The 2nd annual Future Datacentres and Cloud Infrastructure Summit kicked off on Wednesday, 3 February 2021 at the iconic Le Meridien Hotel and Conference Centre, Dubai UAE. A series of physical and virtual presentations, keynotes and panel discussions centred on one common underlying theme: the innovations impacting the data and cloud landscape.

The conference was officially inaugurated with the welcome address delivered by Jean-Francois De Sousa, Regional Director ME - Data Center Business, Huawei, the platinum sponsor for the event. Saeed Belhoul, Director, E-government Operations, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was the next to take the stage. As an information security specialist closely associated with the federal government, he provided a detailed overview of the datacenter and cloud computing sector in the Middle East with special emphasis on the present scenario in the UAE. He also shed light on the various efforts of the government towards setting up a more robust cloud community, including forging agreements with the private sector.

Jean-Francois De Sousa, the next speaker at the summit shared his ideas on the topic: TOP 10 Trends of Digital Power - Power Digitalization & Creating New Values. In his talk he highlighted the fact the Edge-based architectures are the only way to realise the full potential of Artificial intelligence and how the Edge AI will be the new black in the Internet of Things (IoT). He went on to emphasize that companies must embrace the fast-evolving digital power technologies if they are to maximize productivity with the added costs.

Abubakar Latif, Director of Cyber Security, BNET made a succinct presentation on The Consequence of AI in Cybersecurity and Building Resilient Datacenters. Ajay Garg, Director of Global Business Development, Datacenter Solutions, Intel was the last speaker before the tea-break. He spoke at length about a bevy of software tools designed by Intel that could help with real-time monitoring and streamlining management.

The post-break session commenced with a panel discussion. It proved quite a fruitful discussion as industry experts Dr. Syed Mahsud Ali, Chief Information Officer, AZIZI Developments, Mohammad Qattash, Cluster Director - Information Technology, Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, Rajendra Srivastava, Head of IT, IFFCO, Stephen Bowes-Phipps, Senior Data Centre Consultant, PTS explored how businesses need to prioritise resilience and security in a post-pandemic world.

Yet another panel discussion towards late afternoon examined the factors responsible for the shift to cloud technology, despite the economic slowdown. They also discussed how measures towards maintaining security online must shift from detection to prevention. The key panelists included Abdulrahman Khaiwi, Head of Information Technology, Emirates National Schools, Anshul Srivastav, Global CIO, Elham ElShehhi, Head of Networks & Infrastructure Section, Sharjah Economic Development Department, Jayakumar Mohanachandran, Group CIO, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Sheeba Hasnain, Head of IT Operations - Transportation Systems Department, Government of Sharjah.

The three other eminent speakers at the event were Spencer Sutton, Solution Architect, MEA, Rackspace, Ameet Jugnauth, Head of IT Risk & Governance, Lloyds Banking Group – United Kingdom and Dave Sterlace, Head of Technology, Global Data Center Solutions, ABB.

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