Digital Transformation Sets the Agenda as Saudi Arabia’s Most Influential ICT Leaders Gather in Jeddah for IDC CIO Summit | About IDC | IDC CEMA

Jeddah International Data Corporation (IDC) today hosted the first day of its eighth annual Saudi Arabia CIO Summit at the InterContinental Jeddah. Running under the theme 'Enabling a Blueprint for Thriving in the Digital Economy', the Summit attracted more than 100 of the Kingdom's most prominent ICT leaders and showcased innovative strategies for embracing the disruptive power of digital transformation.

Targeted exclusively at C-level executives and above, the event combined thought-provoking presentations, interactive workshops, panel discussions, and case studies, all while facilitating one-to-one meetings between the providers of cutting-edge technology solutions and the influential decision makers responsible for driving their implementation.

IDC's senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Mr. Steven Frantzen, set the tone for the day's discussions with his opening address about the need for organizations in Saudi Arabia to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. "As the digital revolution continues to heat up, digital champions and disruptors are emerging in all different kinds of industries," he said. "These organizations are increasingly setting the Kingdom's investment agenda as they embrace a new generation of innovation-accelerating technologies to completely transform the way they execute processes, engage with customers, create business value, and deliver their products and services. Ultimately, entire traditional business models will be challenged by the new business models born on digital foundations."

Mr. Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's vice president for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, then inaugurated IDC's CIO Advisory Council for Saudi Arabia, confirming the esteemed committee members as:

  • Eng. Ahmad AlHedaithy, General Director of ICT at the Ministry of Health
  • Mr. Yahya Abdulrahman, Executive Director of ICT at Saudi Electricity Company
  • Mr. Ibrahim Almoqbil, CIO of the General Entertainment Authority

"The CIO Advisory Council has a crucial role to play and we are delighted to count some of the Kingdom's most respected ICT leaders as members," said Lalchandani. "The Council will provide strategic direction to IDC in terms of research coverage, thereby assisting us in our quest to serve Saudi Arabia's ICT community with a trusted, neutral, and secure source of information, advocacy, and resources for enhancing their processes and shaping the technology landscape of tomorrow,"

Mr. Yahya Abdulrahman was then joined by Dr. Ibrahim Suliman Al Abdullah, CIO at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, and Mr. Mohammed Al Otaibi, CIO of Saudi Customs, for a panel discussion chaired by IDC's country manager for Saudi Arabia, Hamza Naqshbandi, during which they addressed the various ICT implications they expect to see as changes are made to the Kingdom's National Transformation Program. Further sessions tackled issues such as 'Transformation in the Digital Era' and 'Digital Transformation and Workplace Solutions of Future',

The remainder of the day saw a series of senior global and regional IDC analysts host 14 individually themed focus groups that enabled attendees to tailor their Summit experiences to meet their own unique needs. These roundtable sessions offered advice on a broad range of technology issues such as ensuring comprehensive information governance, developing an effective cyber-resilience strategy, moving beyond perimeter-based security, implementing intelligent data management, leveraging a platform approach to digitalization, and harnessing the connectivity advantages presented by the Internet of Things.

IDC's Saudi CIO Summit 2018 continues tomorrow (September 27), with a series of sessions exploring the key tech trends currently disrupting the ICT industry, the major risks and opportunities associated with becoming a truly data-centric enterprise, and the best data-driven digital transformation strategies for ensuring customer experience excellence.

One of the key highlights of the day's agenda will be a panel discussion addressing the theme of 'Women Leaders in IT – A Key Objective of Vision 2030'. Chaired by IDC's senior consultant for the Middle East and Africa and country manager for Egypt, Ms. Nagia El Emary, the panel will feature insights from Dr. Fatimah Alakeel, assistant professor at King Saud University and CEO/founder of CIAG, and Ms. Rasha M. Abu AlSaud, chief information security officer at National Commercial Bank (NCB). During this session, the panelists willl share their thoughts, success stories, challenges, and views about the industry, and also shed light on key issues that touch the lives of women working in the technology field such as digital literacy, entrepreneurship, remote working, and workplace integration.

The event will draw to a close with the IDC CIO Excellence Awards 2018 for Saudi Arabia, which have been designed to honor those IT leaders that have excelled in conceptualizing and delivering game-changing digital transformation initiatives for their organizations. IDC's CIO Advisory Council will be on hand to distribute the awards, with winners being announced in the following categories: Best Customer Experience Transformation; Best Business Operations Transformation; Best Information Transformation; Best IT Service Transformation; and CIO of the Year.

IDC's valued partners for the Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2018 include HP Inc. and Mobily as Summit Partners; ACS, Symantec, and Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business as Platinum Partners; Microsoft, Carbon Black, AEC, Veeam Software, MIS, Commvault, OpenText, Cyberia, Microland, Manage Engine, and MicroStrategy as Focus Group Partners; Equinix, Freshworks, ITC, T2, RAKICT, CA Technologies, SOTI, and Plantronics as Exhibit Partners; Logicom as Networking Partner; NetApp (in conjunction with Logicom) and Ebttikar as Breakfast Partners; Sysprove Consulting as Lunch Partner; and Veritas (in conjunction with Mindware and Al Jammaz Distribution) as Dinner Partner.

To learn more about the IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2018, please visit or contact Sheila Manek at or on +971 4 446 3154. You can also keep up to date on all the latest news around the Summit by using the hashtag #IDCSAUDICIO.