Middle East’s IT expenditure to cross $20 billion in 2012

Infotech Lead Middle East: Middle East’s expenditure on IT is expected to cross $20 billion in 2012, which represents a growth rate of over 10 percent, on the year on-year average.

The Middle East Network Security market is expected to experience growth over 18 percent between 2012 and 2018, opening up huge opportunities for vendors to identify and tap.

A growing need for network connections necessitates added protection for consumers from an ever-increasing number of threats, which are not only highly furtive and concealed but also highly targeted and customized.

The Middle East Security market is growing. This growth is attributed mainly to government-led investments in Information and Communication Technologies industry, with targeted spending on education, healthcare, and infrastructure sectors. Consumerisation of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in enterprises and rise in employee mobility are also seen.

Though the Banking, Financial Services and insurance (BFSI) vertical remained the top overall spender in the region in 2011, partly due to increasing penetration of global companies in the region, the Government vertical spent more on security technologies. There has also been a growing need amongst public sector companies to enhance their security infrastructure with IT becoming a critical component in their operational setup.

Frost & Sullivan expects regulatory compliance to be one of the key drivers of the Enterprise Security market in the Middle East. Technology convergence, cloud computing, and greater adoption of web applications are expected to drive the deployment of integrated security appliances in the region during 20122018.

With persistent cyber attacks that aim to access critical and confidential data, sectors such as Banking and Finance, Government and Defence, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Online Shopping and Trading, Social Networking sites, and Hospitality are most vulnerable in the Middle East. According to Frost & Sullivan, a shift in focus is necessary from threat management to risk management.

Many organizations are using collaborative technologies such as blogs, podcasts, and wikis to communicate with both internal employees and customers, and there has been a shift in control from the enterprise to the consumer. This paradigm shift in communication to collaborative technologies, coupled with increased Internet penetration and information sharing, is making organizations review their security policies today.

Modern-day businesses are becoming increasingly information-centric in the Middle East. In light of changing technology trends, effective management of information security risks is of paramount importance for decision makers today.

Frost & Sullivan recommends that due to the rising complexity of security threats, security solutions should not only focus on security-related deficiencies to minimize gaps but also facilitate the integration between business and technology. While most countries in the Middle East and North Africa are using emergency laws to deal with these issues, countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Iran, and Oman have taken early initiatives to develop/implement stringent cyber laws through their local regulating bodies, with a few even having designated specific cyber courts to deal with such crimes.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent study on the Enterprise Security market in the Middle East suggests that effective security management within an enterprise requires striking the right balance between people, policies, processes, and technologies to curb risks associated with a digitally connected business environment.

By Haritha Ramachandran, Program Manager, Information and Communication Technologies Practice, Middle East and North Africa, Frost & Sullivan

[email protected]