Top Tech Trends In The Middle East

Video mega trends and machine-to-machine connections feature among the key regional tech trends, finds new Cisco study.



The buzz around Internet of Everything (IoE) is set to become even stronger in the Middle East this year, according to a new Technology Radar study by Cisco.

IoE is the interconnections of people, processes, data, and things, which represents a $19 trillion opportunity, globally, over the next decade ($14.4 trillion in the private sector and $4.6 trillion in the public sector), said Cisco. By 2020, the growth of connected “things” will reach 212 billion, it added.

“IT organisations across the Middle East need to prepare for the Internet of Everything and what we are now seeing is the emergence of an application economy where the focus will no longer be simply on the hardware, but also on supporting a larger number of applications on all connected devices,” said Tarek Ghoul, general manager, Cisco Gulf, Levant and Pakistan.

“Big changes now need to take place to make sense of exponentially increasing and varied types of data coming in from devices ranging from smartphone applications to information generated a city’s infrastructure.”

The Middle East’s IT spend is projected to grow 7.3 per cent from 2013 to $32 billion in 2014, according to IT research firm the IDC. Cisco also found that the MENA region is set to post the world’s strongest mobile data traffic growth for at 77 per cent CAGR to 2017.

Cisco’s Technology Radar study identified several key trends set to make a mark in 2014 across the Middle East.

“2014 and beyond will bring a hugely influential and constructive technology explosion throughout the Middle East region,” Ghoul said.

“Driven by the online growth and convergence of processes, data and things, we can now explore unprecedented opportunities that benefit both business and society as a whole.”

TOP TECH TRENDS

A New Era, a New Context

One of the key findings of the report is the potential of context aware computing to fundamentally change how we interact with our devices. In the future, devices will learn about you, your day, where you are and where you’re going.

Machine-to-Machine, Person-to-Machine and Person-to-Person Connections Driving Value

Another observation from the study states that, in the application economy, practically everything – roads, jet-engine parts, shoes, refrigerators, soil, and supermarket shelves – will have cheap, tiny sensors that generate terabytes of data that can be sifted for key insights.

By 2022, Cisco predicts that person-to-machine and person-to-person combined connections will constitute 55 per cent of the total IoE value at stake, whereas machine-to-machine connections make up the remaining 45 per cent.

Home and Workplace Transformed

One of the major benefits of imminent new internet architectures is the power of browser-based video and collaboration, where a new common standard can enhance employee productivity by integrating audio-visual conferences, text notepads, and whiteboards into a real-time web-based multimedia space.

Video Mega Trends

This will similarly transform digital imaging, with ultra HD video enhancing the viewing experience on televisions, smartphones, augmented reality glasses, tablets, and camera-equipped devices.

Both trends are set to have a significant impact on everything from healthcare and education to office connectivity and security.

Redefining the Network

In order to cope with the explosion of connections, technology labs are now developing new internet architectures to replace the current IP-based internet. Named Data Networking (NDN) has the most potential to disrupt, and would allow information to be communicated by names rather than host addresses. This represents a radical departure from the way the internet works today.

Security

Unsurprisingly, security will be critical for business growth and adaption to the new internet, with companies likely to ramp up the deployment of scalable, cloud-based mobile device management solutions to protect personal and corporate information. Gartner Inc. predicts half of global companies will enact Bring Your Own Device programs by 2017.