Middle East Organizations Urged to Have Chief Digital Officers Guide Digitalization Agendas to 2020

SAP to Support Innovation with Internet of Things Solutions in Smart Cities, Sports, and Boardrooms at GITEX Technology Week 2015

DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesChief Digital Officers will need to take the lead at Middle East organizations and countries to drive digitalization agendas in the Internet of Things era, industry experts announced today in the build-up to GITEX Technology Week 2015.

In the rapidly-growing Digital Economy and Internet of Things era, with 50 billion connected devices and USD 14.4 trillion in economic value predicted by 2020, technology is shifting from IT infrastructure to Big Data analytics, cybersecurity, and monetization. As a result, 60 percent of CIOs in global organizations will be supplanted by Chief Digital Officers by 2020, according to research firm IDC.

“We’ve reached the tipping point for digital transformation across the Middle East and North Africa, where both public and private sector organizations need to partner now to succeed in the Internet of Things era, or become obsolete over the next five years,” said George Riding, CFO, SAP Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

“GITEX Technology Week will be a key platform for us to promote the role of Chief Digital Officers, who can take on a wider reach than current Chief Information Officers. Chief Digital Officers will be key for guiding Middle East organizations in their digital transformations, especially in the high-growth sectors of Smart Cities, sports, healthcare, and education,” added George Riding.

SAP MENA is looking to build momentum following a strong first half that saw partnerships forged across key verticals such as telecommunications with Zain Group for customer analytics, logistics with Gulftainer, banking and finance with Kuwait Credit Bank for five minute loans, and aviation with SAUDIA to support SMEs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Spurring innovation in the region, at GITEX Technology Week 2015, SAP will demonstrate new solutions in Smart Cities with a tourism app for Barcelona, Spain; sports analytics with the German National Football Team and City Football Group; and the boardroom of the future. SAP’s Run Simple Truck will showcase best practices for how organizations can use Big Data to simplify operations.

In the Middle East, SAP has also seen strong demand for its advanced in-memory computing platform SAP S/4HANA, launched with two of the region’s largest conglomerates Bin Sammar Trading and Contacting Company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Al Khalili Group in Oman.

Supporting the next-generation of Millennial workers, SAP MENA Training and Development Institute (TDI) reached major milestones of 100 University Alliance Partners and supporting USD 70 million of in-country value of skills and knowledge development. TDI recently signed a partnership with the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority to further support start-ups and young technology entrepreneurs.

Boosting the region’s digital transformation, SAP’s activities at GITEX Technology Week will be held under the theme of “Run Simple.” The company is serving as Strategic Partner for the event, and partnering on the GITEX App Hackathon for Dubai Smart City mobile apps. At the Dubai World Trade Centre, SAP will exhibit in Hall 6, Stand Number MAC6-15.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 258,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com

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Media contacts
Husain Al Tamimi, SAP +971 56 6811641, husain.tamimi@sap.com
Claire McPeak, SAP, +971 4 330 1777, c.mcpeak@sap.com
Steve Baron, Wallis Marketing Consultants, +971 4 390 1950, sap@wallis-mc.com