2011 was a year to reckon with for the Middle East IT industry, because of the impact of the worldwide economic situation coupled with the political unrest in the region. We believe these pressures are changing the behaviour of customers both in the consumer space and in the corporate and SMB segments. There will be less focus on device specifications and price and a move towards interest in features, services and total cost of ownership. With the economic and political situation in the region impacting investment decisions, customers will look for reliable, trusted and innovative solutions and technologies to help them cut costs while boosting productivity and effectiveness.
In the consumer space, mobility will continue to be the main driver in 2012. Vendors that lead their industries with innovations in portable and mobile devices, cloud services, mobile printing and connectivity will win attention of customers. Consumers will look for technologies that allow them to be on the move, remain connected to the web and the cloud, while helping them to save on total cost of ownership.
The SMB, corporate and government sector customers will realise even further the importance of total cost of ownership, which includes running costs, manageability, integration, maintenance and more. Corporate companies and government entities will look at new ways of running their IT infrastructure. An example of this is managed print services, which allows customers low cost of ownership and initial investment, while providing them with the latest technologies for their printing requirements.
From a channel perspective, markets are becoming more competitive and aggressive. Channel partners will look to vendors to provide them with tools to be able to compete profitably. Tools should include differentiating technologies and solutions, support programs tailored to their requirements and necessary knowledge transfer and expertise. Channel partners need to use these tools to create offerings, services and solutions tailored to their customers that are unique and differentiating.
So in 2012, we expect customers to be more attentive to purchasing decisions looking at innovation and total cost of ownership rather than specifications and price. The IT industry is driven by innovation and providers that invest in introducing leading technologies that drive change in their markets will help customers and partners cut costs, be more effective and more competitive.
2011 was a year to reckon with for the Middle East IT industry, because of the impact of the worldwide economic situation coupled with the political unrest in the region.