February 23, 2024

Three key priorities that will shape CIO decision making over the coming year

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As industries across the Middle East bounce back from the economic turbulence of the last two years, International Data Corporation (IDC) believes there are three broad themes that will shape the tech investment decisions of the region’s chief information officers (CIOs) and the organizations they represent through 2022 and beyond – the implementation of a digital-first strategy, the quest for digital resiliency, and the pursuit of hybridity.  That’s according to IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, Jyoti Lalchandani, who attributes the first of these themes to the rapid acceleration of digital transformation seen since the start of 2020.

Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa

“The pandemic has led many organizations in the Middle East to bring their digital road maps forward by up to two years and increasingly shift towards a digital-first strategy,” says Lalchandani. “This means choosing digitalization options over non-digital options as a rule, while implementing or enhancing new products, services, channels, customer/employee experiences, and operational processes. We are increasingly seeing organizations across the Middle East embrace this approach and expect it to proliferate further over the year ahead. 

“Likewise, the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic had put the corporate focus on business resiliency. However, in order to be successful in the future, organizations need to go beyond business resiliency and strive instead for digital resiliency. While business resiliency tends to focus on anticipating a crisis and preparing for it, digital resiliency is focused on rapidly adapting to any business disruption. It is not just about recovering and going back to business as usual but also about capitalizing on the newly changed conditions. To this end, being digitally resilient requires resiliency across many parts of the organization, all working together, including in areas such as leadership, finance, workforce, operations, brand, customers and ecosystems.”

In a recent survey of large and medium-sized organizations conducted by IDC across the Middle East, 40% of the respondents said they are now actively investing in developing their digital resiliency capabilities. Lalchandani believes these resilience strategies must be underpinned by “hybridity” and urges organizations to embrace digitally augmented hybrid approaches and models across their business and IT processes and functions.

“Digital strategies need to enable seamless customer engagement not only through digital channels, but also through digitally augmented physical stores and branches,” says Lalchandani. “The workforce now needs to be supported with technology to flexibly deliver via a hybrid model of working from home, in the office, or anywhere else. And at the same time, digital transformation is enabling hybrid business models that create new non-traditional revenue streams through ecosystem partnerships, while even digital innovation itself is becoming hybrid – with in-house innovation running alongside co-innovation with partners and customers. As such, designing for hybridity and managing hybridity will be major priorities for CIOs in 2022 and beyond.”

These three themes will shape discussions at the upcoming IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022, which will take place on February 22-24 under the theme ‘Accelerating the Journey to a Digital First World’. Featuring an opening keynote from His Excellency Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government, Digital Dubai the summit will incorporate a two-day in-person gathering at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Dubai International Financial Centre, followed by a one-day virtual event, hosting more than 500 CIOs and influential business leaders from across the region.

The annual IDC Middle East CIO Summit is the place to come for thought-provoking, in-depth discussions about cutting-edge tech solutions, emerging use cases, and proven strategies for driving success. For 15 straight years, it has served as the ICT world’s premier source of learning about the industry’s latest developments.

This year’s edition will showcase exclusive insights from His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of cybersecurity for the UAE Government, and Dr. Peter Diamandis, a New York Times Bestselling author of three books and founder of the XPRIZE Foundation. Meanwhile, the second day of the summit will feature Khalid Al Ameri, renowned Emirati blogger, columnist, motivational speaker, and social media influencer, as the event’s master of ceremonies.

Distributed by IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022

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