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Security concerns slow Saudi managed services take up says IDC

Despite growth in Saudi services market, customers still reluctant to use managed services

The IT market is expanding in Saudi, but managed service providers still need to convince customers of security, says IDC.
The IT market is expanding in Saudi, but managed service providers still need to convince customers of security, says IDC.

Despite growth in Saudi Arabia's IT services market, customer organisations are still sceptical about the ability of third party service providers to protect their data, says IDC.

The analyst company said that the Saudi IT services market grew by 13.6% in 2010, across both project-based and support/install-based services. Sectors such as oil & gas, healthcare and education are investing in both greenfield deployments and updating legacy sites.

Local and multinational services companies however, are not gaining as much traction with their managed support offerings due to a lack of trust from customers, according to Omar Saleem, senior analyst with IT Services, IDC Middle East and Africa.

"The government sector is among the largest IT services spenders in the kingdom, accelerating investments in a number of projects to improve economic growth and offer better public services to its citizens. These investments will create a demand for new IT infrastructures coupled with a wide array of IT services required for smooth operations.

"Such initiatives present enormous opportunities for both local and multinational services providers to expand their managed services portfolio. Although investments across verticals have accelerated in the past year, concerns around data security and inadequate support prevail.

We believe fears about security breaches are a critical factor preventing organizations in Saudi Arabia from using third-party services. Although services providers have been investing in their processes and audits to ensure data security standards are met, customer organizations were observed to be sceptical about the security measures their services providers have implemented," Saleem added.

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