Building business through digital transformation

Against the backdrop of a recent report from Gartner, which predicted the IT spend in the MENA region to reach USD 155.8 billion by the end of this year, the research and analyst firm successfully rolled out the 5th edition of its 3-day event Symposium/ITxpo 2017 in Dubai, UAE.

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president, Gartner

The Gartner event attracted a large gathering of CIOs, senior IT leaders and analysts who together discussed the key IT and business issues, which are driving the evolution of digital business. This year the theme for the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo was Lead 360: Drive Digital to the Core, highlighting the importance of digital transformation in organizations.

Delivering the opening keynote, Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president from Gartner explained how businesses can build platforms for a digital society especially in a scenario where we’re moving to a digital society for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.

Omar Akhtar, Veeam
Omar Akhtar, Regional Channel Manager, Middle East & SAARC at Veeam

“This event had CIOs coming in from different countries in the region that are looking for ways to deliver services by leveraging the cloud. We got to interact closely with these decision makers to explain about Always-On Enterprise that provides data center with access to round the clock data and applications, no downtime or data loss, and exponential data growth of 30 to 50 per cent per year. For Veeam, as an Availability vendor this is a great opportunity to increase awareness about ‘Availability’ and digital transformation and to show Veeam’s presence in the region,” Omar Akhtar, Regional Channel Manager, Middle East & SAARC at Veeam.

The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo was aimed at CIOs and IT leaders to identify and explore new technologies and at service providers to address their mission critical priorities. The event paved the way for enterprises to exclusively access some of the world’s leading technology solution providers and offered a perfect networking platform. HP Enterprises, NetApp, Veeam, BMC, NEC, Fortinet, Opentext, SUSE were among the few leading names from the IT industry that showcased their latest available technologies to the CIOs and IT.

Corbett Hoxland, HP
Corbett Hoxland, Mobility Business Development Manager for Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa at HP

Commenting on their participation Corbett Hoxland, Mobility Business Development Manager for Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa at HP said, “The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo provides us with the opportunity to engage with and talk to senior leaders about their mobility projects outside of the office, when they are away from distractions and also a chance to understand what they are prioritizing for the year”.

The event had an interesting mix of sessions aimed at helping CIOs get a better understanding of digital transformation and included discussions on hybrid cloud opportunities, cost optimization ideas, digital prospects in Oil & Gas industry, automation in today’s digital economy and challenges in data availability, among others.

Fadi Kanafani
Fadi Kanafani, regional director, MENA & Pakistan at NetApp

“This is a very focused event where C-level execs gather. At this year’s event we got to meet our customers, discuss about our vision of data fabric and how we can enable their business. We showcased our latest innovations around digital transformation and explained to our partners and customers about data sovereignty, security and management.” said Fadi Kanafani, regional director, MENA & Pakistan at NetApp.

Talking about HP’s initiatives in taking mobility to the next level, Hoxland explained that a lack of mobility efforts can hamper the company’s ability to enable growth. “This event gave us the opportunity to address the challenges faced in driving mobility. We were able to meet our partners and discuss the importance of customer engagement and employee empowerment. This Symposium/ITxpo is perfect for such discussions and interactions since a number of our partners from GCC and Turkey were also present here”.

When asked about their experience at the event, Akhtar said, “Our participation at the Gartner Symposium was a big success. We managed to speak to several CIOs and top level IT decision makers and share our vision”.

Andrew Chadwick, Managing VP - Gartner Gulf
Andrew Shadwick, managing vice president at Gartner Gulf

Expressing his satisfaction on the successful conclusion of Symposium/ITxpo, the managing vice president at Gartner Gulf, Andrew Shadwick said, “We host this event to provide a common platform for meeting C-level executives from around the region, experience the latest technologies and get insights from experts. This year, the event was very successful and we had enthusiastic participation from industry leaders and vendors, growing 31 per cent from last year. The vendors choose this event to improve business prospects as they are able to interact directly with many CIOs from around the region”.