ACN Awards highlight developing roles of IT

In this issue, we highlight the winners of the 2012 Arab Technology Awards, presented by ACN last month at a gala dinner in Dubai

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ACN Awards highlight developing roles of IT (ITP Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  November 20, 2012

In this issue, we highlight the winners of the 2012 Arab Technology Awards, presented by ACN last month at a gala dinner in Dubai. This year’s awards, the eighth edition of the event, recognised the leaders of the regional IT industry, with awards for world-class projects and implementations, leading vendor contributions, and outstanding individual efforts.

We received a large number of nominations for this year’s awards, particularly from the government sector and for the CIO of the Year category, and the winners represent some of the best that region has to offer in terms of expertise and dedication to the industry.

While reviewing all of the nominations that we received, there were a few stand out points that caught my attention, that speak to various issues that concern the industry today.

Cost is almost always a factor in the project nominations. Companies are still keen to ensure that projects will deliver proper return on investment, and are putting more resources into managing and assessing that return. Many of the nominated projects look to delivering tangible financial benefits, both through reducing operational costs, and through the enhancements they can deliver to other parts of their business as well.

The importance of return on investment and financial controls is even reflected in the winner of our Rising Star awards, which went to Alok Srivastava of Masdar, who has implemented a major cost saving campaign for the organisation while still enhancing user services. IT projects are increasingly expected to help companies to address costs and make savings, and in the right hands, IT solutions are being used as a tool to control costs and drive new revenue streams, rather than IT just simply being a cost burden.

Companies are also positioning their infrastructure to give greater visibility into business processes and efficiency. As organisations in the region move onto their second or third generation of ERP and other big business applications, so they are showing a greater understanding of how these solutions can be supported and enhanced to create more transparency. The age of business intelligence has definitely arrived for many of the leading companies in the Middle East, and again, IT is being asked not just to run the business infrastructureand keep the lights on, but to play a strategic role in operations and to help decision makers to take a more informed position.

We’ll be following up in more detail on some of the award winning projects, and some of the other strong contenders in future issues, and I look forward to going more in depth with these leading implementations and the brains behind them.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank the judges for all of their time and effort in assessing the nominations for the awards. With multiple nominations across all categories, and some of the nominations running into several thousand words, the judging process is no small task, and we appreciate the time and effort that the judges contribute.

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