What to expect from the 10th Middle East CIO Summit

Polly Coleman
- Technology - Feb 21, 2017

One hundred of the Middle East's most influential CIOs are preparing to set sail early next month as the International Data Corporation (IDC) prepares to host the 10th anniversary edition of its flagship Middle East CIO Summit on board the luxurious Royal Caribbean Cruise ship, 'Vision of the Seas'. The ship will be setting sail from Dubai on March 6th for a seven-day tour of the Gulf. The event's three-day agenda will revolve around the theme of 'Enabling Dynamic Change for the Digital Era', with IDC promising a conference experience like no other before.

The IDC Middle East CIO Summit has been at the forefront of ICT thought leadership since its start in 2008. The formal conference activities will be closing by 3pm each day. This year's special instalment is set to offer unique opportunities for networking between the region's foremost ICT decision makers and world-wide experts from some of the most respected names in the industry.

Small focus groups (featuring a maximum of 20 CIOs in each) will discuss the role of data in driving digital transformation, the quest to enable agile business through open and secure data center networks and the growing demands to implement true omnichannel customer experiences. These will be supplemented by six interactive CIO workshops that will draw on IDC's IT executive programs to provide the attendees with in-depth insights into the following topics:

  • Developing skills for the digital world
  • DevOps practices that deliver transformation and cost reduction
  • Leading in 3D: 100 days to set the stage for digital transformation
  • The shortcomings of Bimodal IT: Digital transformation demands a full spectrum leadership model
  • The CIO's guide to strategic architecture: How to use architecture as a tool for digital transformation
  • Cost-benefit analysis for security programs


And with day two featuring two parallel technology tracks for CIOs to choose from, (‘Maximizing performance with software-defined infrastructure' and 'Truth or dare: reality and risks in today’s digital security world') there has never been greater scope for attendees to tailor their Summit experience to directly reflect their own specific needs.

IDC's most renowned world-wide names will be flying in for the event, with Meredith Whalen (Senior Vice President for IT Executive, Software, Services, and Industry Research) delivering the Summit's keynote address and chairing a number of panel discussions. She will be joined by Steven Frantzen (Senior Vice President for EMEA and Managing Director for CEMA), Pete Lindstrom (Vice President of Research for Enterprise and NextGen Security), Stephen Elliot (Vice President of Research for DevOps), Mike Rosen (Vice President of Research for Strategic Architecture) and Jyoti Lalchandani (Group Vice President and Regional Managing Director for META).

Experts from some of the world's leading ICT vendors will be on hand throughout the event to give their own individual insights, while IDC has also invited people from some of the region's most pioneering end-user organizations to dissect their own digital transformation journeys and deliver a CIO Summit that truly has the interests of the CIO at its heart. These include Wesam Lootah (CEO of Dubai Smart Government), Mohamed Abuagla (CIO of Al Jazeera Media Network), Dr. Arwa Y. Al-Aama (Vice Mayor for IT Affairs at Jeddah Municipality), Dr. Jassim Haji (IT Director at Gulf Air), Colonel Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi (General Director of Smart Services at Dubai Police), Gopi Krishnan (CIO of Al Hilal Bank), Mohammed Mousa (Senior Consultant for GRC & IT Security at SABIC), C. Krishna Kumar (COO at Qatar Islamic Bank), Edward Ganom (CISO at Commercial Bank of Qatar), A. Qureshi (Head of Business Continuity at Riyad Bank), Jonathan Richards (Group Digital Strategy Director at Gulf News Media), Zubair Ahmed (Head of IT & Business Innovation at Emirates Islamic Bank), Sanjeev Menon (Head of IT Security at Commercial Bank of Dubai) and Sourav Sinha (CIO of Oman Air).

Partnering the 10th anniversary edition of the Middle East CIO Summit will be Etisalat, Dell EMC, and Intel as Summit Partners; Schneider Electric and Misys as Platinum Partners; Veeam, VMware, Red Hat, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Nutanix, and Fire Eye as Gold Partners; Juniper Networks, BARQ Systems, Commvault, and Nexthink as Focus Group Partners; and AGC Networks (together with Hewlett Packard Enterprise) as Lunch Partners.

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