Networking

Cautious optimism for the future

In the last month alone, we have had Mark Templeton (Citrix), David DeWalt (McAfee) and John Chen (Sybase) in this neck of the woods. These high profile head honchos, some of them visiting this region for the first time, took time out to tour the countries to meet with customers and partners. Is the Middle East finally getting what is long overdue? Not very surprisingly, countries such as Saudi, Qatar and the UAE, have emerged as beacons of hope in a world reeling under economic turmoil. While IT budgets are contracting elsewhere, companies here are resisting the downturn, and just a cursory glance at the scale and scope projects underway in this part of the world will explain why this region is on the radar now. However, I don’t think IT decision makers can afford to relax just because we haven’t had it real bad. It might be a good idea to take a cue from your counterparts in the developed world, and learn from their experience to avoid the pitfalls. The word that is being oft-repeated now is RoI when it comes to choosing any technology. Most of the CIOs are under pressure to demonstrate tangible benefits and help reduce the cost of doing business in the wake of economic pressures and resource shortages. The mantra is doing more with less. The need to adopt technologies that can help cut corners and boost productivity has never been so overpowering before. A case in point is virtualisation, which is gaining steam rapidly. Virtualisation technologies are helping companies worldwide to reduce costs and deliver greater value, and it’s time we followed suit too. Collaboration technologies such as Unified Communications are also in the spotlight now. If you are a CIO, the mandate has never been so clear: adapt IT investments to drive down costs and strengthen your company’s competitive advantage. Otherwise, the word CIO could very well mean ‘Career Is Over’.

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