The IT spending by Middle East economies is expected to jump by up to 5.5 percent to USD 192.9 billion in 2013.
The latest forecast by Gartner Inc. points out that almost all sectors of the IT industry will contribute to this steady growth. Telecom services market in the region will continue to dominate spending in the IT market. Telecom market currently accounts for 77 percent of the total IT spending in the region. The demand by industry is expected to be more than five percent in 2013, with mobile voice services climbing to USD 88.5 billion and mobile data services reaching USD 23.2 billion.
The spending on devices, which include mobile phones, printers, media tablets and PCs, is estimated to total USD 29.6 billion this year. This is an increase of 7.7 percent compared to 2012. Spending on mobile phones will show an impressive growth of more than more than 14 percent in 2013 as consumers are lured by attractive designs and features of new handsets. According to Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner, “mobile phone sales between 2013 and 2016 are forecast to increase 64 percent, reaching USD 32.7 billion”.
While IT demand in large Middle East organizations remains selective, vertical industries like banking and government will help to maintain a strong growth momentum of IT industry. The demand will be fueled by various projects of Gulf states to reduce reliance on income from oil exports and develop the non-oil GDP sectors of their economies. The IT sector is likely to continue to play a vital part in the completion of these projects.
In 2013, Middle East software spending is also forecast to grow 7.1 percent over 2012. The demand will be driven by key markets such as security, storage management and customer relationship management.