Iran sanctions lifted means shake-up for ICT market
Iran completes steps to lift international sanctions, which results in potential shake-up for ICT vendors
A new era for ICT vendors is here, as international sanctions against Iran have been lifted after the United Nations atomic watchdog announced the country had complied with a deal which prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Whilst the deal will contribute to improved regional and international peace and security, lifting the sanctions will unfreeze billions of dollars of assets and enable Iran's oil to be sold internationally. Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) announcement last July between Iran and the P5+1 countries, global technology consulting firm, International Data Corporation (IDC) reported the lifting of various US, United Nation and European Union sanctions could potentially shake-up the META ICT market.
According to IDC, this move could potentially see the country becoming the fastest-growing ICT market in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) over the next five years. With this said, there is a big expectation among IT distributors and resellers and though they are unlikely to flood Tehran immediately, the ICT market will begin to investigate their prospects in Iran.
"At present, the supply of consumer hardware to Iran is largely driven by re-exports from resellers in the UAE, but the easing of sanctions will enable vendors to start building official channel ecosystems in Iran, ultimately leading to a decline in the import of gray market goods," said Jyoti Lalchandani, group vice-president and regional managing director of IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
Research from the IDC "Understanding the Iran Opportunity: Where It Stands as of October 2015" report, revealed it expects demand for enterprise hardware in Iran to be fuelled by public, telecommunications, energy, finance and manufacturing sectors.
"Once sanctions have been terminated, Iran can move forward in leveraging ICT to transform industries across the country," continues Lalchandani. "The extent of these projects will depend largely on whether global oil prices rebound in the coming years. If they do, the increase in petrodollar revenues will help drive considerable transformation initiatives in the public sector, as well as significant modernization efforts across the energy, manufacturing, telecommunications, finance, transportation, and retail verticals."
Such projects will initially focus on business process optimisation, driving demand for enterprise resource management, customer relationship management, supply chain management and operations and manufacturing applications. Plus, databases and integration middleware, business analytics and enterprise mobility solutions.
Lalchandani added: "This will fuel strong demand for enterprise hardware, software, and IT services, with Iran having the potential to overtake South Africa by 2019 to become the second-largest ICT market in the META region behind Saudi Arabia."