The IT sector is vital for business growth, sustainable job creation and economic diversification in the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Bill McDermott, SAP CO-CEO, said yesterday during a keynote speech.
As the amount of data online balloons, he said, technology will need to keep up-to-date to support the growth of the UAE as a trading hub. “IT investments have already helped the UAE fuel impressive growth across the country. Game-changing innovations like in-memory computing, mobility and cloud technology have the power to not only transform business and government, but also improve people’s lives,” he said. “Technology is the driving force behind the UAE’s more sustainable and profitable future, bearing in mind that 90 percent of commercial activities in the country are family businesses,” he added.
Cutting through the data
McDermott said technology was changing every year and a follow-up is a must for successful businesses in order to fuel progress in the MENA region.
“With data doubling every 18 months, maybe every 12 months, companies have too much data and have difficulty cutting through it all to see what matters,” said McDermott. He also pointed out that in the coming five years there will be a high percentage of mobile application users around the world.
“By 2014-2016, there will be 6.4 billion mobile app users. With the world population at about seven billion, it’s not hard to see that basically everyone will own a mobile device or smart phone,” said McDermott.
“Cutting-edge IT will enhance every aspect of business development in MENA from start-up phase, to profitability, to regional and global impact, to create an innovative atmosphere, to transparency and to job creation.” The most important IT trends: mobility, cloud computing and analytics will drive long-term growth in the years to come, said McDermott.
Sunil Bhave, vice president of Fujitsu, said IT expenses increased in 2010 and were expected to increase further in 2011 due to the high levels of dependence on IT and its solutions.
“In 2010, IT expenses increased in the MENA region by 8.6 percent to reach $4.5 billion (Dh16.5 billion) and are expected to grow more by ten percent CAGR in the coming two years,” said Bhave.