Cloud Computing, Mobility, Big Data, Social | Events | IDC CEMA

The Saudi Arabian ICT market continues to attract international attention, primarily due to investments in IT that have been driven by the Kingdom's desire to improve efficiency and productivity. This shift has elevated the role of the CIO to that of a visionary who guarantees more efficient business processes through the innovative use of new technologies such as cloud computing, mobility, social media, and big data analytics, to name just a few. The role of the CIO is becoming less technology focused and more strategically oriented as ICT decision makers in Saudi Arabia are becoming more engaged in setting strategy, enabling enterprise change, and solving not just IT challenges, but business ones as well.

Cloud adoption in the Kingdom continues to rise. Smart CIOs realize that it is critical to develop a strategy for cloud and identify the appropriate workloads and models (private, public) for their organizations. While the benefits of cloud are slowly being realized by the early adopters, concerns about security, data privacy, and connectivity are gradually being answered by the rapidly maturing ecosystem.

At the same time, enterprise data, both structured and unstructured, continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Unstructured data, in particular, is growing exponentially due to the rapidly increasing use of mobile devices, enterprise apps, and social media. As such, CIOs are increasingly pondering the use of emerging Big Data technologies for processing and analyzing large volumes of widely varying data in order to achieve competitive advantage.

Mobility is becoming an integral part of Saudi businesses' IT strategies as smartphones and media tablets are rapidly being accepted as the next enterprise computing platform. Mobile workforces, dynamic business environments, and the need for agility are gradually driving enterprises to develop and implement coherent mobility strategies and move beyond the informal approach to BYOD that currently exists.

Social technologies are gradually becoming a key facilitator of change and transformation in Saudi Arabia. Social business solutions are becoming more integral to customer insights, creating bidirectional channels that build/manage communities, enable social listening, and facilitate an integrated view of both customers and markets. Saudi CIOs have started to appreciate the value of the equation "Corporate Data + Social Data = Highest Value Information" and have started evaluating the benefits of embedding social tools into their organizations' IT software portfolios.