Overview - Saudi Arabia CIO Summit | Events | IDC CEMA

 Under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Mohamed Jamil Bin Ahmed Mulla, Minister of Communications & Information Technology

The Saudi Arabia CIO Summit is a widely recognized ICT-focused event where CIOs, CTOs, businesses, and IT executives acquire distilled and compact insights into IT strategies, emerging technologies, and best practices that have direct implications for their business. Valuable, high-level executive insights are shared in tightly regulated sessions where fresh new ideas, both disruptive and exciting, are shared so as to help IT and business professionals implement winning changes that need to be made to their existing IT strategies. This IDC event will illuminate the many leading minds in attendance with cutting-edge industry best practices and engages vendors as they outline their new product blueprints and demonstrate practical solutions. For the 2012 edition, minds will be stretched as new ideas grow.

Running under the theme ‘Driving the Agenda for Business Success', the hugely popular Summit returns to the region for the second consecutive year and will bring together the region's top 80 CIOs and present first-hand visions and experiences of pioneering thought leaders from the world's premier ICT organizations.  The Summit will focus on what strategies the business-savvy CIO needs to consider and how can he/she demonstrate greater value to the business user and thereby increase the profile of IT in the boardroom.

This year the Summit will focus on key themes such as:

  • The CIOs Role in Driving Business Agility
  • IT Project Prioritisation – Driving Innovation without Breaking the Bank What is the latest Cloud Forecast?
  • Emerging Trends in Unified Communication & the Power of Social Collaborative Tool
  • Datacenter Manageability, Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  • The Power of Intelligence: Advanced Analytics

IDC's CIO Summit Provides

  • First-hand visions and experiences from recognized leaders
  • CIO trends and peer-to-peer networking opportunities
  • Major ICT trends and developments over the next three to five years
  • An insight into cutting-edge best practices
  • Visionary presentations from the industry leaders
  • In-depth analysis on the winning strategies employed by empowered CIOs

Overview of the Saudi Arabian IT Market

Technology spending in the Saudi Arabian marketplace differs widely from international trends, typically outperforming developed regions by some distance due to economic and commercial factors and the untapped market opportunities that exist in these regions. CIOs in the Kingdom are faced with a unique challenge: to utilize and deploy the latest technology at the lowest cost with the best return on investment across some of the most challenging regions in the world when it comes to infrastructure – no small task!

Significant IT investments by the government into the public sector and the Kingdom’s powerful presence in the oil and gas and financial services sectors, are driving rapid growth in the most vibrant IT market in the region. Saudi banks and telecommunication companies have been at the forefront of innovation and operational excellence in the region, achieving efficiencies and agility through IT investments over the years.

Saudi Arabia IT Spending 2007 - 2015 (US$)

Source: IDC

The Government has spearheaded economic diversification in a big way for the past few years and this has led to the development of Economic and industrial cities and inflow of foreign investment into non-hydrocarbon sectors. The entry and expansion of multinationals has also brought in best practices often in IT.

Nonetheless several challenges remain such as those related to the availability of skills. Saudi CIOs face critical challenges in identifying, attracting, and retaining well-qualified staff, managing the return on investment of IT expenditures, and ensuring secure and highly available technology platforms for their organizations. Coupled with this are demanding business imperatives that directly impact the decisions and choices faced by Saudi CIOs, typical commercial priorities include reduction of operational costs, expansion plans and headcount optimization to mention only a few.

Many Saudi CIOs are extremely innovative, and this is increasingly being recognized, and many ideas and practices originating in this region are enjoying attention worldwide.


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Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Intel STC IBM Fujitsu Devoteam Lexmark International Canon Middle East SAP Riverbed Technology Cognizant Kaspersky Lab First Information Security Citrix Systems Secure Way Fortinet Hitachi Data Systems Interactive Intelligence Future Systems VMware AirWatch Sonicwall Saudi Arabian Airlines