IDC explores the rise of the Digital Economy

More than 500 of the region's most influential ICT decision makers attended the two-day IDC Middle East CIO Summit, which this year runs under the theme 'Enabling the Digital Economy's Leaders'

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A Staff Reporter

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IDC's group vice-president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa, Jyoti Lalchandani, attending the summit. — Supplied photo
IDC's group vice-president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa, Jyoti Lalchandani, attending the summit. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 26 Feb 2023, 5:30 PM

International Data Corporation (IDC) recently hosted the 16th edition of its annual IDC Middle East CIO Summit at Dubai's Atlantis, The Palm. With more than 500 of the region's most influential ICT decision makers in attendance, the two-day event — which this year runs under the theme 'Enabling the Digital Economy's Leaders' — was opened by IDC's global president, Crawford Del Prete, as he presented the summit's keynote, 'Strategies for the CIO and Enterprise Innovation'.

"As storms of disruption continue to gather, it is crucial that CIOs are clear on what they need to do now — and in the future — to create an environment for long-term sustainable innovation," said Del Prete.

"Central to this is the need to build a culture of trust across the entire organization and its broader ecosystem of partners and customers. We are increasingly seeing a move toward greater industry ecosystem-led innovation, and it is important that CIOs fully understand the implications of this ongoing decentralisation. At the same time, enterprise leaders must view increased line-of-business investment as a springboard to greater innovation and not an end state in itself," he said.

The summit has been a staple of the region's ICT calendar for 16 years, serving as the ICT community's premier source of learning about the industry's latest developments. As well as informative presentations, in-depth discussions, and expert-led panel sessions, this year's edition incorporates five different 'Transformation Zones' demonstrating pioneering use cases and technological advances in the areas of the metaverse, DevOps, customer experience, sustainability, and Industry 4.0.

The rise of the digital economy was central to discussions on Day 1 of the summit, with IDC's group vice-president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa, Jyoti Lalchandani, explaining that it is one of the hottest tech trends shaping investment in 2023.

"We are seeing a growing focus across the region on developing the infrastructure, innovation platforms, and skills required to support the expansion of digital businesses," said Lalchandani.

"To set themselves apart in an increasingly competitive market, organisations need to leverage infrastructure, data, and skills alongside critical technology enablers such as 5G, the cloud, and AI. Only then will they be able to successfully re-invent their business models, create new customer experiences, and drive innovation with their partners."

The Day 1 agenda also included a series of fascinating 'For the CIO by the CIO' panel discussions, with expert insights from some of the region's most respected end-user tech leaders on topics such as:

• Talent development and the demand for new skills: How to optimally structure your team

• Sustainable strategies and technologies: Operationalisation, impact measurability, and business value creation

• Vendor selection and management: Best practices and what to look out for

Day 2 of the summit included an exclusive keynote from Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of cybersecurity for the UAE government. There were a show-stopping performance from contemporary artist Neil Harbisson, the world's first officially recognised human cyborg, while IDC's senior vice-president and regional managing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Steven Frantzen, examined the unprecedented rate of disruption that is being caused by the emergence of a thriving digital economy.

"Digital-native firms, equipped with new business models and armed with substantial venture capital funding, have disrupted supply chains in numerous industries, fueling growth in areas such as ecommerce, direct-to-consumer services, digital payments, and cloud kitchens," said Frantzen.

"With the metaverse and Web3 paradigms on the horizon, further disruption is expected to individual, enterprise, and industrial digital experiences."

The summit was supported by the UAE's Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology, the UAE's Cyber Security Council, Kuwait's Central Agency for Information Technology, and Dubai Municipality. IDC is also honored to have a wide range of partners on board for the event.

— business@khaleejtimes.com


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