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DUBAI, UAE., April 26, 2021

Gartner Forecasts IT Spending in MENA to Reach $171 Billion in 2021

Businesses in MENA Show Renewed Interest in IT Projects as Impact of COVID-19 Declines in the Region

IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is projected to total $171 billion in 2021, an increase of 4.5% from 2020, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.

“IT projects were either put on hold or canceled in MENA because of COVID-19. In 2021, as the situation in the region improves and businesses understand the true value of a resilient digital ecosystem, IT spending will return to a pre-pandemic growth rate,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “In the first quarter of 2021 projects such as ‘remote work visas’, ‘Smart Dubai 2021’, and other economic policy regulations were launched. These are expected to boost technology investments in the region.”

In 2020, IT spending in MENA grew 2.7%, as compared to 2020. Most of the segments experienced flat growth, except for communications services which grew 7.2% last year (see Table 1). This year, enterprise software will experience the highest growth at 14.5%. The increase in number of remote workers will be the catalyst to this growth. Growth will also return to segments such as data center systems and devices over the next two years.

Table 1. MENA IT Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

 

2020 Spending

2020 Growth (%)  

2021 Spending

2021 Growth (%)  

2022 Spending

2022 Growth (%)  

Data Center Systems

4,940

0

5,274

6.8

5,423

2.8

Enterprise Software

6,922

0

7,925

14.5

8,737

10.2

Devices

25,522

-12.2

27,588

8.0

28,129

1.9

IT Services

12,566

0.6

13,657

8.7

14,721

7.8

Communications Services

114,031

7.2

116,895

2.5

120,932

3.5

Overall IT

163,982

2.7

171,339

4.5

177,942

4

Source: Gartner (April 2021)

IT spending in MENA will return to pre-pandemic levels and even surpass it over the next two years. “Different economies have reacted differently to the pandemic. Rapid digitalization of MENA, especially the gulf countries, began before the pandemic. While 2020 slowed the growth of IT in the region, the ‘K-shaped’ recovery has begun faster in this region, as compared to Asia and Latin America,” said Mr. Lovelock.

CIOs in MENA will increase their spending on servers, applications and infrastructure software in 2021, to support the rapid digitalization efforts. Additionally, the increase in remote workforce will increase spending on mobile devices and remote working technologies such as desktop-as-a-service (DaaS).

More detailed analysis on the outlook for global IT spending is available in the Gartner webinar "IT Spending Forecast, 1Q21 Update: How the Winners are Winning." Learn more about emerging trends, expected challenges and next steps for CIOs and IT leaders in the free Gartner E-Book “Top Priorities for IT: Leadership Vision for 2021.”

Gartner’s IT spending forecast methodology relies heavily on rigorous analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the entire range of IT products and services. Gartner uses primary research techniques, complemented by secondary research sources, to build a comprehensive database of market size data on which to base its forecast.

The Gartner quarterly IT spending forecast delivers a unique perspective on IT spending across the hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications segments. These reports help Gartner clients understand market opportunities and challenges. The most recent IT spending forecast research is available to Gartner clients in “Gartner Market Databook, 1Q21 Update.” This quarterly IT spending forecast page includes links to the latest IT spending reports, webinars, blog posts and press releases.

About the Gartner Information Technology Practice

The Gartner IT practice provides CIOs and IT leaders with the insights and tools to drive the organization through digital transformation to lead business growth. Additional information is available at https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology. Follow news and updates from the Gartner IT practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerIT.

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