Categories: Tech

Smart Cities & Digital Transformation Take Center Stage at IDC’s IT Forum 2015

The FINANCIAL — International Data Corporation (IDC) on September 14 held its annual IT Forum 2015, an event that offered a comprehensive, up-to-date, and reliable stage for the more than 300 IT professionals in attendance to discuss strategic IT decisions based on global best practices and emerging technology solutions. Held at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the forum enabled the Middle East’s leading IT decision makers to connect and collaborate within the ideal setting for sharing ideas and establishing a true peer-to-peer community.


The Middle East region is expected to be one of the world’s fastest growing IT markets over the coming years, with IT spending anticipated to grow 9% year on year in 2015. Growth in the Middle Eastern markets will be driven by tangible economic stability and resilience supported by increased government spending. The growth in these markets will be driven by tangible economic stability and resilience supported by increased government spending. The biggest verticals in the region — contributing to nearly 74% of overall Middle East IT spending in 2015 — will be the consumer, public, communications, and finance sectors, but looking ahead, the fastest growing verticals will be the transportation, public, and energy sectors, as much of the large-scale infrastructure upgrade projects planned by the region’s governments are focused on these areas, according to IDC.

“Across industries, businesses everywhere are transforming the way they engage with customers and how they innovate in product and service delivery,” says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “IT is especially vital to these efforts, often in the form of transformational technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and analytics, as well through new and emerging ‘innovation accelerators’ such as cognitive computing, natural interfaces, 3D printing, robotics, and next-generation security. However, as IT organizations are not transforming quickly enough to keep pace with new innovations, new ways of creating value need to be fleshed out in order to drive monumental change over the coming years.”

With the world’s leading IT vendors displaying their pioneering new products and services at the forum, this groundbreaking exposition provided an ideal opportunity for the region’s key IT players to map out areas of concern and discuss steps for addressing them by mutually exploring strategies for improving efficiency, fostering innovation, reducing costs, and increasing business competitiveness.


The event also featured a panel discussion on Smart Cities and the UAE’s vision for 2020. This particular session analyzed the role of ICT in improving citizen services in public safety, transportation, and public works, as well as its function in fostering innovation and civic engagement. “Smart Cities can be viewed as a construct by which local governments can be transformed,” continues Lalchandani. “Cities need to transform in order to develop sustainably, meet citizen’s rising expectations, and attract investment, new business, and talent. This is a complex undertaking, especially when coupled with constrained financial resources, fast-growing populations and ageing or limited infrastructure.”



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