Power to the (IT) people

IT professionals should leverage the position they find themselves in

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By  Sean Robson Published  March 18, 2009

The Middle East has fast become a landing point for what in recent weeks has been a revolving carousel of high profile CEO’s and vice-presidents flying into the region to address partners and customers alike on the ‘opportunities’ that exist in this ‘challenging’ economic climate.

You will forgive me if I am little sceptical regarding the motives of these executives. Much of the talk that has been banded about has, in essence, been little else than the usual marketing speak with phrases like ‘dynamic partnerships’, ‘benefit driven’ and a personal favourite of this writer ‘doing more with less’.

However, in the midst of this marketing and PR blitz one positive has emerged, the user finally has more power. While budgets have been slashed and purchasing power is admittedly weaker on the side of the average IT manager, he or she, still has money to spend on the right solutions, and this is the money the vendor is after.

For many years the region’s exponential growth rates, relative immaturity and seemingly limitless supply of cash, made it an easy target for the newest and shiniest products. Those times are long past and in 2009 the enterprise CIO is examining his options very carefully because, to coin a phrase, cash has made him king.

Vendors not only have to deliver on their promises, but also provide a full range of services and partnerships that add value to the organisation in a real and, in many cases, immediate fashion.

The projects and implementations that will be emerging from this region over the next 12 to 18 months promise to be amongst the most innovative and creative yet. IT professionals in the Middle East have become renowned for reinventing the wheel as they cope with the unique geography, rapid growth and relatively small staff numbers. The smaller budgets and increased business pressures promise to be a driver that push IT managers to deliver projects that serve as testimony to the regional IT community’s increased standing on the world stage.

It is in this spirit of achievement and foresight that we are once again hosting the NME Innovation Awards. Taking place in early May, the awards are an opportunity to honour not just the best projects, vendors and IT professionals in the region, but also a chance for the market leaders and players to get together in an impromptu forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities that they have overcome so far and their plans for the future.

Our awards website is up and running, so log on as soon as possible, to confirm details and find the relevant categories. Get in as many nominations as possible and who knows, you may soon be amongst those being lauded across the region and even the globe.

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