Bringing the evolution of the CIO role into perspective at #ITLA18

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IT Leaders Africa Summit (#ITLA18), Africa’s largest CIO gathering, will be hosted on the 9th and 10th of May at the new CTICC 2 in South Africa’s Tech Innovation hub – Cape Town. The summit has evolved over the nine years of its existence, just as the role of the CIO has transformed, and offers an invaluable platform to engage with industry leaders and practitioners on the latest trends and technology developments forever altering the strategic function of the IT division.

The 2018 edition of the event will host a diverse audience of industry experts and business technology leaders, as well as top IT solution providers who will be presenting educational workshops which are reflective of contemporary trends that affect the evolving role of IT executives in Africa. 

The summit features over 40 speakers who will present thought-provoking and legacy-smashing keynotes, panel discussions which engage the audience on next-generation solutions to current risk and exposure; as well as numerous educational workshop sessions – hosted by leading IT solution providers from around the globe. #ITLA18 offers a unique business platform for career development, networking with industry change-agitators and technology disruptors who are driving IT and digital transformation in today’s increasingly competitive market.

This year’s agenda features insights from seasoned experts in the IT industry such as Brett St Clair, CEO at Siatik (Google’s leading Cloud partner in Africa). Brett's keynote will focus on how to build ‘Exponential Growth’ businesses and helping small and large companies through their digital transformation journey.

Next-generation businesses will be those that are able to recognise and understand change; whilst adapting their operating models to respond appropriately.  It is imperative that IT departments reconfigure to allow new ways of working that enables agility, flexibility of IT platforms and swift responses to an increasingly digital world.

Lee Naik,CEO of TransUnion Africa is recognised as one of South Africa's leading digital and technology transformation experts, having worked across all spheres of government and the private sector. He has a deep understanding and appreciation of the transformative role technology can play and his experience ranges from developing first-in-country strategies and solutions to leading complex delivery programmes. A frequent speaker and commentator, Naik was recognised as a global top 10 commentator in the 2015 LinkedIn Top Voices Awards and was a recipient of the 2015 Standard Bank Rising Stars Award. In 2016, he was one of the top 10 finalists for the IITPSA's IT Personality of the Year award. He will participate in the opening panel discussion at the event, in his role as an advisory panellist.

Most CIO’s can appreciate why IT has increasingly become a top priority for the Board; and this is touched upon in the new King IV report which acknowledges that rapid advances in technology have the potential to result in considerable disruption; which in itself, presents opportunity and risks – which need good oversight from the Board and the adoption of solid technology governance practices – that support the organisation achieving its strategic objectives.

Professor Mervyn King, Attorney, arbitrator, mediator and commission chair will discuss POPI and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) during a session on Governance and Leadership at the summit. Prof King is probably best known as the Chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, which produced King I, II, III and IV. 

Organisations are continuously adapting to these new market demands and constraints by developing and implementing technology solutions that are driving the rapid change of the IT department.

Katherine Schneider, CIO for Oceana Group will shed light on how we manage our people assets, and ensure we will have the right skills and competences to support our business objectives. This keynote will discuss career frameworks, job families, career development models and training catalogues, and how these can be designed and implemented..

With the role of the IT division advancing and taking on a broader and more strategic role within business which has resulted in considerable transformation of the CIO’s mandate, IT processes, architecture and governance. The forward thinking CIO needs to look at redefining their role to be aligned with the core organisational strategy and respond effectively to the demands of the market; in order to remain competitive and ensure that an alignment exists between IT and digital transformation.

Tony Christodoulou, CIO of Africa for American Tower Corporation (Fortune 500 global company and provider of wireless communications infrastructure) will share his passion and expertise in the fields of Digital Disruption, Effective Execution & Project Management, Strategic Project Leadership, Process Excellence, I.T as a strategic enabler, The Art of Innovation, Information and Knowledge Management.

The stage will be set for the delivery of power keynotes focused on highlighting current and future trends which are fundamentally changing the role of CIO and IT Division within the organisation. The agenda was conceptualised and shaped by the advisory panel to ensure that only the most pressing topics are addressed at the summit.

Topics that will be delved into extensively include, ‘IT leadership in the new world’, ‘How digital disruption affects the CIO’, ‘Leveraging new markets’, ‘Facing escalating cyber security threats’, ‘Engaging IT across the organisation’, ‘Understanding the organisation’s core business strategy’, ‘Monetising data’, ‘C-suite integration’ and how to effectively grow the IT team.

The advisory panel and leadership council includes Tony Parry, CEO of IITPSA, Brent Curry, Group CIO at TFG, Peter du Plooy, CIO at Engen, Jamie Whittaker, the Deputy CIO at Discovery, Unathi Mtya, CIO for the Parliament of South Africa & Simphiwe Mayisela, Head: Information Security, Risk & Governance at the Public Investment Corporation.

Sponsors include: Infobip, Logitech, Seacom, Fortinet, Paloalto Networks, Forrester and Snode.

A recent  PwC CEO survey recognised that “the rate of technological change and changing consumer behaviour are the two biggest concerns for the c-suite…increasingly, CIO’s will hold the key to unlocking competitive advantage, business benefits and relevant customer engagement, and with this shift comes growing pressure on, and higher expectations of the IT function”.The 9th Annual IT Leaders Africa Summit is hosted on the 9th & 10th of May 2018 at the new CTICC 2 in Cape Town, where like-minded experts and the top IT solution providers gather for an informative and educational summit with the common goal of improving IT leadership and innovation across Africa.

Follow @ITLeaders on Twitter and join the conversation using the #ITLA18 hashtag

For more information about IT Leaders Africa, visit:

About IT Leaders Africa:

The IT Leaders Africa Summit has been providing IT executives with practical knowledge from industry experts and thought leaders since its inception 8 years ago. With the assistance of an advisory panel of experienced C-level IT executives, the summit encompasses the most current trends concerning translating business strategies into IT functions, as well as cyber security, governance, and disruptive technology. We have recruited the top IT executives in Africa to present on the issues concerning IT leaders in today’s rapidly evolving market to ensure that you are ahead of the curve.

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