Get like Gates with IT Weekly’s Top 100

Fans of lists may or may not have noticed that a certain William Gates III (Bill to his friends, and indeed everybody else on the planet) has just topped the Forbes Rich List once again.

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By  Peter Branton Published  September 27, 2006

|~|81Bill-Gatesbody.jpg|~|He tops the Forbes Rich List, but who are the top tech firms here?|~|Fans of lists may or may not have noticed that a certain William Gates III (Bill to his friends, and indeed everybody else on the planet) has just topped the Forbes Rich List once again. As this makes lucky 13 for Bill, the news was perhaps not a great surprise to him. He certainly doesn’t seem to have done any interviews suggesting that the whole thing is going to change his life, or indeed given any sign that he has noticed. For us mere mortals however, lists are, well, good fun. From the pop charts to our favourite books and films to the rich and famous, lists are everywhere. Well, make that almost everywhere. When we launched IT Weekly last year, one thing we quickly noticed was that there was a shortage of reliable information about IT companies in the Middle East - who has the most staff here, who has the biggest customer base, and so on. Since we want to provide a good service to our readers, then we decided to rectify that. The result was the IT Weekly Top 100 Technology Companies list, the first of what we intended then to be an annual tradition. We decided to name the 100 most influential IT companies that operate here in the Middle East, and give an accurate indication of their activities here. When we told people we were doing this, their first question was usually along the lines of “Are you sure you want to do that?” This was followed generally by “You’re going to have your work cut out for you!” We soon found out why. While global rankings of companies, technology or otherwise, can rely on large levels of market data to help the decision-making process: that is not the case in the Middle East. International firms operating here rarely break sales figures down past EMEA level; making it hard to determine what business they are doing in the region. Often, companies are reluctant to even give headcount figures for regional staff. Many local firms are also generally much more coy about their business than is usual in Europe or the US, with firms often reluctant to give out financial information of any kind. When you factor in that many large customers don’t like to be talked about and are reluctant to allow their name to be used as a reference site in the same way that their counterparts overseas might do, then the problem seems even larger. Which is why, this year, we want your help. The selection process for the second IT Weekly Top 100 list has already begun, but we are also inviting comment from you, our readers, as to who you think are the key technology companies in the Middle East. Email your comments to itweekly@itp.com and let us know your thoughts. ||**||

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