IDC Hosts Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2015 in Riyadh and Forecasts ICT Spending in the Kingdom to Top $36 Billion


Sep 8, 2015

08 Sep 2015

International Data Corporation (IDC) today said it expects ICT spending in Saudi Arabia to top the $36 billion mark this year, as organizations gear up for a whole new era of enterprise computing by ramping up their investments in emerging technologies such as cloud, mobility, big data analytics, and the Internet of Things.

These pronouncements were made as the research and consulting firm hosted the latest edition of its Saudi Arabia CIO Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh. Held over two days, the event was hosted under the patronage of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and attracted over 150 of Saudi Arabia's most influential CIOs, technology decision makers, and government advisors from across the Kingdom's entire vertical spectrum.

Running under the theme 'Where IT Meets Business', the Summit discussed the importance of closely aligning IT and business functions at a time when organizations across the region are facing up to the challenge of implementing emerging products and services while simultaneously trying to improve operational efficiency.

"While warnings of impending change have been heard for as long as the IT industry itself has existed, the realities facing today's businesses represent a whole new ballgame," said Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "Users are having to wrestle with a rate of change that has never been seen before. With this, the focus of CIOs across the region is beginning to shift to the new wave of disruptive technologies that are heading their way, with unprecedented opportunities to drive innovation and value creation across all facets of the organization. This will not only require a new breed of CIO leadership, but also a whole new era of collaboration right across the CxO value chain."

With the event representing the largest gathering of CIOs in Saudi Arabia, a host of global ICT giants joined forces with influential local players to present their unique insights into the latest trends shaping technology adoption across the wider region, while a variety of senior line-of-business executives were also on hand to offer that all-important non-IT perspective. For the first time, the event also included a series of vertical-focused tracks, with the spotlight focusing on the Kingdom's government, banking and finance, and energy sectors, as well as on the need for organizations of all kinds to embrace the digital revolution before they get left behind.

"As the world changes beyond all previous recognition, we are increasingly becoming a community of digital citizens living in a global network that is always connected," said Abdulaziz Al-Helayyil, IDC's regional director for Saudi Arabia. "We engage online more than ever before, and with the world’s information at our fingertips we have become significant contributors to a vast and growing information ecosystem. Businesses need to keep pace with this change by redefining themselves and adopting a digital mindset. That starts with digitizing their business models and re-engineering the customer experiences they deliver, so that they can leverage both the information they own and the information that is created by their customers."

To ensure the very latest technologies were covered at the Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2015, IDC partnered with some of the world's foremost ICT players, including: STC, EMC, Wareef, and HP (in partnership with Intel) as Summit Partners; F5 Networks, BlackBerry, AEC, VMware, Schneider Electric, and Oracle (in partnership with Intel) as Platinum Partners; Infoblox, Cognizant, Vision Solutions, Informatica, Fortinet, Symantec, Veeam Software, and Juniper (in partnership with Salec) as Gold Partners; Lenovo and iLead as Vertical Partners; and Global Knowledge, Innovative Solutions, and Integrated Telecom Company as Lunch Partners.

For more information about IDC's Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2015, please contact Abdulaziz Al-Helayyil, IDC's regional director for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain, on +966 11 263 2962 or at You can also tweet about the Summit using the hashtag #IDCSAUDICIO or visit the dedicated event website at

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