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ICT spending in META region to top US$229bn this year

By , ITWeb
Africa , 03 Feb 2022

Enterprise IT spending in the region to top US$40-billion as digital-first strategies become pervasive.

Overall spending on ICT across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) region will top US$229-billion this year, an increase of 2.7% over 2021 as the market continues to rebound from the turbulence of the last two years.

That's according to the latest predictions presented by International Data Corporation (IDC) as more than 420 senior executives from the region's most influential technology vendors, telecommunications operators, and IT service providers gathered online this week for the latest virtual installment of IDC Directions Middle East, Turkey & Africa.

Announcing its regional forecasts for the year ahead, IDC revealed that it expects telecommunications spending to increase 3.2% year-on-year (YoY) to US$137-billion, with IT spending set to grow 2% YoY to reach US$92-billion.

The market research and analysis firm also expects enterprise IT spending to see strong YoY growth of 7% in 2022 to cross the US$40.2-billion mark – and spending on digital transformation (DX) initiatives in the post-pandemic period is forecast to grow as a share of enterprise IT spending from 26% in 2020 to 38% in 2024.

"ICT spending across the META region has been largely resilient and mostly running counter to the economic situation throughout the pandemic," says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and managing director for the META region. "The need for contactless services, the accelerated digitalisation of operations, and the rise of digital business models have all contributed to this resilience. Organisations across the region have significantly accelerated their digital road maps as a result of the pandemic, some by two years or more, and many have shifted to a digital-first strategy, aggressively leveraging technologies such as cloud, AI, digital infrastructure, IOT and security, among others.

Lalchandani adds,"Organisations are now realising the benefits and impact of this digital acceleration. Indeed, our research shows that nearly 60% of medium-sized to large organisations in the META region have seen an increase in cost efficiencies through digitalization, while 47% have introduced new digitally augmented products and services and 46% have realised increased value from their data through new insights and enhanced decision making – in some cases, generating new revenue streams. The impact of accelerated digital transformation is here to stay!"

Opening proceedings at this year's virtual edition of IDC Directions Middle East, Turkey & Africa with a session titled 'Unlocking Opportunities in the Digital-First World: META Regional Outlook', Lalchandani outlined IDC's predictions for 2022.

The key highlights included:

• Spending on security (hardware, software, and services) will grow 7% to top $3.76 billion

• Spending on public cloud services will grow 27.3% to surpass $6.8 billion

• SaaS apps will account for 41% of public cloud software spending, followed by IaaS at 29%, systems infrastructure SaaS at 18%, and PaaS at 12%

• Spending on AI will grow 24.7% to total $1.2 billion

• Spending on RPA software will grow 47.5% to cross $159 million

• Spending on Big Data analytics will grow at 8.1% to reach $3 billion

IDC's global president, Crawford Del Prete, presented the event's keynote address, during which he revealed that one in two companies worldwide will generate more than 40% of their revenues from digital products and services by 2023.

But he warned that many organisations will struggle to navigate an increasingly digital-first world and served up some essential guidance on strategies for success.

"A recent global IDC study shows that 79% of organisations worldwide have shifted to a digital-first strategy as a result of the pandemic," said Del Prete. "But many organisations are struggling, with 50% still trying to figure out exactly what it means for them or only now just starting to execute. For those organisations looking to embed digital into everything they do as an IT buyer, our survey revealed some interesting insights from those that are already succeeding in this quest.

"Over 75% of these digital-first afficionados are driving innovation processes based on software and leveraging customer-engagement processes designed with privacy and data management and analysis technologies at their core. At the same time, over 70% of them are designing their physical facilities with a wireless-first approach and introducing new operations processes based on remote-first designs, thereby enabling the remote monitoring, diagnosis, and management of assets and processes."

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