IDC predicts Government IT spending to go up in the MEA region

IT spending by the Middle East and Africa (MEA) government sector totaled $5.35 billion in 2010 and is set to see double-digit growth in 2011, according to the latest research from the Government Insights team at IDC, the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm for the information technology and telecommunications markets.

In the recently released “Middle East and Africa Government Sector Top 10 Predictions, 2011” report from IDC Government Insights revealed that IT spending by MEA governments will surge 10.7% year on year in 2011 as they look to encourage greater adoption of ICT across their jurisdictions by revamping outmoded regulatory regimes, creating conducive environments for industry growth, and instilling greater confidence and trust among residents.

“Information and communication technology (ICT) will increasingly be recognized as a key driver of economic growth and productivity across the Middle East and Africa,” says Mukesh Chulani, Senior Research Analyst for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, IDC Government Insights. “Many governments across the region acknowledge through their national strategic plans that decisive action is required to mobilize citizens and residents and develop ICT capabilities. Much of the interest in ICT regionally is linked to its potential for raising productivity and supporting innovation through more efficient utilization of capital and labor.”

Chulani also expects the rollout of regional fiber-optic networks to stimulate the deployment of technology services by MEA governments. “The lack of adequate network communications infrastructure has previously inhibited the efficient and affordable provision of ICT-based services by the MEA public sector,” he says. “But plans are in place to lay an additional 60,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cable in the region over the next 18 months as part of $2.5 billion worth of investment aimed at developing world-class telecommunications networks, and this will undoubtedly help alleviate any internal resistance when deploying egovernment services to residents.”

IDC’s Middle East and Africa Government Sector Top 10 Predictions, 2011 report highlights the crucial issues, conditions, and challenges that government officials and organizations must address as they meet their responsibilities for IT strategy planning, investment decision making, and technology program delivery. Derived from conversations with government leaders, technology vendors, consultants, and government services contractors, the top 10 predictions also take into account various overarching technology trends that will shape the future of ITC investment, implementation, management, and measurement.