injazat; Smart ICT Partner: Dynatrace; Summit Partners: Riverbed, TATA Consultancy Services, Unifonic, SoftServe, Lenovo, Red Hat, Turbonomic, VMware, Mideast Data Systems, and AWS; Platinum Partners: CyberKnight, RiskRecon by Mastercard, BlackBerry, Tenable, BluePrism, Qualys, ServiceNow, Nutanix / Salesforce Tableau, Wizards, Armis, Denodo, Apptio, HCL, and Cloud4C; Technology Focus Group Partners: Outsystems, Equinix, Aruba, Netapp / Logicom, Informatica, Mandiant, Zoom, Nintex, ManageEngine, Confluent, Entrust, Mendix, Microfocus, SUSE, Glass House, Trellix, Freshworks, and Udacity; Fireside Chat Partner: Workato, and KYNDRYL; Dinner Partner: Symphony SummitAI; Associate Partners: the UAE Banks Federation, the Dubai Business Women Council, the Emirates Digital Association for Women, Women in AI, and Women in Cyber Security Middle East.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,200 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.

IDC in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa

For the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa region, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Istanbul, with a regional center in Dubai. Our coverage couples local insights with international perspectives to provide a comprehensive understanding of markets in these dynamic regions. Our market intelligence services are unparalleled in depth, consistency, scope, and accuracy. IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey currently fields over 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region. To learn more about IDC MEA, please visit www.idc.com/mea. You can follow IDC MEA on Twitter at @IDCMEA.

Coverage