IT spending in Middle East and North Africa to grow by 2.6% in 2022: Gartner
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IT spending in Middle East and North Africa to grow by 2.6% in 2022: Gartner

IT spending in Middle East and North Africa to grow by 2.6% in 2022: Gartner

Spending growth will be moderate compared to 2021, but will exceed pre-pandemic level

Divsha Bhat

IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is forecast to total $1.7bn in 2022, an increase of 2.6 per cent from 2021, according to a recent forecast by Gartner.

“The recovery of the IT sector in MENA will continue in 2022,” says Miriam Burt, managing vice president at Gartner. “In 2022, digital transformation projects will advance moderately from 2021. Underpinned by the GCC Country Visions, the rapid shift of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries from an oil-exporting economy to a knowledge-based economy will be a major influence.”

The rise of renewable energy and the subsequent dip in oil prices due to Covid-19 expedited the transition towards a knowledge-based economy to reduce the regions’ dependency on oil exports. Additionally, the direction and guidance from the various governments of the GCC in their country vision statements, the advent of 5G, increase in digitally skilled local workforce, and rapid digitalisation of sectors such as banking and retail, will present a growth-conducive environment for IT spending in the region through 2022.

Communication services will continue to be the largest segment in 2022, making up 66 per cent of total IT spending in 2022. IT services will emerge as the fastest growing segment in MENA in 2022, forecasted to grow 8.6 per cent, followed by the software segment which is expected to grow 8.2 per cent.

Devices will be the only segment expected to decline in 2022. In 2021, the pandemic response was a primary reason for the uptick in spending on devices. This trend will stabilise in 2022 as MENA CIOs will work on advancing their remote/hybrid working models, virtual learning, digital commerce and tele-medicine projects.

Ehab Kanary, CommScope Infrastructure EMEA, emerging markets sales VP comments – “With the increased dependency and implementation of online solutions and the increased implementation of virtual workspace during the pandemic, it was evident that this will remain present post pandemic. Due to its dexterity, scalability and accessibility, cloud computing will be present far longer. Similarly, virtualised networks have proven to help companies and organisations manage data handling and work without the need for physical intervention. It can support IT through gaining several key insights towards network performance, overall network health, and resource consumption. Another advantage here is the fact that cloud networking-as-a-service can eliminate the difficulties of infrastructure management,”

“So, moving into 2022, we can only expect more organisations to implement technologies that ensure increased operational resilience to deliver long-term efficiencies. The Gartner report reiterates this point. We can see an increase in IT spending and Data Center Systems in the near future. Therefore, remote and hybrid models of working will undoubtedly remain in place, with many favouring a more decentralised approach to living and working,” he adds.

“As IT spending continues to increase and IT services evolve as the fastest-growing segment in MENA, it’s more important than ever for organisations to be future-ready. With digital transformation now occurring in every organisation and industry, more apps will be developed in the next two years than in the entire history of the software industry. There will be an incredible wave of innovation, and the companies that are best prepared to succeed are those that can manage constant change, address software development talent shortages, and adopt the latest technology and processes. Status quo software development approaches need to give way to modern technologies that increase developer productivity, reduce complexity, and prepare organisations for true innovation,” said Rodrigo Castelo, vice president Middle East and Africa, OutSystems.

However, with accelerated digitalisation, organisations must ensure a robust cybersecurity framework.

Ray Kafity, VP- META, Attivo Networks says, “Enterprises undergoing transformation or moving to the cloud need to be wary of the rising threat of credential-based attacks, which according to sources, are attributed to nearly 3/5th of all cyber attacks. As IT spending rises and more and more people move to cloud-based services, they need to deploy Identity Detection and Response solutions that supplement the traditional ones to thwart such attacks.”

Read: Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending to exceed $4 trillion in 2022

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