Software investment tops agenda

Although the ripples of the global economic downturn appear to have finally hit the Middle East, software spending remains strong.

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By  Mohammed Affan Published  October 6, 2002

Although the ripples of the global economic downturn appear to have finally hit the Middle East, software spending remains strong. High single digit growth rates across the application mix shows that although other technologies struggle, the software industry is going from strength to strength.

Initial estimates from IDC show that the Middle East and North Africa spent over US$100 million on enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in 2001 alone. Although Saudi Arabia accounted for the bulk of the spending, the UAE was not far behind.

According to Jyoti Lalchandani, manager, software & consulting CEMA region, IDC, this spending is no longer confined to the traditional IT strongholds of banking and oil & gas. “We saw software investment across almost all industries,” he says.

Furthermore, it appears as though the local market is unwilling to wait for the international vendors to Arabise their offerings.

Local software players such as Alphasoft Group and ACP have developed localised ERP and are addressing the need within the Middle East’s market.

Buoyant market conditions have ensured that international and local software vendors will be out in force at Gitex.

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