A brand new year

If 2007 is anything to go by, 2008 promises to be an interesting year - especially with the fourth annual NME Innovation Awards right around the corner

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By  Sathya Ashok Published  January 8, 2008

Nobody can deny that 2007 was an interesting year. In the past 12 months, most enterprises would have learned something new and grown slightly bigger, in terms of IT deployments.

Most of them will have a story of failed technology, of a product experimented with, of an immensely successful deployment, of an abandoned mission, of a support mishap, of intensive training, of high IT turnover, of planning for a new technology - of projects that never took off and ones that were carried through.

In putting together NME over the last nine months I am glad to have followed some of them and reported on their challenges and successes but most importantly the eventual learning.

All through 2007, the movement of regional enterprises towards a higher place on the IT maturity scale has been marked by two important trends - the rising interest in datacentre technologies and the investments in security within the network.

With datacentres, most Middle East enterprises started on the low end of the graph. Immense real estate developments and a booming economy drove datacentre deployments. However, pressures on time as well as the fact that most enterprises were doing this for the first time meant that they had very little time for learning and using best practices.

If that was how early 2007 started it certainly was not the case by the end. December saw the DatacenterDynamics event visit Dubai and it brought together some of the Middle East's biggest experts in IT and facilities. What's more it had a fair number of interested end-users avidly enquiring about the latest solutions and standards. And this was not merely IT related. A large percentage of the end-users wanted to address other concerns as well, especially power and cooling, to obtain optimal performance out of their infrastructure investments.

On the security side, what started out as increasing investments in different devices to add defensive layers, has given way to building security into the network and adopting practices to cancel out the need for additional products. With regional enterprises becoming global, they are looking at adopting solutions that guard their perimeters, even as they formulate and implement well-defined security policies.

These trends are all set to grow this year. NME, as always, will track their progress month-after-month in the newly launched Datacentre Focus section and the Security Focus section.

NME Innovation Awards 2008

On another note, NME is preparing to honour the best of the regional networking sector, with the fourth annual NME Innovation Awards, to be held in May 2008. The 15 categories in this year's awards cover implementations, vendor offerings and key individuals and organizations in the networking community.

The awards will be decided by a team of expert judges, who will be announced in the next few weeks.

As in previous years, we want to hear about the best the Middle East has to offer, in terms of people, vendors - and most importantly in terms of networking projects.

Nominations for all the categories are now open. Full details including categories, the nomination process and the official nomination form itself, can be found on www.itp.net/events/nmeawards08. If you have any queries on the awards, you can contact me at Sathya.ashok@itp.com

Otherwise, good luck and get nominating.

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