Interview – IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022

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Jyoti Lalchandani
Jyoti Lalchandani, Group VP & Regional MD (META), IDC

The IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2022 will take place in February 2022. What are some of the developments and highlights of the 2022 edition?

After a gap of one year, we are returning to the in-person format, and we are very excited to meet the ICT ecosystem face-to-face once again.

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. The 2022 edition will run under the theme ‘Accelerating Your Journey to a Digital-First World’, with an in-person event taking place in Dubai on February 22-23, to be followed by a digital installment for the wider GCC region on February 24.

Senior business leaders, influential IT heads, and respected industry analysts will share their collective expertise on how best to meet the unique challenges of these unprecedented times. Following the immense success of last year’s event, the 2022 edition will see the return of the CIO Masterclass Arena that attendees can access throughout the course of the event. This section of the virtual platform will showcase a series of exclusive CXO best-practice presentations, fireside chats, and panel discussions with more than 50 international and regional industry pioneers.

Aside from the power-packed content, the Summit will also incorporate a number of fun and interactive elements, including celebrity speakers, VR & robotics-based activities, gamification & wellness kiosks, and peer-to-peer networking zones.

As we enter a new era what does define the ability of an organization to rapidly respond to business disruptions or disruptions in general?

The uncertainty wrought by the pandemic continues, and as organizations strive to recover, they are increasingly taking a digital-first approach to building resilience into their operations and increasing their focus on business resiliency. This is the ability of an organization to rapidly respond to business disruptions and restore business operations in a timely fashion. However, this alone is not sufficient — organizations need to be digitally resilient as well. This is different from being simply resilient. Digital resiliency is the ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to business disruptions by leveraging digital capabilities to not only restore business operations but also capitalize on the changed conditions. While business resiliency tends to focus on anticipating the crisis and preparing for it, digital resiliency is focused on rapidly adapting to any business disruption.

Being digitally resilient requires resiliency across many parts of the organization, all working together. Organizations need to develop digital resiliency across all dimensions of the business — leadership and organization, financials, workforce, operations, brand and reputation, and customers and ecosystems — as they look to thrive in the digital-first world.

The pandemic has changed consumer habits worldwide. How did the Middle East region respond to this rapid change?

Changing consumer habits are shaping the responses of governments and businesses alike, as the pandemic has led to an expansion in the depth and breadth of the “digital consumer”. Many consumers across the region have significantly increased their use of online services such as digital banking and government services, telemedicine, and digital payments.

IDC research shows that nearly 50% of organizations across the Middle East have brought their digital road maps forward by about a year – and 14% by two years or more. This indicates that the majority of organizations across the region are accelerating their digital transformation plans to cope with the rapid changes.