Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, International Data Corporation (IDC) last week hosted more than 200 senior ICT leaders on its industry-leading virtual platform for the 10th annual edition of its IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit. With more than 30 pioneering ICT organizations taking part, the event showcased exclusive insights from Eng. Ali Al Asiri, CEO of Yesser, Saudi Arabia’s e-Government Program, the event’s Strategic Partner, and Eng. Faisal Ahmed Bakhashwain, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation within the Kingdom’s Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development, the event’s Government Partner.
“The IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2020 comes at a time when we are seeking to achieve higher levels of digital maturity in both public and private sector organizations,” said Al Asiri. “The use of emerging technologies such as AI, cloud computing, blockchain, and IoT will play a critical role as we strive to develop the digital capabilities and competencies required to optimize our performance and align ourselves with the wider vision of the Kingdom, especially as the world looks to Saudi Arabia’s technological and digital capabilities in crisis management and their effective use by government entities in serving the Saudi community.”
Running under the theme ‘The Race to Reinvent: Connecting Leaders to Empower Digital Transformation’, the fully immersive virtual event saw participants seamlessly engage in content-rich presentations, connect with exhibitors via video chat, and interact with key industry players in designated networking zones. The agenda incorporated expert guidance on the latest trends in cloud, AI, cybersecurity, digital leadership, intelligent automation, and the future of work, to name just a few.
“Digital leadership will be critical for Saudi organizations as they look to unleash the full potential of digital transformation,” said Hamza Naqshbandi, IDC’s Regional Director for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. “With the global COVID-19 pandemic adding yet more complexity to the digital decision-making process, the event provided an ideal opportunity to advise the Kingdom’s businesses and government organizations on enabling competitive business models and identifying opportunities for growth and sustainability in these unprecedented times.”
The event culminated with the IDC Digital Excellence Awards 2020 as IDC recognized the efforts of Saudi Arabia’s foremost IT leaders in delivering game-changing transformation initiatives across four different categories. The winners were as follows:
- ‘CIO of the Year’ – Sultan D. Abukoshaim (Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization)
- ‘CISO of the Year’ – Khalid S. Al-Harbi (Saudi Aramco)
- ‘Excellence in Dıgıtal Innovatıon’ – Eng. Faisal A. Bakhashwain (Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development)
- ‘Excellence in Line-of-Business Transformation Excellence’ – Sajan Nair (Herfy Food Services)
The judging panel included senior IDC figures and the following industry luminaries from IDC’s CIO Advisory Board for Saudi Arabia:
- Ali Al Asiri, CEO, Yesser
- Hisham A. Alsheikh, Deputy CEO, Yesser
- E. Dr. Esam A. Alwagait, Director, National Information Center
- Darryn Warner, Executive Director of IT, NEOM
- Ibrahim Almoqbil, Chief Support Services Officer, General Entertainment Authority
- Saleh Saleh, CIO & Executive Vice President of IT, National Commercial Bank
IDC thanks its valued partners for their support: Summit Partners – VMware, Trend Micro, Red Hat, Software AG, Nokia, and Fortinet; Platinum Partners – VMware Carbon Black, Nutanix, Cisco Systems, Dell Technologies, Automation Anywhere, UiPath, Oracle, and BMC Software; Technology Focus Group Partners – BlackBerry, Google Cloud, Rimini Street, Nahil Computers, HCL Technologies, OpenText, Cybereason, DETASAD, and Mindware / RSA; Exhibit Partners – Pure Storage, Hawsabah, Lenovo, and CEQUENS; Strategic Partners – Yesser and Dubai Internet City; Government Partner – Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development.