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MEA IT spend to pass $270bn in 2015

SaaS and converged infrastructure to be highest areas of growth, says IDC

MEA IT spend to pass $270bn in 2015
Kumar: Converged systems will gain prominence in 2015 and serve as the building blocks to software-defined environments

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region's spend on IT will top $270bn in 2015, posting an expected growth 9% year-over-year, according to the latest predictions from IDC.

This growth rate would make MEA the second-fastest growing market worldwide, IDC said, adding that the software-as-a-service (SaaS) segment would perform particularly strongly with 29% growth. IDC also said that converged systems would be another big area of growth in this region, as more organisations look to leverage the agility and cost-savings benefits of these solutions.

"Converged systems will gain prominence in 2015 and serve as the building blocks to software-defined environments across the MEA region in 2016 and beyond," said Megha Kumar, research manager for software at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

"In the Middle East, demand will be particularly strong from smart city initiatives and the implementation of large-scale transportation projects, while in Africa the lack of legacy systems will enable organisations to leapfrog to the latest converged technologies as they strive to ease the pressures of ongoing skills shortages."

SaaS uptake, meanwhile, will be focused on non-critical workloads such as sales, marketing, CRM and talent management, IDC said. The research house added that public adoption will grow in the MEA region, however it cautioned that private cloud will continue to be used for critical applications and to provision shared services. IDC also predicted a stronger uptake of analytics in the MEA region during 2015.

"Analytics uptake will also rise in 2015, since organisations consider it easier to comprehend than big data, both in terms of technology and the value derived from the solution," said Kumar.

"Big data will predominantly remain an opportunistic buy in 2015 for a select band of large enterprises, and vendors will need to increase their focus on educating end users and showcasing the value gained from successful deployments if they wish this scenario to change."

While IT spend will be up this year, IDC said that IT buying habits among organisations are beginning to shift, with line-of-business managers asserting more influence over IT spending.

"Globally, 60% of enterprises plan to structure their IT initiatives into core IT projects and line-of business IT projects," said Jyoti Lalchandani, group vice president and managing director at IDC MEA.

"The CIO will remain in control of the purse strings for the former, but the latter will be at the mercy of the relevant departmental heads. This presents a whole new target audience for the region's vendor community and raises the prospect of even more shadow IT projects taking place, particularly around the third-platform technologies of cloud, big data, mobility, and social."

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