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MEA enterprise IT spending to grow 6.3%: Gartner

Middle East and Africa enterprise IT spending across all industry markets is forecast to reach 70 billion Euros in 2012, a 6.3% increase from 2011, according to research firm, Gartner.

At the Gartner CIO Leadership Forum briefing today, Peter Sondergaard, senior VP and global head of research at Gartner said, “The forces of cloud, mobile, social and information will combine to impact innovation and investments in the region. However, we believe that the concerns about secure solutions and data integration, regulations associated with data locations and data movement and the lack of an international framework assigning accountability for downtime or errors will together inhibit technology adoption across organisations in the Middle East.”

Sondergaard said that enterprises in the region are heavily focused on virtualisation as the first step towards implementing the private cloud. According to Gartner analysts and the Gartner Cloud Hype Cycle, in the next 18 months, global cloud adoption would move to what is described as the ‘trough of disillusionment.’

“Enterprises will begin to realise the over exaggerated capabilities and complexities associated with cloud computing. Following such a situation, the cloud service market will see heavy competition wherein the HP’s and IBM’s of the world will go beyond providing software or hardware solutions and move towards providing their customers service extensions for their private cloud environments or help create customised environments from them at competitive prices. The move to the cloud will become a standard requirement offering significant operational benefits,” he added.

According to Sondergaard going forward enterprises will focus on exploiting the capabilities open to all through in-memory computing. “Technologies like SAP HANA allow for quicker treatment of information and drive a significant competitive advantage. Therefore, we believe, enterprises functioning in data intensive environment such as healthcare, oil and gas among others will lead the market in the adoption of in-memory computing solutions,” he said.

However, Sondergaard did add that the transition to in memory computing would be far more complex than migration to the cloud and it could take at least 10 years before we see enterprises realise the full potential of these technologies.

Sondergaard also predicted that in the near future enterprises will also invest in the creation of app stores extending services towards their respective customers.

“These application stores will resemble public app stores, with all the necessary applications needed to keep customers connected to the enterprise, applications for multiple devices and the latest upgrades. The skill to provision and maintain these incubated app stores doesn’t exist yet and we believe this idea presents a huge opportunity for the government and public sector to change the citizen outlook towards public sector services and service levels,” added Sondergaard.

“We see four major business trends in the Middle East and Africa region-the diversification strategies of governments to create sustainable and diversified businesses from an oil-based economy, the expansion strategies of local organisations across the region, the need for more security and the management of the impact of the Arab Spring. To underpin those strategies, hardware and software will play a key role and are predicted to have the fastest growth rates in 2012, as well as in the following years,” said Vittorio D’Orazio, research director, Gartner.

The Gartner CIO Leadership Forum is being held in Dubai from the 27th of February through till the 28th of February, 2012. The forum will bring leading research specialists and analysts from Gartner to provide CIOs in the region with necessary insights on IT spending trends and opportunities in the Middle East region.

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