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Saudi CIOs expect budget increases: IDC

Report suggests Saudi organisations are more prepared to invest in emerging tech

Saudi CIOs expect budget increases: IDC
IDC's report found that demand for public cloud remains low

More than 80% of Saudi Arabia-based CIOs expect their IT budgets to increase over the next 12 months, according to a recent survey conducted by IDC.

Designed to assess the IT spending priorities of Saudi CIOs, the survey looked at the impact of emerging trends IT department buying habits. The report found that more Saudi CIOs are now prepared to invest in emerging technologies as a result of budget increases.

"The rising budgets will inevitably translate into an increase in overall ICT spending, with the primary drivers being investments in the so-called third platform for innovation and growth, namely cloud, mobile, social, and big data technologies," said Hamza Naqshbandi, senior manager for IT services at IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

"Additionally, the survey found that Saudi organisations are gradually opening up to the idea of engaging third parties to take over the management of their IT environments."

Private cloud remains one of the top priorities of Saudi CIOs, the report said. IDC found that 22% of respondents plan to implement such solutions in a bid to drive organisational efficiency and productivity, and thereby gain a competitive advantage.

The most common drivers of cloud adoption included cost savings, quick deployment and maintenance, and scalability, IDC said.

However, IDC's report found that demand for public cloud remains low, with CIOs still put off by the numerous associated security risks. But IDC said that demand is expected to pick up slowly as international public cloud providers strengthen their focus on the Saudi market and work to assuage the fears that currently hamper adoption.

Mobility also featured high on the list of CIO priorities in the Kingdom, with 15% of survey respondents citing plans to mobilise enterprise applications over the coming 12 months.

What's more, while the immediate outlook for CIO budgets is certainly promising, IDC warned that the future may not be so rosy. Just over half of the CIOs questioned by IDC expected it to become much more difficult to secure bloated IT budgets in the years to come as organisations increasingly strive to become leaner.

Meanwhile, 67% identified the management of IT security as a key concern for the future, with the constantly evolving threat landscape only serving to heighten the risk profile of many Saudi organisations.

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