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Regional IT spend set to reach $35bn in 07

Past year witnessed substantial increase in spend on IT products and services, according to IDC.

IT spend in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is soaring, according to the latest figures from IDC.

Total IT spend for the MEA region in 2007 will reach $35 billion, up 12.9% on 2006, and carry on rising to touch $46 billion in 2011, the research and analysis firm is predicting.

Growth is driven by two factors, Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and regional managing director at IDC MEA, told ITP.net.

"First, we're seeing a lot more adoption of IT infrastructure at the hardware level in some of the more developing markets within the Middle East and Africa. Second, we're seeing a transition of some of the users away from building infrastructure to utilising infrastructure," he said.

Investment is increasing in areas such as software and services, he added, particularly in the SMB segment.

IT spending covers software products, computer equipment, IT services and data communication products such as switches and routers.

Hardware is the driver of growth in the home segment, while adoption of next generation applications is the main investment at the enterprise level, Lalchandani said.

"Be it security, storage, content management, document management etc [companies] are really stepping up efforts to utilise the infrastructure a lot more," he said.

The oil and gas sector, telecommunication companies, and the government are some of the biggest spenders on IT products and services, particularly the telecommunications sector given the arrival of new operators in the region, according to IDC.

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