IT spending by the government sector in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) should increase by 15.1% year on year in 2012 to reach $7.41 billion, according to IDC.
“The MEA region is highly diverse, comprising countries of different sizes and economic diversity, at various stages of development, and with dissimilar political and regulatory structures. Understandably, the IT spending maturity of countries within the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula varies greatly from that of developing African nations,” says Mukesh Chulani, senior analyst at IDC Government Insights MEA.
Irrespective of these differences, Mr. Chulani expects that government CIOs across the region will seriously seek to evolve their approach towards IT investments in 2012 by emphasizing efficiency and cost-optimized capacity buildout. Tactically, this will mean a greater push by government IT decision makers to standardize applications and services within their organizations, evaluate various outsourcing solutions, and invest into IT ‘game changers’ – such as virtualization, cloud, and mobility solutions – in order to help manage IT costs while providing better services to stakeholders.
IDC’s top 10 predictions for government sector IT investments and initiatives in Middle East and Africa in 2012:
• MEA governments will continue to increase IT spending levels, but the focus will be on cost optimization and improving operational efficiency.
• Civil action by citizens will provide an impetus for MEA governments to accelerate their efforts to deliver electronic services.
• Focus will increase on utilizing IT to improve transparency and engender trust among citizens.
• The mobile phone will be a new frontier for government outreach to citizens.
• Due to public-sector financing gaps, the private sector will play a greater role in infrastructure investments.
• Virtualization will be at the forefront of governments’ planned IT projects.
• Governments will continue to evaluate the applicability of cloud computing, with interest initially focused on private cloud solutions.
• Governments will continue to face the problematic issue of limited IT skills.
• Governments will take a much more serious approach to IT security.
• “If you can’t beat them …” MEA governments will start to leverage online social media as a platform for engaging citizens.
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