SecurMiddleEast Riyadh a great success

SecurMiddleEast Riyadh a great success

After months of preparations and negotiations with the industry’s biggest hitters we’re delighted that the SecurMiddleEast Riyadh proved to be an outstanding success.

Over the course of yesterday morning (Wednesday 27 October) we had 40 in-person attendees and over 100 virtual guests joining us from 15 different countries. We had a stellar line up of industry experts to present to our event attendees who delivered presentations, best practice examples and joined lively question & answer sessions.

Our moderator, Richard Burns, warmly welcomed both guests to the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh and those who were viewing the live stream from the comfort of their own homes or offices. He then introduced our first expert speaker: Hamad Alkhalaf, Chief Enterprise Services & Solutions Office, Saudi Information Technology Company.

Securing digital transformation

Alkhalaf explored the topic of securing digital transformation and looked at the digital challenges being faced in the industry. He set out two ideas in more depth, that of secure by design processes whereby security is integrated into every part of the digital product or software development. And DevSecOps – a set of practices that combine software development and IT operations.

As well as sharing a case study to highlight best practice and innovation he also responded to a Q&A and left the audience with an understanding that true digital transformation requires identification of initiatives across the entire technology themes.

Expert roundtable

For our first roundtable discussion of the day we were fortunate enough to be joined by two of Saudi Arabia’s security industry’s most eminent figures: Engineer Abdullah Alzamil from Saudi Customs Department, and Dr Mohammed Aladalah from the Ministry of Interior. The latter is both a doctor and a military lieutenant and has responsibility for every single security camera in Saudi Arabis – over one million in total. We’re very grateful that both found the time out of their busy schedules to share their wisdom.

These two titans of the security industry were here specifically to discuss transformations in video surveillance and security in Saudi Arabia. In response to one of the final questions put to them on where they look for inspiration and benchmarking of best practice, they had quite different answers. For Dr Mohammed, he turned to the main players in the industry to see what their best practices are and what they have achieved, noting that he drew more inspiration from companies rather than countries. Engineer Abdullah took a more inward-looking focus, explaining that they looked at their own operations and what they needed to improve on.

Smart city spotlight

After a short break, we were all soon back in the room for our next presentation – this one coming from Ahmed Habib, Security Manager at Quiddiya Entertainment Capital. Focusing on security within the tourism sector, Ahmed talked about Smart City initiatives. He explored why we need smart cities to help manage ourselves and resources better – such as poor infrastructure, growing pollution problems and too much traffic. He also shared some of the gaps that exist in the current smart city market, as well as the current and future initiatives in smart cities in the Kingdom.

Vision 2030 future trends

The final session was our lightning round of quick-fire Q&As. Up on the stage we had Aluisio Figueiredo (ISS), Jeff Burgess (BCD), Zishan Haider (Jamal Jaroudi Group), Sabry Eissa (IBTech) and Mohammed Lotfi (Metco) who were taking questions from the floor and online guests on Vision 2030 future trends. Between them the panel looked at how to keep ahead in the systems integrated business in Saudi; the biggest security issues in the country’s airports and how they were solved; world supply problems (spoiler: one panel member predicts things will get worst before they get better in Q2 2022); and how to work with and manage the expectations of clients. The key take-away from this session was to be where your customers are – understand and listen to what it is they need.

Finally all that was left was for Mr Burns to thank each of our speakers for their valuable input, hand out some well-deserved awards and thank everyone who joined us. Then it was down to more business discussions over a leisurely lunch.

We would also like to extend our thanks to our three event sponsors: ISS, intel and BCD. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing more content from these industry-leading conversations as well as links to watch the event for yourself.