IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is projected to reach $160bn in 2019, a 1.8% increase from 2018, according to a new report by Gartner Inc.
The research and advisory firm said that consumer IT spending had “reached a tipping point”, with consumers forecast to spend US$532mn on upgrading or replacing their mobile phones this year.
Consumers are also expected to spend $63.7bn on mobile services in 2019, up $1bn from 2018.
According to Gartner’s 2019 Middle East IT Spending and Technology Trends report, MENA businesses are forecast to increase their spending on software, which continues to be the fastest growing sector.
In fact, John Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, said that businesses in MENA are predicted to “increase their IT spending in all segments except for the devices segment”.
Software and IT services are projected to exhibit the strongest growth in 2019, with a 11.5% and 7.5% increase year over year respectively.
“Most organizations in the MENA region are paying off years of technology deficits, and implementing software systems that standardize and automate existing business processes,” said Lovelock.
“Only a few leading local organizations are overcoming technology hurdles, and moving more quickly toward artificial intelligence and digital business systems, and participation in digital business ecosystems.”
Elsewhere, the communications services segment — the largest spending segment in MENA and the fourth fastest growing segment in the world — is set to increase 1.8% year over year.
Gartner also highlighted that the banking and securities industry spending is set to grow 5% in 2019.
“Banks in MENA must keep investing in IT in order to participate in the international banking system. At the same time, IT security has always been on the radar and has now become the No. 1 priority for senior banking executives,” said Miriam Burt, managing research vice president at Gartner.
The report was announced at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2019 which is currently underway in Dubai, UAE.