With end-user organizations around the world increasingly embracing a future that is built on mobile devices, cloud services, social networks, and Big Data analytics, there has been much talk of a shift in the relationship between the IT department and the line of business (LoB). But how has this shift manifested itself here in the MEA region? And what are the implications for the future IT procurement landscape? IDC Trendspotter sat down with Megha Kumar, senior research manager for software at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, to find out more.
Strategic Imperatives for Local IT Services Providers
The ICT provider landscape in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) is undergoing major transformation, driven by strong competition and rapid shifts in customer needs. Many global ICT providers have intensified their investments in the region with a view to long-term market making, and are now aggressively promoting new technologies and service models, often leading to conflict and competition with their local channel partners. At the same time, the convergence of information and communications and technologies has been gaining momentum, spurring telcos to develop IT services and thereby compete more directly with traditional IT services providers.
The Foundations of a New 3rd Platform IT Organization
As the use of disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobility, social media, and Big Data solutions becomes more prominent within the region's enterprise landscape, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are on the cusp of a dramatic and much-needed transformation of the traditional IT department's structure and business management processes. For years now, IT has been viewed purely as an 'overhead department', but there is a growing push underway within the region's more forward-thinking enterprises to transform this perception to one where IT is viewed instead as a 'service business'. But what is driving this shift in thinking? And what are the initial steps that organizations must take in their quest to turn it into reality?
My regular discussions with the Middle East's most influential IT decision makers offer a perfect opportunity to gauge their future investment plans, and it has been particularly clear since the beginning of 2014 that they are increasingly gearing up to adopt a "mobile first" approach to the development of their organization's applications. In the intervening period, many companies across the region have begun to accelerate their efforts in this regard, providing employees with remote access to corporate assets. But what has been the driving force behind this shift to mobility and what will the impact be on the region's IT leaders and the roles they play within their organizations?
With work habits continually evolving and the proliferation of mobile devices enabling more employees to escape the physical constraints of the office, the concept of enterprise mobility is a hot topic of conversation among IT and business leaders across the Middle East. But true enterprise mobility isn’t simply about equipping employees with the latest iPhone and sending them on their way; these mobile employees must also have the necessary tools at their disposal to do their jobs properly at any time and in any place. Indeed, if they can’t access the critical data and applications needed to perform the tasks required of them, then those expensively purchased iPhones are nothing but glorified email readers.
Over the past 10 years or so, the global market has seen an explosion of hardware and software support providers offering proactive and preventive automated support solutions. These remote tools and utilities are designed to help IT departments detect potential problems before they affect system performance, providing quick and efficient resolutions for a whole range of common hardware and software issues. Such solutions are becoming increasingly popular here in the Middle East, with CIOs identifying them as a way of streamlining their IT operations and improving application and workload delivery. But are they actually any good? And, if so, what is the most prudent approach to ensuring their success?
When Converged Systems Grow Up
The constantly evolving IT trends of the past decade have played a hugely significant role in shaping the changing landscape of enterprise datacenters. The rate of change has been faster in the user-driven layer, with the support architecture simply having to play catchup. The broader set of requirements among enterprise end users revolve around the provision of cloud interfaces, applications centricity, multiple end-point management, and real-time data availability. Such a varied multitude of requirements has inevitably saddled datacenter providers with resource allocation and agility issues.
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For the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey region, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Casablanca, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg and Istanbul, with a regional center in Dubai. Our coverage couples local insight with an international perspective to provide a comprehensive understanding of markets in these dynamic regions. Our market intelligence services are unparalleled in depth, consistency, scope, and accuracy. IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey currently fields over 125 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region.