FEATURE : STATE OF THE CIO
Emile Abou Saleh , Regional Director , Middle East and Africa , Proofpoint , said the CIO is becoming a focal role in organisations and is seen as a crucial business function due to the fast adoption of Digital Transformation strategies in the Middle East and Africa .
Saleh said with increased digitalisation comes more cybersecurity risks for CIOs to mitigate . “ To face today ’ s threats , CIOs must turn their attention to what , for many organisations , is the last line of defence and one that is often ill-prepared : its people ,” he said .
Digital Transformation and technological innovation are priority for many organisations in MEA but CIOs seem not to be spending a lot of time on this .
“ Well , the saying goes that if Digital Transformation were easy , you ’ d already be there ! And I would say that in Digital Transformation there will be leaders and those who fall behind . And I would definitely say that CIOs that have started the process and have begun transforming their organisations are better positioned to handle big challenges and achieve business results ,” Amin pointed out .
He said Dell Technologies believes that Digital Transformation creates millions of possibilities and that , in order to really
Mohammed Amin , Senior Vice President – Middle East , Russia , Africa and Turkey , Dell Technologies
achieve this , technology must move to the centre of an organisation ’ s products , services and operations .
Ghoush observed that several CIOs are of the opinion that Digital Transformation as a concept has been overused . So , while CIOs welcome Digital Transformation and its benefits , Ghoush believes the starting point for them is to actually answer the critical question : What business outcomes do you want to achieve for customers ? “ It is worth noting the history of Digital Transformation has several examples of wasted investments – for example , GE , Ford and other major players poured US $ 1.3 trillion into transformation initiatives , 70 % of which – or $ 900 billion – was wasted on failed programmes .”
He explained that rather than jump straight into Digital Transformation , a good CIO will work backwards from desired business outcomes . “ In MEA , we are seeing several CIOs do this exactly . Time is being spent to analyse and understand the customer a clear set of objectives and reaching a consensus on the best path to pursue . By doing so , they are getting the biggest bang for the buck from their tech investments ,” he pointed out .
Proofpoint ’ s Saleh explained that there are a number of reasons why some CIOs are still in early stages of their Digital Transformation journey . “ Those can include the complexity of legacy systems but most importantly , it is crucial that CIOs understand that their role must be focused on transforming IT into a core driver of business value .”
At Dell Technologies , Amin noted that the company likes to say that becoming a digital organisation has become ‘ mission critical ’ and this year has proven that , now more than ever , organisations need to be digital , they need to be powered by data and they need to be running in a multi-cloud world .
“ There are a multitude of industries that are all racing to adapt to the data decade and to the unprecedented challenges we all face . That goes across the board from retail to manufacturing to finance and high tech . www . intelligentcio . com INTELLIGENTCIO