IT spending in UAE expected to touch $15.9bn this year

Enterprises and consumers that refrained from buying PCs in 2009 will be attracted to the lower price points offered by mini notebooks this year. (EB FILE)

Enterprise and consumer IT spending in the UAE will likely reach $15.9 billion (Dh58.4bn) this year, a 9.1 per cent increase from 2009.

The fastest growing segment will be computing hardware with 10.6 per cent growth, while IT services will be the slowest with three per cent growth for the same period, according to industry tracker Gartner.

"IT spending is slowly transitioning from a pure IT infrastructure focus on PCs, printers and telecommunications to broader IT services," said Vittorio D'Orazio, principal research analyst at Gartner. "From an overall infrastructure viewpoint, the UAE is a hybrid state transitioning from an emerging to a developed economy."

Government and sovereign wealth fund-funded infrastructure projects are advancing at an exponential rate with robust IT opportunities. Telecom will represent 79 per cent of total IT spending in 2010, inclusive of consumer spending.

Mini notebooks will gain relevance as many providers are now offering better mainstream functionality and reliability with the introduction of Windows 7, enterprises and consumers that refrained from buying PCs in 2009 will be attracted to the lower price points offered by mini notebooks in 2010.

Technologies such as x86 consolidation virtualisation, or density technologies such as blades are important and growing technologies.

Managed print services (MPS) is another market that is relatively immature but is ripe with opportunities for both service providers and their customers.

Storage technologies such as thin provisioning, data de-duplication and serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) drives and single-instance store or data compression will help organisations save storage capacity and reduce costs by delaying the purchase of additional storage systems. Service-orientated architecture (SOA) and closely related technologies such as Business Process Management (BPM), Business Process Analysis (BPA), Data Integration, Extreme Transaction Processing (XTP) and Complex Event Processing (CEP) will become key focus areas for enterprises in the UAE due to the current economic downturn. Software as a Service (SaaS) will also be increasingly considered by enterprises.

According to D'Orazio, the UAE has the potential to leapfrog to a leading position in this space given that the telecom infrastructure is state-of-the-art and organisations are very receptive to new ways of doing business.

The adoption of an alternative delivery model in the UAE, such as SaaS and cloud computing, will change purchase trends for IT services. There is a marked shift in the UAE in enterprise IT spending profiles from infrastructure spending to a more service-oriented spending.

 

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