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IDC announces Dubai-based ME CIO Summit 2013

ICT event gears up for sixth annual installment

IDC announces Dubai-based ME CIO Summit 2013
IDC's Middle East CIO Summit has hosted some of the ICT industry's biggest names.

ICT sector researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) today announced that its Middle East CIO Summit will return to Dubai for its 2013 edition following its 2012 installment in Fujairah.

IDC plans to mark the sixth year of its information and technology communications (ICT) conference by hosting "its biggest event yet" at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel on February 18 and 19.

Since its first outing in 2008 IDC's Middle East CIO Summit has hosted some of the ICT industry's biggest names, including Michael Dell, founder and CEO of pioneering IT giant Dell, IBM's Sandy Carter, and IDC's own global president and CEO, Kirk Campbell. The event aims to address the current concerns of senior ICT executives via a unique blend of keynote addresses, plenary sessions, panel discussions, breakout tracks, real-life case studies, and in-depth Q&A sessions.

"The initial concept for the CIO Summit was first discussed back in 2007 as we identified a pressing need within the region for a truly vendor-neutral platform that enabled the exchange of ideas and best practices between the providers of cutting-edge technology solutions, the people responsible for implementing them, and the industry's leading market analysts," said Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and managing director of IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

"We have remained true to these ideals for each event since, and this has seen the reputation and influence of our CIO Summits grow exponentially over the intervening period, with many world-leading technology vendors and senior ICT decision makers from the region's foremost organisations returning year after year. Crucially, we have continued to innovate in order to make the event more interesting and insightful, bringing on board the very latest and most important industry discussion topics."

Over the past several years, emerging markets such as the Middle East have increasingly been scoped by global investors and organisations as they look to these fast-growing markets to capture new opportunities. Meanwhile, local governments and private sector organisations in this region are ratcheting up their rate of investment, with ICT adoption and expenditure increasing in tandem. Global economic uncertainties remain, and concerns persist around the political turmoil stirred up by the Arab Spring, but on the whole the long-term outlook for the region is extremely positive, with IDC forecasting a considerable increase in regional ICT spending in the Arab Middle East region from $67 billion in 2012 to $83 billion in 2016.

"Middle East organisations are increasingly looking towards IT to enhance operational efficiencies and enable innovation," says Lalchandani.

"Several of the region's key sectors and segments find themselves without much of the baggage that comes with legacy systems, and as a result the Middle East will continue to spend on IT as it plays catch-up with the world's more mature economies over the next five years. Much of this growth will come from what IDC calls the four forces of technology transformation - cloud, social, mobile, and big data analytics. At the same time, staffing issues, security, and management complexity will continue to be key challenges for organisations operating in the Middle East."

It is against this backdrop that more than 150 regional ICT decision makers will gather at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in February under the tagline "Seize the Moment: Transform, Innovate, Collaborate". The 2013 summit will focus on assessing the impact of industry-shaping technologies and IT models such as virtualisation, business continuity and resilience, collaboration and unified communications, business analytics, cloud, enterprise mobility, social media, and managed services. One of the key figures speaking at this year's event will be Matthew Eastwood, group vice president and general manager of IDC's Enterprise Platform Group, and a specialist in emerging trends in enterprise systems and datacenters.

Fr this year's summit, IDC has partnered with an array of vendors  that includes HP, EMC, Intel, and Dell as Summit Partners; Schneider Electric, Lexmark, and BlackBerry as Platinum Partners; and Blue Coat as Gold Partner.

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