Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

IT spending set to rise in Middle East

Spending on IT is slated to grow to around $21.5 billion this year in the Middle East, as more consumers move to mobile gadgets and companies beef up digital data services.

Spending on information technology in the Middle East will far outpace IT spending in developed markets this year as sales of mobile gadgets soar and companies invest heavily in storage for growing amounts of data.

The overall amount spent on IT hardware, software and services - excluding the sales of mobile phones - is forecast to total about US$21.5 billion (Dh78.97bn) in the Middle East this year, up 11 per cent from last year. IT spending in the region rose 7 to 8 per cent last year, and just 2 to 3 per cent in developed markets, according to International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm in the technology sector.

"The opportunities in the future are really in emerging markets," said Kirk Campbell, the president and chief executive of IDC.

Mr Campbell, along with regional executives from technology giants such as Dell, HP and Intel, spoke ahead of the IDC Middle East CIO Summit. The event for chief information officers in the region is to begin today in Fujairah.

Many of these experts predict investment of millions of dollars in cloud computing and other data-storage services, particularly as companies try to keep pace with consumers and other businesses that are increasingly using internet data via smartphones, tablets and notebook computers. "This is not about wheeling in a new shiny piece of infrastructure and saying you're now cloud-enabled," said Dave Brooke, the general manager for Dell in the Middle East and Turkey. "This is about millions and millions worth of infrastructure, and how do you utilise it as a pool of infrastructure?"

In the UAE, IT spending is projected to hit $5.18bn this year, making the Emirates the second-largest IT market in the region after Saudi Arabia, where revenue is expected to total nearly $7bn this year, according to IDC.

Yet political unrest in parts of the wider region could dampen the overall 11 per cent growth projection for this year, by as much as 4 to 5 percentage points, warned Jyoti Lalchandani, the vice president and regional managing director of IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

A recent IDC survey of chief information officers found that 66 per cent, compared with 59 per cent last year, said their biggest challenge this year is staff recruitment, development and retention.

The second most important concern, cited by nearly half of executives, is determining how to measure a return on investment on spending for cloud storage as well as other forms of IT spending.

"The challenge that exists today is how can we deploy cloud technology into our environment and see the return on investment," said Eyad Shihabi, the managing director for HP Middle East. "How can cloud services benefit the business and deliver some key, tangible deliverables that the business can benefit from?"

nparmar@thenational.ae

twitter: Follow our breaking business news and retweet to your followers. Follow us

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 An air traffic control tower is seen at the central terminal of LaGuardia Airport on April 8, 2014. Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

In pictures: New York’s LaGuardia Airport in need of a rebuild

With constraints on its resources and no appetite for further debt, private investors and developers are being tapped to rebuild the 50-year-old central terminal for $3.6 billion, instead of using traditional public finance methods.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 An Uber taxi driver drives his car through a street in New Delhi, India. Saurabh Das / AP Photo

In pictures: On-demand cab service app Uber targets India

Taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia with the company starting operations in 18 cities in Asia and the South Pacific including Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and five Indian cities in the last year.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National