Experts Rethink Enterprise in Digitisation era as GITEX GLOBAL Closes

A report by Khazna Data Centres found that 89% of business leaders believe digitalisation will be critical to business success

Experts at a cybersecurity panel highlighted the need for cyber diplomacy based on bilateral agreements, to share threat intelligence

Day 5 of GITEX GLOBAL 2023 saw experts come together to re-evaluate how organisations can thrive in the face of rapid digitalisation, as the show came to a successful close.

The 43rd edition of GITEX GLOBAL took place from October 16-20, 2023, the blockbuster tech showpiece once again reaching full capacity at the Dubai World Trade Centre as it hosted more than 6,000 exhibitors. GITEX GLOBAL and Expand North Star (which took place at Dubai Harbour, from October 15-20) comprised a combined 41 halls spanning 2.7 million sq. ft of exhibition space, a 40% growth year-on-year with 1,800 startups across both shows. The events converged the best minds and most visionary companies to scrutinise, challenge, define, and empower the digital agendas of the world.

Data Centres, the Lifeblood of the Digital Era

A report released during GITEX GLOBAL 2023 by Khazna Data Centres explored the growing demand for data centres due to the increasing importance of digitalisation for business success.

The report found that 89% of business leaders believe digitalisation will be critical to business success, triggering a reassessment of data center requirements. Consequently, 45% of large and extra-large organizations 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 Centers, noted that the digital revolution has underlined the central role of digital strategies. He added that as the demand for robust digital infrastructure continues to grow, data centers 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 said that access is essential for organisations’ data-driven decisions and strategies.

Laying the Building Blocks for the City of the Future

GITEX GLOBAL hosted an exciting 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 revolutionize 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 opined.

Experts on the panel included David Tan, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, JTC Corporation, Singapore; Anas Naim, Managing Director, Middle East & Turkey, Orange; Daniel Diez, Chief Transformation Officer, Magic Leap, USA; Dr. Muneer Zuhdi, CTO Enterprise MEA, Nokia; Petr Hlavacek, Deputy Mayor, City of Prague, Czech Republic; and Roberto Frongia, Director of Strategy and Operations, TONOMUS Compute, Saudi Arabia.

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, growing reliance on digital technology, and 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. They included Ali Abdulla Hassan, Chief of Information Technology, Bahrain; Celia Mantshiyane, Chief Information Security Officer, South Africa; Robin Lennon Bylenga, VP, Information Security Awareness, Education and Communications Lead, DWS Group, United Kingdom; Sanusi Drammeh, Director of Cybersecurity, Gambia; and Solomon Soka, Director General, Information Network Security Administration, Ethiopia.

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, wherein an incident identified in one country is shared across all. They also recommended continent-wide and even global security operation centres (SOCs), which can go a long way in securing the world and humanity.

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