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Saudia plans largest green IT park in Jeddah

Saleh Fareed
Saudi Gazette


JEDDAH — Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) is planning to build the largest and most advanced green IT park at King Abdullah Economic City, north of Jeddah, announced Muhammed Ali Al-Bakri, vice president for information technology, Saudi Arabian Airlines, during a presentation at Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2012 here Tuesday.

He said the SR20 billion project will be located on a 10,000 square meter plot of land in the economic city’s industrial valley, with onsite research, development and data centers to serve the airline and other tenants at the forthcoming business hub.

Various housing options have been earmarked for the estimated 1800 employee families that will be relocated once the building is operational, said Al-Bakri.

Al-Bakri along with senior International Data Corporation (IDC) analysts and leading regional ICT experts gathered in Jeddah on the first day of Saudi Arabia CIO Summit 2012, organized by International Data Corporation (IDC) under the theme, ‘Driving the Agenda for Business Success.’

IDC’s senior vice president of research for EMEA and managing director for CEMA Steven Frantzen, and vice president and managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey Jyoti Lalchandani got the event underway Tuesday morning by describing the global ICT industry as being in the midst of the sort of technology shift that takes place only “once every 20-25 years”.

The four forces that characterize this shift, they argued, are cloud, mobile, social, and big data analytics, and they predicted an explosion of new solutions built on this new platform, along with rapidly expanding consumption of all of the above in Saudi Arabia.

Intel’s general manager of IT, Abdulaziz Al-Noghaither, analyzed the key trends shaping the future of enterprise IT and their impact, describing Intel’s own internal IT strategy for the new technology paradigms.

Hajar Al-Badrany, the general manager for infrastructure at STC, offered advice on developing a comprehensive services strategy that incorporates the benefits of emerging models such as datacenter-based services, managed services, and cloud.

Dr. Montassar BenMrad, an executive partner at IBM Global Business Services, acknowledged that CEOs are now looking beyond the benefits of connected supply chains and more integrated back-office systems by shifting their focus to social media and analytics.


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