The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia continue to remain the top ‘adopter’ economies in terms of connectivity within the Arab world, according to Huawei’s Global Connectivity Index (GCI) 2017 report.
The adopter economies have an average per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of $15,000 and nations in this cluster experience the biggest GDP growth from ICT (Information and Communications Technology) infrastructure.
Sami Nashwan, vice-president for strategy consulting at Huawei Middle East, said on the sidelines of the Samena Telecom Leaders’ Summit 2017, that digitally-advanced and digitally-developing nations continue to gain strong economic growth and secure larger ICT investments, while less developed nations see much slower growth, widening the digital divide between nations into a chasm.
The UAE is ranked 18th, Qatar 22nd and Saudi Arabia 29th globally, while the US is ranked first, followed by Singapore in second place and Sweden in third.
Nashwan said that investing in five key technologies — broadband, data centres, cloud, big data and Internet of Things — enables countries to digitise their economies.
Increasing investment in ICT
The GCI report measures the relationship between ICT investment and GDP growth, and shows that every additional $1 of ICT infrastructure investment made could bring a return of $3 in GDP at present, $3.70 in 2020, and the potential return increases to $5 in 2025.
Nashwan said: “While this presents a clear case for increasing investment in ICT, the report also reveals that countries which invest in ICT gain an accumulated advantage over time which has a multiplier effect and enables them to distance themselves ahead of competitors, as well causing a widening of the digital divide to become a digital chasm.”
He added that if policymakers incorporate an additional ten per cent in ICT infrastructure investment each year into their economic master plans starting now, they could bring an accumulative figure of $17.6 trillion in GDP to boost the global economy by 2025.
Business intelligence growth to surge
The global market for business intelligence (BI) and analytics software will reach $18.3bn this year, according to forecasts from Gartner, up 7.3 per cent from the year before.
The company says the latest generation of BI and analytics solutions are leading spending, as organisations look to offer more flexible and agile analytics solutions that are installed by business units and not IT.
BI and analytics spending will hit $22.8bn by 2020, Gartner predicts, but the growth in sales of modern analytics solutions will slow from 63.6 per cent in 2015 to a projected 19 per cent by 2020.
Gartner believes this reflects data and analytics becoming mainstream. The market is on the rise in terms of seat expansion, but revenue will be dampened by pricing pressure.
Cloud analytics market in MENA
A report by Micro Market Monitor forecasts the Middle East & Africa cloud analytics market to grow from $46.0 million in 2014 to $537.5m by 2019, at an estimated CAGR of 63.5 per cent during the forecast period. The drivers for the Middle East & Africa market include utility enhancement in multiple domains, constant growth in big data, and effortless instalment.
Cloud analytics is mainly a cloud-enabled solution that allows an organisation or individual to perform business analysis or intelligence procedures. These solutions and services are delivered through cloud models, such as hosted data warehouses, SaaS business intelligence (BI) and social media analytic products powered by the cloud.
Cloud analytics services work similar to a typical data analytics service, providing similar features and capabilities. The only difference is that cloud analytics integrates some or all of the service models of cloud computing in delivering that solution.
The Middle East and Africa market is increasing steadily due to insufficiency of in-house expertise, conventional business analytics solutions, and so on.
As many enterprises do not have enough IT personnel to manage their complex, mission-critical websites and other applications, cloud is the best and appropriate tool, as it manages colossal amount of data, without the use of any expert IT staff. This has rapidly increased the demand for cloud-based business analytics solutions.