Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 59 | Page 40

With Digital Transformation well under way , IT leaders across various industry verticals are expanding their roles to take on more business strategy responsibilities , identifying new areas of revenue growth and opportunities for competitive differentiation , according to insights from industry experts on the State of the CIO in the Middle East and Africa
( MEA ) region . and fund digital initiatives , two-thirds not only fail to deliver on their promises but also reveal ‘ enterprise weaknesses ’, causing organisations to see a gap between expectations and results .
According to research firm IDC , governments in the MEA region are predicted to increase their spending in Digital Transformation at a CAGR of 17.6 % over the 2019 to 2023 period . However , noted IDC , while Digital Transformation is becoming a focal point in some government agendas , CIOs must realise that in order to ensure a successful path to Digital Transformation , elements including security , compliance and fraud risk must be taken into account . Simply put , CIOs must move beyond simply managing IT to leveraging technology to create value for the business .
Mohammed Amin , Senior Vice President – Middle East , Russia , Africa and Turkey ( MERAT ), Dell Technologies , said he doesn ’ t think there has ever been a point in time where has there been such an opportunity to position IT as the company-wide catalyst for strategic innovation .
Amin said in today ’ s world , CIOs must become digital navigators that create synergy between business and technology , and those who can achieve this goal are ‘ connected CIOs ’, who can use a disruptive mindset to power and connect the entire organisation , not just their corner of IT .

Technological innovation is a

priority for many organisations in the Middle East and Africa ( MEA ). And while that has been the case for some time now especially with Digital Transformation in most enterprises underway , CIOs and their IT teams have come under increasing pressure to focus and spend a lot of time on it .
This year has assuredly seen tech leaders laser-focused once again on digital initiatives , but the processes they have in place for doing so in some cases hasn ’ t been straightforward success . Worse , for those entrusted with the responsibility to drive IT strategies into business value , recent research suggests that mistakes born of Digital Transformation are a top cause of concern for businesses .
A Gartner report on emerging risks shows that while companies continue to prioritise
“ Implementing technology that can track , measure and respond to key shifts in consumer behaviour , including data analytics , cloud computing and the Internet of Things ( IoT ) is critical to success . Internally , ‘ the connected CIO ’ will guide the way , fostering a new generation of experience architectures , tools and techniques to accelerate the time-to-value with data . Externally , ‘ the connected CIO ’ will be instrumental in connecting with customers ,” he explained .
Anas Abu Ghoush , Head of Information Services , Heriot-Watt University Dubai , agreed with Amin on the catalyst role CIOs play to bring business value and said for some years now , there has been a growing recognition of the fact that the CIO has a role to play that extends well beyond optimising IT infrastructure . Increasingly added Ghoush , CIOs are being tasked with driving revenue growth and innovation .
“ A study carried out by IDC states that as part of their increasingly business-directed charter , 44 % of CIOs surveyed spend most of their time aligning IT initiatives with business goals . Much of 2020 has been overshadowed by COVID-19 and its impact on all aspects of people ’ s lives . Among other things , it has changed the way people work and the CIO has been the key driver of Business Continuity under the current circumstances ,” he said .

State of the CIO

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