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Middle East and Africa IT spending to cross $243bn in 2017

Middle East and Africa IT spending to cross $243bn in 2017

IDC said IT spending growth would pickup next year following a slowdown in 2016

ICT spending will pickup in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region next year with total spending to reach $243bn, International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted.

In its forecast, the company said spending in the region would grow 3.6 per cent next year, down on its previous estimate but higher than the 1.6 per anticipated for the current year.

“There’s no doubt that 2016 has been a particularly challenging year, characterised by currency volatility, weak oil and commodity prices, and a subsequent softening of government spend,” said Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for META.

“And while these issues will continue to linger, we expect organisations to start pushing ahead with their planned technology investments as the ‘wait-and-watch’ period draws to a close.”

Among the trends expected in 2017 are a shift to software and services with compound annual growth rates of 7 per cent and 8.6 per cent expected in the region from 2015 to 2020.

In contrast, hardware is expected to only grow 1.7 per cent during the period.

IDC said communications, finance and government would be the biggest spending sectors in 2017 but healthcare, transportation and utilities would be the fastest growing over the five-year period.

On a country basis, South Africa ($7.5bn), the UAE ($6.2bn) and Turkey ($5.6bn) are forecast to top IT spending through investments in cloud, big data, social and mobility.

Internet of things, robotics, cognitive systems, virtual reality, 3D printing and new generation security will also be key drivers.

The firm outlined a number of spending trends next year including cloud adoption, with cheaper pricing and bundling and a focus on SME accounts expected.

It also said big data analytics would become more predictive and drive new uses cases and innovation accelerators would drive IT disruption in the region.

Internet of things technology in particular is expected to become more widely used over the next 12 months in power, manufacturing freight and health systems.

IDC forecast IT security spending would cross $2bn next year with threat management, compliance remediation, security management, automatic malware removal, and mobile security solutions to be the top five investment priorities.

It also predicted regional smart city initiative would become more practical with a focus on “tangible” improvements in transportation, citizen engagement and emergency response.

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