Middle East technology 2020 conference roundup

The Middle East and North Africa is home to a growing number of technology conferences. Here are our picks for some of the more interesting events scheduled in the region for 2020.

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CIOs these days are expected to do their traditional job of running core IT systems and data centres, while exploring emerging technology in an effort to innovate new business models and fundamentally transform the way their enterprises do business. Technology conferences can be an efficient way to meet IT leaders from vendors, private business and the publlic sector, and cut through the hype around technology trends -- including IoT, 5G AI and blockchain -- while learning new ways to optimize legacy systems. Here is CIO Middle East's selection for some of the top tech conferences in the Middle East for the first half of the year.

Oracle Open World

January 14-15, Dubai

Oracle holds its Open World events in key markets throughout the world. It's a chance to get up to date on where the ERP vendor is, in its own journey to the cloud and its efforts to be a one-stop shop for enterprise cloud technology. A focus of the conference will be a deep dive into autonomous technologies fundamentally changing work and life, Oracle says.

Digital Transformation Middle East

January 20-21, Dubai

Despite the all-embracing name, this coference will be focusing on opportunities created by 5G deployment in MENA. Conference organizer TMForum says that more than 400 communication service providers and equipment suppliers from across the globe will gather to share the lessons they have learned in accelerating their internal digital transformation, and overcoming organizational, technical and operational roadblocks for a culture of innovation. Speakers include executives from around the world.  

CyberTech Tel Aviv

January 28-30, 2020; Tel Aviv

CyberTech Tel Aviv invites multinational corporations, startups, private and corporate investors, venture capital firms, experts, and clients to discuss the latest developments in enterprise technology. The two-day conference covers a range of industries including infrastructure, insurance, retail, health and government, defense, R&D, manufacturing, automotive.

This year's speakers include United States General (Ret) David Patraeus, Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Labs and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Step Dubai

Feb 11 - 12, 2020; Dubai

Over the past eight years, STEP has grown from a series of workshops into one of the largest tech festivals in Dubai. STEP this year will include four conferences - STEP Start, STEP Digital, STEP X and STEP money. While the event focuses on startups and SMEs, representatives from the industry's leading brands will be on hand, scouting for the latest technologies and sharing valuable insights.

The two-day conference expects to see more than 250 startups, hundreds of global investors and over 8000 attendees.

5th IoT Middle East 2020

February 24, Dubai

The conference will explore how IoT is fueling the trend for borders among industry sectors to fade. Because of IoT, AI, emerging technologies, advanced analytics and widespread connectivity, the trend is only going to grow, say conference organizers IoT Lab. This C-Level conference promises "No old-school roll-ups, miss’n’hit meetings or boring agenda," and an opportunity to talk to more than 400 industry peers.

IDC CIO Summit 2020

February 26-27, Dubai

This year's edition of IDC's CIO Summit expects more than 40 exhibitors, 45 sessions, 50 speakers and 500 C-level executives. IDC says that, from business transformation and technology project management to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2020 will explore a broad range of themes critical to the entire C-Suite. One of the big attractions of the summit is the wide range of tech-leader speakers from both the public and private sector.

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo

March 2-4, Dubai

The conference explores emerging tech as well as leadership and business strategy issues. The event offers more than 100 sessions on key topics including BI and advanced analytics; security, risk and compliance; digital business transformation; and customer and user experience. More than 1,000 attendees are expected, as well as over 40 exhibitors. 

Bahrain International Tech Expo (BITEX)

March 24-26, Manama, Bahrain

Entering its 10th edition, BITEX calls on companies, consulting and research organizations and more to showcase their latest developments and services in the ICT industry. BITEX allows industry leaders and solutions providers to highlight their wares and solutions outside of the noise of Bahrain's technology week in September.

With the recent opening of AWS's new region in Bahrain, the island kingdom may well become a regional technology industry hub. Held under the theme “Innovative and Adaptive Digital Transformation”, BITEX promises “unrivaled conference content with a major exhibition and a well-crafted networking opportunity.”

cOcOnHacking and Cyber Security Middle East

June 15, Abu Dhabi

Previously known as Cyber Safe, c0c0n claims to be one of the longest-running conferences in the area of information security and hacking in the world. The conference orgnaizers say the goal of the event "is to provide a platform to discuss, showcase, educate, understand and spread awareness on the most recent trends in information, cyber, hacking and hi-tech crimes." It also intends to be a meeting place for information security experts from the public and private spheres, including law enforcement agencies and research institutions.

(Additional reporting by Annie Bricker in Dubai.)


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