With more than 100 of the region's most influential ICT leaders in attendance, the IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2018 closed last week with a ceremony to mark the inaugural IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Excellence Awards and recognize the efforts of those individuals and organizations that have excelled in conceptualizing and delivering game-changing digital transformation initiatives in the Kingdom.
"Progressive CIOs across the region are increasingly leveraging digital technologies to transform their customer-engagement strategies, business operations, and operating models in order to compete and thrive in the new digital economy," says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. "At IDC, we are forecasting spending on digital transformation initiatives across the Middle East and Africa to grow 17.8% this year, and with Saudi Arabia being a key facilitator of this phenomenal growth, we are delighted to be able to recognize the Kingdom's most innovative digital trailblazers."
IDC had been accepting nominations across 5 categories since July and received a total of 74 submissions. These were then whittled down to a shortlist that saw senior IDC analysts conduct more than 20 interviews as part of the judging process. IDC's newly formed CIO Advisory Council for Saudi Arabia then reviewed the nominations, with the winners and finalists in each category announced as below:
Winner: Mr. Mohammad H AlHarbi, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA)
Finalists: Dr. Ibrahim Abdullah, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA) | Mr. Fahad Al-Hussein, Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group
Finalists: Alinma Bank | Technical & Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC)
Winner: Capital Market Authority
Finalists: SAGIA | MOMRA | Alinma Bank
Finalists: IKEA Saudi Arabia
Winner: Alinma Bank
Finalists: Almarai | Ministry of Water & Agriculture
IDC's senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Mr. Steven Frantzen, and IDC's country manager for Saudi Arabia, Mr. Hamza Naqshbandi, were on hand to felicitate the award winners during a dedicated gala ceremony, with CIO of the Year, Mr. Mohammad H AlHarbi, SAGIA, thanking IDC for recognizing the efforts of SAGIA and other similar initiatives across the industry. "Digital transformation is a journey rather than a standalone engagement," said AlHarbi. "And to succeed, this journey demands collaboration across all stakeholders while staying true to the company's vision."
IDC would like to thank the following members of the CIO Advisory Council for their invaluable contribution to the judging process:
IDC's valued partners for the Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2018 included HP Inc. and Mobily as Summit Partners; ACS, Symantec, and Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business as Platinum Partners; Microsoft, Carbon Black, AEC, Veeam Software, MIS, Commvault, OpenText, Cyberia, Microland, Manage Engine, and MicroStrategy as Focus Group Partners; Equinix, Freshworks, ITC, T2, RAKICT, CA Technologies, SOTI, and Plantronics as Exhibit Partners; Logicom as Networking Partner; NetApp (in conjunction with Logicom) and Ebttikar as Breakfast Partners; Sysprove Consulting as Lunch Partner; and Veritas (in conjunction with Mindware and Al Jammaz Distribution) as Dinner Partner.