Celebrating its 50th year of delivering leadership in global IT advisory services, IDC today launched the inaugural installment of its East Africa CIO Summit at the InterContinental Hotel Nairobi.
The event opened with a keynote speech delivered by the Kenya ICT Authority and addressing the largest gathering of CIOs, IT thought leaders, and vendors in East Africa. With delegates drawn from across Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania, the Summit explored the pivotal role of the CIO in the new business world of technology transformation.
"The strategic place of CIOs cannot be overemphasized as ICT increasingly emerges as a driver of business and egovernment services," said Mr. Victor Kyalo, acting CEO of the Kenya ICT Authority, in his opening address. "The Kenya ICT Authority recognizes this new reality, and through its ICT Masterplan has identified the development of high-end ICT skills as a key growth proponent. It goes without saying that we believe thought-leadership forums such as this one here today can only add to the development of our collective ICT knowledge as a country."
The Summit also saw the formal launch of IDC's Technology Advisory Council for East Africa, whose fundamental aim is to enable a new wave of IT development across the region. The Council's members will draw on their rich experience to assist upcoming IT talent through mentoring sessions, while they will also head key development programs that recognize breakthrough performances in the field of IT. The founding members of the IDC Technology Advisory Council include esteemed IT leaders from various industries such as government, banking and finance, aviation, education, and telecommunications. Membership is strictly by invitation only and is restricted to senior IT representatives of the region's foremost end-user organizations.
"As IDC celebrates its 50th year of providing international markets with groundbreaking IT analysis, we are profoundly excited to kick start the Technology Advisory Council for East Africa," says Onesmus Mbogo, country manager for IDC East Africa. "The Council will provide a far-reaching source of thought leadership on issues relating to strategic planning, research and development, and technology innovation."
The day's proceedings got underway with an in-depth assessment of the ways in which this new era of transformation is likely to impact the East African IT landscape over the coming years.
"The last five years have seen the emergence of a new era in computing," says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "We call this new era the 3rd Platform. Harnessing the power of key technology pillars such as Big Data, mobile, cloud, and social media, this unstoppable force is transforming entire industries and empowering customers in new ways. It is also driving a fundamental evolution of the CIO's role in the organization, the tasks and responsibilities of the IT department, and the skill sets required by CIOs and their IT staff, and events such as today's play a key role in getting that message across."
The delegates in attendance represented a variety of industry sectors, including banking and financial services, government, oil and gas, construction and real estate, utilities, and healthcare. Senior IDC analysts from across the globe were available for private one-to-one meetings throughout the course of the Summit, offering strategic advice on the most pressing business and technology concerns facing the region's CIOs today.
To make sure the very latest technology developments were covered at the East Africa CIO Summit 2014, IDC partnered with some of the world's foremost ICT vendors, including the Kenya ICT Authority; EMC ; FVC and Polycom, Oracle, FireEye, Kaspersky, Commvault, Global Knowledge, HCL, Datagroup and Entrust and Business Connexion.