Digital transformation, smart cities, keynotes to dominate Gitex 2017

By Arun Shankar   8 October, 2017
Digital transformation, smart cities, keynotes to dominate Gitex 2017

Redington showcased its cloud based Red Vault offerings including key vendor solutions during Gitex 2016.

Attendees to the 37th Gitex Technology Week can experience and discover how converging technologies and disruptive business models will solve problems in daily lives and businesses. UAE-based and international technology companies, governments, startups via the new Gitex Future Stars startup confluence, and futurists will showcase how innovations from artificial intelligence, to blockchain and virtual reality are transforming the lives of the community.

Enabling Middle East and global digital transformation, Gitex Technology Week 2017 will run under the theme Re-Imagining Realities: Discover, Transform and Innovate. The over-arching vision of – Gitex is Everything Tech, will showcase 17 specialist technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, drones, robotics, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things. SAP, a global transformation enabler, will showcase cloud solutions that enable Internet of Things and Smart Cities innovations, especially in the high-growth aviation and retail verticals.

The major emphasis this year will be on how emerging technologies can solve practical problems: for example, how autonomous vehicles can ease traffic, how artificial intelligence can enable predictive government services, and how virtual reality can enhance surgery and education, all ultimately resulting in happier and smarter experiences.

Gitex is helping to stream the sourcing process with Gitex Global Sourcing, a simple intuitive sourcing platform that connects solution provider and vendors to buyer with sourcing needs. Top decision makers from key business units will be able to efficiently select partners with whom to test, explore and fully experience solutions live at the show.

With the global Smart Cities market set to grow about seven-fold to $3.5 trillion by 2026, the new Global Smart Cities Hall will feature 150 public sector organisations from around the world showcasing the latest innovations.

Among the most innovative are from the UAE, thanks to Smart Dubai’s Smart Cities vision and mission to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth. For example, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s smart services aim to reduce the number of visitors to government offices by 80% by 2018 by implementing e-services, and the Dubai Road and Transport Authority is currently testing an autonomous aerial taxi.

The new Gitex Future Stars will enable the world’s most innovative startups and entrepreneurs to find commercial investment and catalyse innovations. Startups will be able to use Gitex Technology Week to amplify their presence and reach a global audience of investors and partners to bring their solutions to market.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to gain critical insight from more than 80 global practitioners in eight power conferences being held at Gitex Technology Week. The eight verticals being tackled are Smart Cities, Healthcare, Digital Marketing, Finance, Retail, Transport and Logistics, Tech Leaders, and Education. The Gitex Power Conferences have expanded to cover the latest advances, applications and case-studies across eight industry verticals, featuring a fast-paced, highly-curated programme.

Gitex Power Conferences will kick off on Sunday, 8 October with Patrick Grove, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Catcha Group and Co-Founder and Chairman of Malaysia-based video-on-demand service iflix speaking on: With AI at Its Core, How iflix aims to outsmart all video on demand services in Asia. Patrick Grove is a Financial Review Richlister whose company, iflix has overtaken Netflix in Asia. Following will be a fireside chat with Daniela Rus, the first female director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and an Accenture case study.

Highlighted verticals will be Retail, Healthcare, and Smart Cities on Monday, 9 October; Finance, Tech Leaders, and Smart Cities on Tuesday, 10 October; Transport & Logistics and Digital Marketing on Wednesday, 11 October; and Education on Thursday, 12 October. The Education Day will be free and open to the public, and leading schools and universities will be invited to attend.

Another key speaker will be digital health evangelist John Nosta, Member of the Google Health Advisory Board, Faculty Member at Singularity University, and President of Nostalab, a healthcare think tank, who will present: Health and Wellness: The Next Habitat for Tech-Humanity.

“We are living in a true inflection point for human history, where there is global will to use technology innovations to make healthcare more efficient, to empower patients with self-care, and to enhance the daily lives of an aging population. Gitex Technology Week provides the global platform to illustrate the digital health continuum, and be in dialogue with the next generation of connected healthcare innovators and futurists,” said John Nosta.

Fact check

  • The technology investment market opportunity is strong, as evidenced by the Digital Transformation economy’s growth projection of 60% from 2016 to $2.2 trillion by 2019, according to an IDC research report. Innovations such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and digital platforms such as 5G and the Internet of Things, will make the biggest business impact, according to research firm Gartner.
  • Middle East public cloud spend will grow 22% to top $1.2 billion in 2017, according to a recent report by Gartner.
  • As the Internet of Things connects more machines, applications, and devices to the Internet, the cybersecurity risk is accelerating exponentially. In response, public and private sector organisations are investing in cyber security solutions, with worldwide IT security spending set to grow by 7% to reach $87 billion in 2017, according to Gartner.
  • Global mega-trends, public cloud computing, which has reached $70 billion worldwide, and global data growing at 50% CAGR since 2010, are unlocking new business opportunities in the Internet of Things era, according to a recent report by Accenture. In particular, UAE consumers out-pace the global average in favouring artificial intelligence, with 73% interested in using AI on mobile devices.

Gitex partner comments

“Accenture will be sharing global and regional best practices and insights into how governments and businesses can harness the power of digital and use digital technologies to multiply new sources of value and growth,” said Omar Boulos, Regional Managing Director, Accenture Middle East and North Africa, which is the event’s Exclusive Digital Transformation Partner.

“World class digital business competitiveness requires collaboration and co-innovation across every industry,” commented Steve Tzikakis, Regional President for South Europe, Middle East, and Africa at SAP, the event’s Business Transformation Partner.

“In a rapidly digitising world with increasingly complex cyber-attacks that are extending the cyber threat surface, the UAE government is showcasing best practices in public-private partnerships securing citizen services and Smart Cities,” said Faisal Al Bannai, Founder and CEO of DarkMatter.

“During the first day of the Gitex conference this year, we will be hosting the second annual Huawei Middle East Innovation Day,” said Spacelee Li Xiangyu, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, Huawei Middle East.

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