Directions Event by IDC explores ways of thriving in the digital economy

The digital economy

Investments in digital transformation and innovation are expected to account for around 30% of all IT related spending in the META (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) region by 2024; up from 18% in 2018. This information comes from the latest analysis and predictions from the International Data Corporation (IDC) this week, as it hosted more than 500 of the region’s most influential ICT industry personnel at its IDC Directions event at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai.

To commence the day’s events, the groups vice president and marketing director for the region, Jyoti Lalchandani, highlighted that spending in these areas is leaving the rest of the market behind, growing at a compound annual rate of 18% in comparison to 1.5% for the rest of IT.

Other predictions for the market included the following:

• Government enterprise IT spending is increasing at a CAGR of 5.7% and will reach over $8 billion in 2021.

• At over $6 billion, manufacturing will make-up for 23% of all digital transformation spending in 2020.

• Annual security spending will reach over $3.6 billion by 2023 as digital trust becomes a priority.

• Spending on artificial intelligence will top $600 million in 2023, doubling from 2018 levels.

• IoT spending will reach $17 billion in 2023, six times the value seen in 2018.

The event included insights from the group’s chief research office Meredith Whalen. Ms Whalen had flown in from the USA as a keynote speaker to talk about ‘The CEO’s New Agenda for Running a Digital Enterprise’. During the session she explained that IDC’s international research had found three of the most important matters on the new agenda as the requirement to development digital trust programs, enable the development of digitally intelligent organizations and to embrace new industry ecosystems.

The digital economy is at a critical tipping point,” claimed Whalen. “In just a few short years, IDC forecasts that nearly half of all GDP worldwide will come from products and services offered by digitally transformed organizations. In order to thrive, organizations must define their new role in this digital economy and proactively address new customer requirements around personalization and trust. They must also develop new capabilities around digital innovation, work, and intelligence, and build a digital IT infrastructure that supports resilient operations and pervasive experiences.”

‘IDC Directions’ is the region’s bi-annual ICT industry event and this year explored the theme of ‘Multiplied Innovation Goes Mainstream: Thriving in the Digital Economy‘. The event brought the most well-known technology vendors, telecommunications operators, and IT service providers together under one roof, and also played host to the chief executive officer of IDG, IDC’s parent company and the world’s leading technology media, research, and events organization – Mohamad Ali.

The agenda included a number of individually themed expert-led sessions exploring a wide range of topics such as 5G, IoT, AI, cloud, Smart Cities, hyper-converged systems, software-defined infrastructure, automation, security, managed services, digital document solutions, mobile phones, PCs, and wearables. In-depth discussions took place on the emerging opportunities that exist in key markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Africa, and the UAE, with IDC indicating the latter to see a 5.1% year-on-year leap in IT spending this year to $8.45 billion.

From ecommerce and cloud computing to FinTech and cybersecurity, the UAE is leading the region in digital transformation,” said Ammar Al Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City, which was the Strategic Partner at IDC Directions 2020. “We believe that the biggest budget in the history of Dubai, announced earlier this year, sends a strong message to the business community. It will be a catalyst for growth that stimulates entrepreneurship, innovation, and the ecosystems supporting a diversified, knowledge-based economy.

Analysts continue to predict that ICT investment in the region will rise and the appetite for future growth is promising. As such, investment insight is crucial to ensure the 1,600+ start-ups, entrepreneurs, and Fortune 500 companies based in Dubai Internet City continue to leverage growth opportunities, and we are working closely with our partners at IDC to make this happen.

About IDC International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.