Big data and analytics spending in MEA to reach $2.2 billion in 2017: IDC

by Pippa Sanderson   4 April, 2017
Big data and analytics spending in MEA to reach $2.2 billion in 2017: IDC

Revenues for big data and analytics (BDA) in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) totalled $1.98 billion in 2016, according to the latest Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global ICT research and consulting services firm expects the region to see year-on-year growth of 11 per cent in 2017 to reach $2.20 billion. The growth is expected to continue over the coming years to reach approximately $3.20 billion in 2020, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.0 per cent over the 2016-20 period.

When it comes to the technologies used in BDA implementations, a large portion of investment is focused on IT and business services followed by software. Indeed, IT and business services alone accounted for 55.1 per cent of overall spending.

“This highlights that organisations in the region clearly face challenges in finding skills to support big data and analytics deployments, and rely heavily on partners to support them until the solution goes into production,” said Megha Kumar, Research Director for Software at IDC MEA. “Spending on software in the BDA space is focused on solutions for end-user query and reporting and databases.”

“Organisations in the region acknowledge the need to leverage data for taking strategic decisions,” continued Kumar. “There is a lot of focus around customer analytics and operational analytics to gain insights on customers and improve overall performance. While there is uptake around advanced and predictive workloads, it is very clear that many industries are still struggling to understand the use cases they can leverage within their sector.”

In terms of industries, the government sector (both state and federal/local government) was the largest spender on BDA solutions in MEA in 2016, accounting for 20.4 per cent of spending. It was followed by the financial sector (19.2 per cent) and telecommunications (13.3 per cent). Other industries with longer-term potential include manufacturing (both discrete and processed manufacturing), healthcare providers, resource industries, utilities and transportation.

Industries that have shown very little BDA spending include construction, personal and consumer services, and media. Finance, healthcare and government are the fastest-growing sectors, with all three expected to grow at CAGRs of around 12 per cent over the course of the forecast period.

From a geographical perspective, more than 24 per cent of the MEA region’s BDA investment in 2016 was generated in Saudi Arabia, followed by South Africa and the UAE, with shares of 22.7 per cent and 17.2 per cent respectively. Turkey accounted for 15.6 per cent share, with the remainder split between the rest of the MEA countries.

“As alluded to earlier, BDA adoption in the region is rising with organisations seeking embedded analytics within applications,” said Kumar. “Advanced and predictive workloads will give rise to demand for skills such as data scientists.”

IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide is designed to address the needs of organisations assessing the big data and business analytics opportunity by geography, industry and company size. The guide provides subscribers with revenue projections for 15 technology and service categories across 19 industries, five company size bands and 53 countries. Unlike any other research in the industry, the comprehensive guide was designed to help IT decision makers to clearly understand the industry-specific scope and direction of big data and business analytics opportunity today and over the next five years.


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