14-18 Oct, 2018
14-18 Oct, 2018
This year’s GITEX was.. well.. bigger, better and , may I say, bolder! The size, however, was hardly the only thing that stood out. What made this year’s most sought-after regional tech event different can be summarized in an acronym: ‘’P-I-C-E’’
Who would have thought that a ‘Co-opetition’ philosophy would prevail! There was a time that technology rivals would not enter a room together; now that the technology pie has become significantly bigger - thanks to the emergence of cloud - everyone seems to be interested in securing a piece even if they have to share it with others. And it is music to customers’ ears. Partnerships essentially mean more compatibility which should translate into the possibility of implementing a multi-cloud strategy. At this GITEX, if you zoomed out beyond individual logos, you would have realized that the cloud ecosystem is turning into one giant machine. This, though, does not mean there are no stiff competitions going on in the market; it is nevertheless encouraging to witness a one violently fragmented industry moving towards some kind of harmony.
Artificial intelligence, it seems , is becoming more of a consumer expectation than a vendor’s wow factor. The public is not easily impressed these days. It is no longer an effective marketing strategy to use the word ’smart’ to re-package the old stuff - the practice some call tech washing. One could not help but notice the move by technology providers to turn their ‘dump’ solutions/devices into an applicable intelligence. Two intelligent machines having a pretty deep conversation on the history of medicine, another talking about a gimbal he’s got at home and another one playing and singing Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You (with almost accurate facial expressions) were just examples of the depth of intelligence that people expected. It amazes me that no matter how spooky many of these machines seemed, folks were hardly impressed. Intelligence is a given these days it looks like!
Another interesting theme at GITEX was the more and more blurring line between once completely separate technologies. Many vendors, and even governments, were not labeling their products as ‘Cloud’ or ‘IoT’ for that matter, rather the focus was on what the converging technologies would deliver. You do not need to be a ‘Big Data’ expert to imagine that behind many of these solutions lie pieces of recent buzz words lending each other a hand. While it is true that some emerging trends i.e. Blockchain is yet to properly shake hand with their predecessors, it is a pleasant sight noticing different technologies moving towards ‘abstraction’ - that is less and less tech visibility and more and more focus on problem solving.
Startup scene has never been more exciting! GITEX brings entrepreneurs from every corner of the region to Dubai every year, and this year was no exception. Pitches, competitions, booths were all over the place. The sheer number of participating startups makes you wonder: ‘are there any untapped problems out there?!’. I can only assume many problems have not even been created yet.
MENA CLOUD ALLIANCE has also had an eventful GITEX this year. We managed to catch up with Kevin Jackson and Evan Kristel at the AVAYA booth on day 1 and Virtustream’s Roberto Mircoli at the DellEMC booth. There are also some super exciting announcements on new additions to our membership lineup which will be shared here and on the media very soon. So, stay tuned!