East Africa's ICT Community Gathers in Nairobi for IDC CIO Summit 2017 | About IDC | IDC CEMA

Nairobi – International Data Corporation (IDC) today hosted more than 120 of East Africa's most influential ICT leaders as the fourth annual edition of its East Africa CIO Summit got underway at Nairobi's Radisson Blu hotel. With their focus squarely on the theme of 'Enabling Dynamic Change for the Digital Era', senior IDC analysts joined forces with respected industry thought leaders to examine the opportunities that technological advances are providing for businesses to sharpen their competitive edge.

Combining informative presentations, interactive panel discussions, and best-practice case studies, the East Africa CIO Summit 2017 provided a perfect platform for industry stakeholders to explore the latest ICT developments and trends shaping the region's investment landscape. Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, kicked off proceedings by stressing the need for today's forward-thinking CIOs to develop the new IT capabilities required for enabling digital transformation.

"Whether you are currently leading your organization's digital transformation efforts or not, you can be sure the organization needs your leadership," said Lalchandani. "The strategic priorities of digital transformation are evolving rapidly; big bets are being placed, unusual techniques are being applied, and new bars are being established. And with digital strategies directly influencing business outcomes, it is critical that CIOs recalibrate their IT capabilities accordingly. It is therefore imperative that they embrace the new rules that govern the digital era and develop a clear understanding of exactly what is required to succeed."

Lalchandani then hosted an informative panel discussion with Michael Mitchie, CTO of M Oriental Bank, and Bernard Rono, head of ICT at Kenya Tea Packers Limited, during which they outlined the need for CIOs to take a lead in their organization's digital transformation efforts by embracing the emerging responsibilities associated with being a chief digital officer.

Nikki Summers, regional director for East Africa at Sage, then took to the stage to explain how social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies must be effectively embraced in order to drive innovation within the modern enterprise and facilitate that all-important competitive advantage. She was followed by Dr. Gilbert Saggia, SAP's managing director for East Africa, who explained how innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning are enabling intelligent enterprises to personalize their customer service, remove bias from their hiring decisions, and accelerate their invoice clearances, among myriad other benefits.

IDC's regional research and consulting head for East Africa, Francis Hook, then chaired a fascinating panel discussion on the realities and risks of operating in today's digital security world. The expert panelists for this session included Pete Freilinghaus, managing director of ContinuityEastAfrica; Brian Pinnock, regional manager for sales engineering at Mimecast; Veronica Nderitu, security manager at Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings; and Gezahegn Tadesse, director of information security at Awash Bank.

Another panel discussion followed, this time hosted by Leonard Kore, IDC's senior research analyst for telecommunications and networking in Africa. Sharing the stage with Ben Mann, IBM's chief operating officer for East Africa, and Antony Otieno, secretary general of the Internet Society's Kenya Chapter, the panelists examined the evolution of cloud and datacenter infrastructure models and the new value opportunities that these models are opening up in terms of improving agility, speed, and quality, while lowering operating costs.

George Njuguna, CIO of HFC Bank, and James M. Wanjau, ICT technical manager at CETRAD then delivered compelling insights into transforming banking enterprise architecture in preparation for digital innovation and leveraging the new realities of information technology, knowledge management, and innovation, before Francis Hook returned to the stage to bring the day's proceedings to a close by outlining IDC's predictions for the year ahead.

IDC's valued partners for the East Africa CIO Summit 2017 included Sage, SAP, IBM, Internet Solutions, Mimecast, and AGC. For more information about IDC's East Africa CIO Summit 2017, please contact please contact Sheila Manek on +971 4 446 3154 or at smanek@idc.com. You can also visit the dedicated website at www.idceasummit2017.com and tweet about the summit using the hashtag #IDCEACIO.