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Technology 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 market researcher 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,” says Mukesh Chulani, senior analyst at IDC Government Insights MEA.


“Understandably, the IT spending maturity of countries within the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula varies greatly from that of developing African nations," Chulani adds. Irrespective of these differences, Chulani expects government CIOs across the region will seriously seek to evolve their approach toward IT investments in 2012 by emphasizing efficiency and cost-optimised capacity build out.


"Tactically, this will mean a greater push by government IT decision makers to standardise applications and services within their organisations,” he adds. The CIOs will have to evaluate various outsourcing solutions and invest into IT 'game changers' – such as virtualisation, cloud and mobility solutions – in order to help manage IT costs.


IDC's predictions for MEA's government sector IT investments in 2012:

  • MEA governments will continue to increase IT spending levels, but the focus will be on cost optimisation 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 utilising 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.

  • Virtualisation 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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