Easing of the purse strings

CIO ‘s and IT professionals show the way as spending begins again

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By  Sean Robson Published  May 27, 2009

We in the media love lists, be they lists like a ‘Hot 100’ or Dubai’s 25 Best and everything else in between. It is tempting to put one of these lists together when it comes to the networking industry, yet nothing short of impossible.

Why? Because this is an industry of hard work, long nights and little hype. CIO’s and IT managers are not the type to trumpet their own successes and are generally simply too busy with projects and implementations to find the time to do the trumpeting.

The second half of 2009 will see the number of high profile implementations and deployments increase after an understandably cautious start to the year. Purse strings are finally being untied and budgets released, the IT departments working hand in hand with the business to add value to the organisation while producing maximum return on investment.

Talking to vendors and users alike it has become apparent that IT is once again being seen as a non-negotiable element in the businesses long term success. However, it is important to note that the role of the IT manager has changed; he or she is no longer simply a key holder reporting intermittently to management. More frequently the IT manager is earning a seat at the board room table as business decisions are discussed and reached.

But where is the money being spent? Security remains a hot subject as attacks on the regions cash rich enterprises hot up and the worlds hackers migrate into the Middle East’s IT space. Regulation and certification is another growth area in which spending continues to remain strong as companies are forced to meet international standards.

But for every market sector seeing a bump in spending there is another experiencing a slowdown. The rush to ‘green’ technologies is, unfortunately, one of the big losers in this financial downturn as companies shy away from solutions that are initially quite expensive and do not offer immediate to short term RoI.

On a different note, this will be my last hurrah working on NME. In the time I have been in Dubai and on the magazine I have been amazed and impressed by the passion that those I have encountered bring to the industry.

From major players and systems integrators through to users and niche companies the Middle East’s networking community has shown itself to be an amazing market filled with some of the smartest most driven people in the world.

Thank you all and good luck.

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