IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is forecast to total $1.7 billion in 2022, an increase of 2.6% from 2021, according to a recent forecast by Gartner.
“The recovery of the IT sector in MENA will continue in 2022,” said Miriam Burt, managing vice president at Gartner. “In 2022, digital transformation projects will advance moderately from 2021.”
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 region’s dependency on oil exports.
The advent of 5G, an increase in a digitally skilled local workforce, and rapid digitalization 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% of total IT spending in 2022. IT services will emerge as the fastest-growing segment in MENA in 2022, forecasted to grow 8.6%, followed by the software segment which is expected to grow 8.2%. Devices will be the only segment expected to decline in 2022.
Ehab Kanary, CommScope Infrastructure EMEA, Emerging Markets Sales VP, said: “Virtualised networks have proven to help companies manage data handling and work without the need for physical intervention … (allowing to) gain several key insights towards network performance, overall network health, and resource consumption. Also, Cloud networking-as-a-service can eliminate the difficulties of infrastructure management.”
Ray Kafity, VP META at Attivo Networks commented: “Cybersecurity was one of the fortunate sectors immune to the impact of the virus. But enterprises undergoing transformation or moving to the cloud need to be wary of the rising threat of credential-based attacks, which are attributed to nearly 3/5th of all cyberattacks. As IT spending rises and more and more people move to cloud-based services, they need to deploy Identity Detection & Response solutions that supplement the traditional ones to thwart such attacks.”
Saudi’s cybersecurity market is expected to witness a 13% growth in spending in the coming years, reaching 3 billion Saudi Riyals ($810 million) on an annual basis in line with the current digital transformation in the Kingdom, according to a press release by the Saudi Telecom Company (stc).
For his part, Rodrigo Castelo, VP MEA at OutSystems said: “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.”
Global IT spending
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022, an increase of 5.5% from 2021, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.
John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, commented: “Digital tech initiatives remain a top strategic business priority for companies as they continue to reinvent the future of work, focusing spending on making their infrastructure bulletproof and accommodating increasingly complex hybrid work for employees going into 2022.”
Enterprise software is expected to have the highest growth in 2022 at 11.5%, driven by infrastructure software spending continuing to outpace application software spending. Global spending growth on devices reached a peak in 2021 (15.1%) as remote work, telehealth and remote learning took hold, but Gartner expects 2022 will still show an uptick in enterprises that upgrade devices and/or invest in multiple devices to thrive in a hybrid work setting.
“In 2022, CIOs need to reconfigure how work is done by embracing business composability and the technologies that accommodate asynchronous workflows,” said Lovelock.
A look at 2020 IT spending
2020 saw the biggest recorded surge in spending on technology in more than a decade, according to the Harvey Nash report, as companies invested in technology to help them manage the pandemic.
Cloud computing saw a big jump from 2020, when 69% of digital leaders reported some kind of presence in the cloud, to 90% today. Around 60% of digital leaders said their companies had implemented big data or data analytics projects.
The number of organizations investing in robotic process automation (RPA) has also grown as companies seek to improve the way they interact with their customers through the internet.
Around 30% of organizations jumped on the internet of things (IoT) to develop services, which can range from fitness gadgets to devices that monitor medical conditions.
Nascent technologies such as quantum computing have also seen rising investment, with around 3% of organizations reporting that they have implemented the technology.