Around 100 of East Africa’s most influential IT leaders yesterday gathered at the Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi for the second annual installment of International Data Corporation’s East Africa CIO Summit.
Among the guests were Victor Kyalo, CEO of the ICT Authority of Kenya, whose keynote speech delivered on the ‘Where IT Meets Business’ theme, while a roster of expert speakers were on hand to drive home the importance of closely aligning IT and business functions at a time when the region’s IT leaders are coming under mounting pressure to enhance operational efficiencies through the implementation of transformative new tech solutions.
Onesmus Mbogo, IDC’s country manager for East Africa, got the day’s proceedings underway by stressing the need for ICT chiefs and line-of-business executives to invoke the spirit of cooperation as they embrace ICT in their quest to facilitate key corporate objectives.
“There can be little doubt that the 3rd Platform of computing is now in full swing, with cloud, Big Data, mobility, and social business set to account for one-third of all IT spending in 2015 and 100% of the market’s growth,” said Mbogo.
“The focus of CIOs across the region is already 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 will also demand a whole new era of collaboration right across the CxO value chain.”
Mike Jennett, IDC’s vice president of mobile strategies, followed with an in-depth assessment of IDC’s top decision imperatives for the 2015 CIO agenda. Aimed at helping CIOs step up to the next stage of leadership, these decision imperatives provided the strategic context required for them to transform their enterprises through the creative application of technology to everyday business challenges. Next to take the stage was Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East and Africa, who addressed the need for businesses to sense and respond to their customers and markets faster than ever before, enhancing their efforts towards driving cross-functional agility.
“The CIO is perfectly positioned to help facilitate the state of cross-functional agility that is now undoubtedly required,” said Lalchandani. “This can be achieved by ensuring that all departments have access to data and are able to collaborate efficiently and effectively, as well as by creating high levels of transparency and disassembling unproductive and ineffective silos. By facilitating true cross-functional agility, companies and their employees are able to achieve better levels of performance, and it is crucial that the IT department is seen as the enabler of this shift in organizational culture.”
The delegates in attendance at the East Africa CIO Summit 2015 were drawn from a diverse range of industry sectors, with senior IDC analysts from across the globe available for private one-to-one meetings throughout the course of the event, offering strategic advice on the most pressing concerns of the region’s business and technology leaders. The event also played host to two exclusive workshops based on IDC’s IT Executive Program, with Mike Jennett discussing the implementation of effective mobile applications strategies and providing timely advice on leveraging collaboration to achieve optimal business outcomes.