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General News of Thursday, 30 April 2015


IDC hosts latest Francophone CIO Summit

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With the focus firmly placed on its recently announced 'IT Meets Business' theme, IDC launches the latest annual edition of its Francophone CIO Summit at the Mazagon Beach Resort in Morocco.

Participants were drawn from Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Gabon, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Mali, Algeria, Benin, Morocco, and Niger, making this by far the largest gathering of ICT decision makers in the region.

IDC is delighted to once again be hosting a number of senior government officials from across Francophone Africa, with Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, Congo’s Minister of Research and Innovation, Mamoune Bouhdoud, Morocco's Minister of Trade and Industry, Baba Ould Boumeiss, General Secretary of Mauritania's Ministry of ICT, Employment, and Training, and Dr. Badr Boubker, Digital Economy Director within Morocco's Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Digital Economy, all providing their patronage and speaking at the event.

Ouafa Kathir, IDC’s country manager for North and French-speaking 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 Kathir.

"But 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 also a whole new era of collaboration right across the CxO value chain."

The next session offered insights into how ICT leaders are creating value in new ways as they look to accelerate the speed of digital transformation within their organizations. "Across industries, businesses everywhere are transforming the way they engage with customers and deliver their products and services," said Meredith Whalen, IDC's senior vice president for IT executive, industry, and financial research.

"The transformational technologies of the 3rd Platform are leading the way in this regard, but new and emerging innovation accelerators such as cognitive computing, natural interfaces, 3D printing, robotics, and next-generation security are also beginning to shape the future landscape, and it is critical that internal IT departments evolve quickly enough to keep pace with these game-changing innovations."

Frank Gens, IDC's senior vice president, and chief analyst, then addressed the need for businesses to sense and respond to their customers and markets faster than ever before. "Ultimately, this calls for cross-functional agility, and the CIO is perfectly positioned to help facilitate such a state," said Gens.

"This can be achieved by ensuring that all departments have access to data and are able to collaborate efficiently and effectively, and by creating high levels of transparency and disassembling unproductive and ineffective silos.

By enabling 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 200 delegates in attendance at the Francophone CIO Summit 2015 were drawn from diverse 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 troubling the region's business and technology leaders today.

The Summit also featured in-depth workshops tailored around IDC's recently launched IT Executive Program, a series of breakout tracks that zeroed in on matters relating to the areas of security, enterprise mobility, digital transformation, and cloud computing, and vertical-specific sessions.

Other sessions played host to senior representatives from some of the world's foremost technology vendors as they offered strategic advice on a broad range of issues like accelerating innovation and growth on the 3rd Platform, enabling resilient and efficient IT services, working with CxOs to achieve IT and business objectives, and using cognitive systems to manage data.

The final presentation of the day brought the curtain down on another hugely successful Francophone CIO Summit by outlining IDC's top decision imperatives for the 2015 CIO agenda. Aimed at helping CIOs step up to the next stage of leadership, this session provided the strategic context required for them to transform their enterprises through the creative application of technology to everyday business challenges.

To ensure the very latest technologies were covered at the Francophone CIO Summit 2015, IDC partnered with some of the world's foremost ICT players, including: EMC, Stulz, Samsung Business, and HP as Summit Partners; Fujitsu, Schneider Electric, Dell, Lenovo, SAP, and Meditel as Platinum Sponsors; Arkeos, Konica Minolta, Dataprotect, Caciopee, HP CDG IT Services, Salesforce, Groupe IB Maroc, Dell Software, Juniper, Soti, and Etix as Gold Partners; CIO Club Cameroon, CIO Club Senegal, Soft Centre, and DSI Club Congo as Institutional Partners; G Data Software, Smartnet, Catalyst, Intel Security, Casanet, Mega International, and CAP One as Exhibition Partners; Sonema as Network Partner; CFAO Motors Maroc as Raffle Partner; and Tout Sur Le Maroc, La Vie éco, Industrie Du Maroc, Aujourd’hui le Marocis, InstAfrique, and Oxford Business Group as Media Partners.

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