This year’s Gitex Global 2023 saw experts come together to re-evaluate how organisations can thrive in the face of rapid digitalisation. The various events during the week saw the convergence of the best minds and most visionary companies to scrutinise, challenge, define, and empower the digital agendas of the world.

Data centres are the lifeblood of the digital era

Eighty nine percent of business leaders believe digitalisation will be crucial to business success, triggering a reassessment of data centre requirements, according to a new report by Khazna Data Centres released at last week’s event.

Consequently, 45% of large and extra-large organisations reported that they are looking to expand their IT footprint to achieve greater flexibility, while around 36% aspire for greater levels of digital innovation, and approximately 36% hope to improve their customer experience.

Hassan Alnaqbi, CEO of Khazna Data Centres, notes that the digital revolution has underlined the central role of digital strategies. He adds that as the demand for robust digital infrastructure continues to grow, data centres are emerging as an essential cornerstone.

New data exchange platform to streamline data-driven decisions

Modern enterprises and government institutions rely on data for decision-making. However, they face data challenges such as data silos, privacy issues, and cross-border data exchanges. To overcome these challenges, Mercedes-Benz has launched Acentrik – a data exchange platform that enables secure and compliant data ecosystem building. Mercedes-Benz announced at Gitex Global that Acentrik is now available in the UAE after success in the EU and APAC markets.

Acentrik offers various opportunities for collaboration, data transfer, and monetisation among different entities. Its unique feature is its compute-to-data approach with edge computing capabilities. This allows secure and private computation of data without moving the raw data. Acentrik brings algorithms to the data instead of the other way around.

According to Jochen Kaiser, head of Data Ecosystems at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Acentrik heralds a new future for data sharing and ecosystems. He says access is essential for organisations’ data-driven decisions and strategies.

Laying the building blocks for the city of the future

One of the highlights of Gitex Global was a discussion on the digital city of the future during which experts calculated what the world and cities would look like in 2050. They asserted that the “city of the future” would be an interconnected matrix of information, data, and technology that will continue to revolutionise how we live, work, and play.

While opportunities abound, they also cautioned about the challenges inherent in building a smart city. Technical obstacles can be overcome with the right technology. However, getting people on board necessitates educating and dramatically shifting the public’s attitudes about emerging technology. Given the rapid pace of technological advancements it’s crucial to stay informed about the current state of technology and its future direction to meet specific needs effectively, they say.

Cybercrime leaves a trail of corporate carnage

Global cybercrime damage could rise to $10,5-trillion annually by 2025. Driving this dangerous trend are the increasing sophistication and scale of cyberattacks, the growing reliance on digital technology, and the lack of cybersecurity awareness and education. Behind these statistics is a global trail of devastation for individuals, businesses, and governments.

Leading public and private CISOs discussed the global nature of cybercrime and the critical need for transnational efforts.

Cyberspace is borderless, so is cybercrime. While each country must adopt its own cyber defence mechanisms based on local conditions, collaboration with local and global communities is paramount. The panellists highlighted the need for cyber diplomacy based on bilateral agreements to share threat intelligence whereby an incident identified in one country is shared across all. They also recommended continent-wide and even global security operation centres (SOCs) which could go a long way in securing the world and humanity.