#CIOYearAhead: Gratitude to all speakers and delegates

Last week's CIO Year Ahead Conference that hosted top CIOs, and IT minds to decide the technology road-map for 2018 in East Africa was...


#CIOYearAhead: Gratitude to all speakers and delegates

Last week’s CIO Year Ahead Conference that hosted top CIOs, and IT minds to decide the technology road-map for 2018 in East Africa was awash with pragmatic and thought-provoking ideas lined to influence investment direction in both public governance and business enterprises.

Sponsored by Sage East Africa, FABS and Little the conference attracted prolific CIOs and technology experts with offices from across the region. The delegates couldn’t thank more sponsors, organizer as well as insightful speakers who shared predictions that will contribute into hastening deployment of innovations in a digitized economy.

“Thumbs up to speakers, the delegates and organizers of this rare to find session of think-tanks,” Ms. Mariam Abdullahi, SAP Africa Industry Lead – Telecommunication who was the conference session moderator said in her sum-up and congratulatory remarks.

During the immersive discussions themed: Re-shaping the Industry, the delegates were in concurrence with insights shared by the carefully selected speakers who peered through anticipations expected to make significant impacts in 2018.


The conference kicked off with an engaging session from Ms Laura Chite, CEO – CIO East Africa. She spoke about the importance of embracing new business models in the digital era relating it to consistent networking opportunities that has continued to add value into ways of doing business in the digital arena.

Laura Chite, CEO CIO East Africa.

This was followed by a riveting talk by Harry Hare, Chairman CIO East Africa who laid emphasis on the need for industry players to sustain the momentum of digital transformation in enterprises.

Harry Hare, Chairman CIO East Africa.

Glimpse of the industry’s future

Following an inspiring keynote that took a look on the tech memory lane, the leapfrogging journey, current tech status and discourses motivated by innovations and thought leadership, the participants couldn’t thank more Louis Otieno, Director Corporate Affairs, Microsoft4Afrika. For an average 30 years, he has been on the digital lane propagating about transformation and thought-leadership.


In her presentation titled Innovative Leadership in a High Velocity Environment, Nikki Summers, Regional Director – Sage East Africa underscored the importance of leaders taking courage to fail as while taking risks to better their enterprise.  Her presentation was complemented with Karein Bornheim, CEO FABS as she laid emphasis on leaders re-dedicating their energies in cyber security and advocating for policies that will protect data without limiting growth in enterprises.

Nikki Summers, Regional Manager Sage East Africa.
Karein Bornheim, CEO FABS


Ms Bonrheim’s mind-blowing presentation was further complemented by Joseph Mathenge, COO – Serianu following his presentation on cyber security vigilance in 2018.

Take home points


While summing up the take-home points, Ms. Abdullahi averred that Digital Transformation is imperative and ever morphing due to the dizzying speeds of change possible with new technologies.

It emerged from the speakers that key drivers of digital transformation are: profitability, customer experience and increased speed to market.

The delegates concurred with the fact that in 2018 no industry or organisation will remain undisrupted. In order to futureproof themselves – all organisations (enterprise and government) will need to take a deep look at itself and embark on a journey that drives them to

  • Re-imagine how they do business in this new world of exponential hyper connectivity, mobility; cloud, social engagement, big data, AI and blockchain among others.
  • All organisations will need to re-invent how they work; keep and attract new talent; engage the connected customers, work on better trust engagements with vendors and suppliers and use data to deeply understand and plan best route to market
  • Organisations shall as well need to be intentional about tapping into new revenue as industries blur and morph. An example given at this juncture was Thompson Reuters that was traditional a mass media powerhouse with financial industry focus that is today using data to enrich its offering to the marketplace
  • Organisations must also be intentional about leverage innovations to future proof themselves and stay ahead of the curve

Of importance, stressed Ms Abdullahi the digital transformation era requires a relook at leadership too.  “Successful leaders in the digital transformation era have to be forward looking, courageous and empathetic,” she summarized.

The workforce engagement and management will also need focus and a relook for it to make a meaningful impact in the digital era.

Since no organisation or government is secure in the fast changing digital sphere every organisation has to be intentional about security and have a concrete plan concluded the moderated.

Changing Governance in Government

What we found really cool and inspiring were the sessions that tipped the delegates on public governance. Listening to speakers from government Messrs, Martin Mirero, CIO – Huduma, Kenya Fernando Wangila – CIO National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and Francis Mwaura – Head of Standards and Processes at ICT Authority, and were candid in their presentations gives one true hope for the future in evolving public governance.

The thought provoking sessions on how How Blockchain Can Transform Governance in Kenya by Wangila couldn’t be complemented better by Mirero’s Cultivating the Next Generation of Talent and Mwaura’s Facilitating the Road to Digital Maturity. The refreshed thinking from the trio gave new hope and turned challenges which enterprises are currently engulfed with into opportunities.

New opportunities

Drawing from the speakers it was clear that jobs won’t disappear as feared. The jobs will instead shift towards more meaningful work. Repetitive, boring tasks that require no intelligence or creativity will be done by robots, while humans can use this chance to develop their skills. This further means; more particularly to the leadership to take seriously a new responsibility of training workforces and help them evolve, Mirero said.

Impart wisdom and draw lessons

We’ll definitely keep covering this topic in the future after summits and dedicated forums, because it is so interesting. We thank all of our speakers for participating and hope you’ll enjoy our subsequent immersive sessions aimed to impart wisdom and draw lessons from progressive governments, network and share what the power of connectedness on our journey to better our economies.

Delegates as well as the CIO Year Ahead Conference organizers were delighted with the growing understanding of the happenings in digital transformation, the cyber security space and noted that it was their chance to go in a bit deeper, meet folks, pick their brains and better the ecosystem that obviously require better policies to launch and steer strategic initiatives for the development of digital government and enterprises.

CIO East Africa has been on the frontline in organizing summits dedicated to hastening growth in both government as well as business enterprises.

In the overall, CIO Year Ahead Conference lauded efforts being made by industry peers to better the fast-changing workplace and service delivery to the public.

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