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Denise Holland GITEX Dubai

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 By Denise Holland

GITEX Dubai Bigger Than Ever

The 30th annual GITEX Technology Week was held from October 17 to 21 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and both attendance and enthusiasm were clearly up from the prior year. GITEX is clearly capitalizing on the region’s increased global IT presence. In the UAE alone, ICT investment is set to increase by 12.4% to US $4.8 billion this year, the Middle East region’s IT spend is expected to grow 11% compared with 1.2% growth in Western Europe, and emerging markets such as MENA, India and South Asia are forecast to account for 26% of global IT spend.

The regional event has grown to become a combination of three core sectors covering all aspects of the ICT industry – GITEX Business Solutions, GULFCOMMS and Consumer Electronics – spread across five days and evenings of presentations, break-out sessions and business networking.

GITEX business solutions is the go to annual event for small and midsize businesses (SMB), enterprise companies and government organizations from the Middle East, Africa and Indian subcontinent. While the GITEX Business Solutions was well represented and showcased hundreds of enterprise software solutions, including e-commerce, e-government, network management and information security among others, there was a new buzz this year in the topic of the cloud.

This year GITEX introduced the Cloud Computing Confex to the show’s mix – no doubt because software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud delivery of business software solutions are gaining acceptance, and early momentum, throughout the Middle East. The Cloud Computing Confex included global software vendors who have penetrated other regions, however, are now the pioneers in shaping the adoption and early successes in the Middle East, and particularly the GCC. Customer relationship management (CRM) software vendors Salesforce.com and Aplicor had strong presence at the show while Aplicor’s Chairman, Chuck Schaeffer, delivered presentations on Cloud computing benefits, risks and evolution for GCC companies. The Cloud Confex was particularly well attended by both government institutions and commercial enterprises.

Gitex Cloud

The GULFCOMMS exhibition continued to highlight the leading suppliers and telecoms solutions in telecommunications networks, mobile solutions, satellite communications, VoIP products, next generation networks, IP technology and infrastructure solutions.

The Consumer Electronics pavilion attempted to satisfy the region’s near insatiable appetite in the areas of media players, home entertainment, home networking, gaming, e-books and new consumer innovations. This year’s event also continued to impress with the latest in-car technology and entertainment features and gadgetry.

30 years of GITEX has transcended an evolution of technology education and solutions for the region. At its first event in 1981, the event hosted 46 exhibitors over 820 sqm. Now the event is brings together over 3,000 exhibitors from more than 65 countries occupying 72,000 sqm and is attended by more than 130,000 visitors. Many technology brand leaders such as Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco leverage GITEX for their global product launches or regional announcements. The success of the GITEX 2010 show is clearly a reflection of the increased global recovery as compared to the prior year and GITEX will likely benefit in the 2011 show as IT spend continues to grow in both the Middle East and globally. End

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Middle East IT Forecasts

Analyst firms consistently project the Middle East and GCC to outpace most of the rest of the world in IT spend and technology adoption.

  • IDC forecasts the global SaaS industry will increase sales from $13.1 billion in 2009 to $40.5 billion in 2014, and that the 2010 shift to subscription software will result in a $7 billion decline in world-wide traditional software license revenue. The research firm indicates Europe, the Middle East and Africa account for just a small piece of the SaaS market, 13% in 2009, versus 74% in the Americas. By 2014, IDC projects the region will increase its share of such sales to 35%.
  • IDC is forecasting a year‐over‐year growth in IT spend for the region of 11.0% in 2010, compared to 9.1% for Central and Eastern Europe, 6.3% for Latin America, 4.4% for Asia-Pacific, and just 1.2% for Western Europe.
  • The Middle East and Africa is set to account for 17% of the world's net ICT expenditure from 2010 through 2012.
  • Companies in the MEA region are set to spend US $49.77 billion in 2010, with the Gulf region contributing about 25% of the total.
  • The UAE is projected to spend US $4.79 billion in ICT investment in 2010 alone, an increase of 12.4% on 2009.
  • The UAE leads all the Middle Eastern and African countries with US $983 in IT spending per capita.

 

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