Following the success of its debut appearance in Africa in 2009, IDC's CIO Summit is returning to the continent next month.
Running under the theme 'From Pressure to Performance', the two-day information and communication technology (ICT) conference will host global thought leaders as they present their pioneering visions of the future to more than 80 of the region's most influential ICT end users at Johannesburg's Emperors Palace on March 16 and 17.
IDC's CIO Summit series has grown considerably since its inauguration in 2008, both in terms of scope and influence, and its return to Africa highlights the growing importance of the region on the world stage. "Africa is rapidly becoming a key player on the global investment landscape," says Jyoti Lalchandani, vice-president and regional MD for IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "As some of the more mature markets in the West are beginning to slow, the world's leading vendors are increasing their focus on Africa, and it is proving critical for them to maintain a strong and visible presence in the region by participating in cutting-edge industry events such as the IDC CIO Summit."
Despite an expected return to double-digit growth figures for the wider Middle East and Africa IT market in 2011, an air of caution continues to pervade most of the region's organisations.
CIOs are no longer tasked with simply enabling growth and innovation; they must now combine these goals with the necessities of driving efficiency, optimization, and cost reduction.
This situation has led to growing interest in emerging trends such as virtualization, datacenter efficiency, managed services, cloud computing, data and storage management, security, regulatory compliance, and IT consolidation.
As well as in-depth presentations from senior global representatives of vendors such as IBM, Symantec, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems, the IDC Africa CIO Summit 2010 will showcase actual implementations of technologies in real-life organisations, highlighting the TCO and ROI benefits that can be derived as a result. It will also feature authoritative panel discussions, interactive question and answer sessions, and extensive networking opportunities, providing an opportunity to build new and profitable business relationships.