Jeddah – International Data Corporation (IDC) today launched the twelfth edition of its annual IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit, with more than 100 of the Kingdom's most influential ICT leaders in attendance. Hosted at the Park Hyatt Jeddah, the event is exploring strategies for thriving in an era of multiplied innovation and automation and is set to conclude tomorrow when the winners of the 'IDC CIO Excellence Awards 2019' will be announced during a dedicated ceremony.

Hamza Naqshbandi, IDC's country manager for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain opened the day's proceedings by explaining how a new ICT world order is beginning to take shape. "As digital transformation continues to reshape the global economy, innovation will multiply, platform wars will intensify, and data will increasingly be used for competitive advantage," he said. "And with market leadership ranks being disrupted, a new ICT world order is taking shape, built around innovative technology offerings, evolving business models, and emerging DX use cases. Given this unprecedented disruption, the aim of this event is to advise organizations from across the Kingdom on making the right decisions today to ensure they remain competitive tomorrow.”

He was then joined on stage by Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, as they introduced the members of IDC's CIO Advisory Council for Saudi Arabia:

  • Ibrahim Almoqbil, Chief Support Services Officer, General Entertainment Authority
  • Jason Roos, Chief Information Officer, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology
  • Hisham S. Hammami, Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Hajj & Umrah
  • Eng. Ali Al-Asiri, Chief Executive Officer, e-Government Program, Yesser

Eng. Ali Al-Asiri remained on stage to discuss the need for public sector organizations in the Kingdom to prepare for the next stage of their digital transformation journeys, which will see them move beyond the provision of e-government services and into the realms of 'Smart Government'. He was followed by Eng. Faisal Ahmed Bakhashwain, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation within the Ministry of Civil Service, who delivered a fascinating insight into the positive impact that his Ministry's successful digital transformation initiative has had on operational excellence within the government.

Steven Frantzen, IDC's senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, then took to the stage to address the challenges facing CIOs as they come under mounting pressure to keep up with today's rapid technological change and transform their organizations from being 'digitally distraught' to 'digitally determined'. "With the emergence of disruptive technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, CIOs are hard pressed to stay abreast of the latest developments while maintaining effective ICT environments," said Frantzen. "To overcome this challenge and achieve the best possible ICT outcomes for their organizations, CIOs across Saudi Arabia must focus on the hallowed trinity of relevance, access, and affordability."

The remainder of the day saw a series of senior global and regional IDC analysts host 16 individually themed focus groups that enabled attendees to tailor their Summit agenda to address their own areas of interest. Robert Westervelt, research director for IDC's global Security Products group, chaired a number of these sessions, where the focus was on issues such as reducing dwell time with counterintelligence and minimizing cyber exposure through predictive prioritization.

Meanwhile, Matt Eastwood, senior vice president of IDC’s global Enterprise, Datacenter, Cloud Infrastructure, and Developer research groups, chaired sessions on building seamless end-to-end customer journeys and leveraging robotics within the modern digitally connected business. Elsewhere, other Focus Groups explored diverse topics such as 'Digital Transformation and the Use of AI Services', 'Big Data & Analytics: Building the Foundation for Cognitive Systems', and 'Using IoT to Monetize Data-Driven Innovation'.

The IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2019 continues tomorrow (September 19) with a varied mix of informative presentations, panel discussions, and workshops. These will be followed by the Saudi edition of the 'IDC CIO Excellence Awards 2019' as IDC honors those IT leaders that have excelled in conceptualizing and delivering game-changing digital transformation initiatives for their organizations. With a focus on the tangible benefits brought about by such initiatives, awards will be handed out in the following categories: CIO of the Year, CISO of the Year, and Excellence in Digital Innovation.

Alongside e-Government Program, Yesser (Strategic Partner), the Ministry of Civil Service (Government Partner), and Oracle (Summit Partner), IDC's valued partners for the Saudi Arabia Summit 2019 include: Microsoft, Genesys, UiPath, Blue Prism, SAS (in partnership with Intel), Automation Anywhere, Google Cloud, Aruba, and NXN as Platinum Partners; Carbon Black, Attivo Networks, MIS, AEC, Sage, Tenable, Cyberia, Mimecast, Veeam, Gigamon, HP Inc. (in partnership with Intel), Cloud4C, Rimini Street, and ACS as Focus Group Partners; IBM as Breakfast Partner ; Lenovo (in partnership with Intel) and Qlik (in partnership with Digination) as Award Partners; OutSystems, DETASAD, T2, Msegate, Hawsabah, Sysprove Consulting, Equinix, ManageEngine, Indorse, and Freshworks as Exhibit Partners.

For more information about the IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2019, please visit or contact or contact Sheila Manek at / +971 4 446 3154. You can also search for news or tweet about the Summit using the hashtag #IDCSAUDICIO.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG , the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC. 

IDC in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey
For the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey region, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Istanbul, with a regional center in Dubai. Our coverage couples local insight with an international perspective to provide a comprehensive understanding of markets in these dynamic regions. Our market intelligence services are unparalleled in depth, consistency, scope, and accuracy. IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey currently fields over 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region. To learn more about IDC MEA, please visit You can follow IDC MEA on Twitter at @IDCMEA.

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