Middle East IT spending to lead world

Middle East IT spending to lead world

Severe budget cuts in the IT sector in 2009 are over, as experts at the CIO Summit in Dubai said they are looking at 2010 to bring stability and increases in the global spending levels on IT. Analyst group IDC said at the summit that it is expecting a massive push in the Middle East in IT growth, although worldwide they say it will only rise some 3.2 percent.

IDC said it is expecting Middle Eastern nations to see a growth of around 12-13 percent in the IT sector in 2010.

Within the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are expected to be the main areas of this growth, due to their IT sectors being less developed than countries such as the UAE prior to the global economic crisis, and according to IDC, “therefore still need to complete infrastructure build-up phases.”

However, while the Middle East is likely to see good growth levels, this is only expected to bring IT budgets back to levels similar to those last seen in 2008, and globally, IDC does not expect to see “real recovery” until 2011 at the earliest.

“The market last year tanked about 15% in terms of IT spending, and this year we expect to see about 12%-13% growth in the UAE, which means that in terms of IT spend we are still at a lower level than what was recorded in 2008,” said Jyoti Lalchandani, VP & Regional MD META, IDC, focusing on the UAE.

Although companies across the globe are beginning to embrace cloud products and services, doubts continue in the Middle East, particularly around the public cloud. Private cloud initiatives are expected to take off, especially as more companies move to offer increased products and services for this sector.

“The Middle East are sceptics on public cloud. I sense that there is some concern, some scepticism…CIOs in this region have been focused on getting to a more efficient, more dynamic data centre and the private cloud is really a way to accelerate that transformation, and it really doesn’t carry those same risks that CIOs perceive in a public cloud,” Frank Gens, Senior Vice President & Chief Analyst, IDC, told AMEinfo.com.