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Business Home > Nation
IT key to driving business growth in Middle East

Issac John (INTERVIEW) / 8 February 2013

Information Technology has been recognised as key to driving business growth in Europe Middle East and Africa, or Emea, region in 2013 with cloud computing expected to create new roles and responsibilities for IT staff, a survey revealed.

And IT transformation survey of 6,656 IT and business decision makers from 22 countries by EMC Corporation, a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service, reveals that 40 per cent of respondents rank the development of new products as a top business priority besides increasing revenue (46 per cent).

Additionally, the research makes clear that businesses are adapting their IT infrastructures to meet changing market needs, with the majority (59 per cent) stating that they will alter their IT function in some way over the next 12 months, said the survey conducted by Vanson Bourne.

Adrian McDonald, President EMEA at EMC, speaking to Khaleej Times, said IT has evolved as a strategic profit centre. “Businesses in emerging EMEA markets appear to be progressing with big data technologies at a faster rate than in developed nations. If this trend continues, we expect it to deliver real business advantage to organizations in developing markets, increasing competition across the whole region.”

McDonald said the survey results paint a positive picture for EMEA. “Businesses surveyed across the region are actively targeting growth and are increasingly using their IT function to enable this. Where once IT was a cost centre, it is now becoming a strategic profit centre.”

Citing the research findings, McDonald said two drivers in particular would be key to this change: big data and cloud computing.

With big data and cloud computing rising on the corporate agenda, security and data governance are noted as a major concern for all businesses surveyed across EMEA, he pointed out.

Nearly half of surveyed businesses in EMEA (47 per cent) now believe that big data will make new industry winners and losers, while 46 per cent state that they think cloud computing architectures will overtake traditional IT architectures within their organization over the next three years. The companies polled in Saudi Arabia (75 per cent) and Turkey (60 per cent) agree most with this statement, while Russia (32 per cent) and the Czech Republic (26 per cent) agree the least.

Overall, respondents are confident that their IT priorities align with their wider business objectives, with emerging markets taking the lead. Morocco (89 per cent) and the Czech Republic (88 per cent) are the most confident in this respect, with the least confident still ranking quite highly: BeLux (65 per cent) and Finland (62 per cent).

Businesses surveyed across the region (78 per cent) are confident they have the skills in place to meet their IT priorities: with Turkey (87 per cent), Morocco (87 per cent), Netherlands (84 per cent), Poland (84 per cent) and Austria (83 per cent) topping the list. The research also reveals that these skills will increasingly need to be centered on big data and cloud computing technology.

Over half of organizations (56 per cent) agree that cloud computing is creating new roles and responsibilities for IT staff. Turkey (72 per cent) and Morocco (70 per cent) believed this statement the most compared with businesses in countries such as Germany (33 per cent) and Austria (22 per cent) less likely to think that this will be the case.

It is also clear that a greater number of businesses surveyed in emerging markets (23 per cent) are likely to have deployed big data solutions than those in developed markets (18 per cent). Russia (56 per cent) and South Africa (40 per cent) scored particularly highly in this respect when compared to countries such as Finland (19 per cent) and Italy (19 per cent).

Developed markets are less likely to reap the benefits of big data with nearly half (48 per cent) of businesses currently having no plans to deploy big data, compared with only a third in emerging markets (33 per cent).



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