Dubai – Governments across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) spent a combined $12.8 billion on information and communication technologies (ICT) last year, according to the latest findings from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research and consulting firm expects this figure to continue rising over the coming years at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8%, crossing the $15 billion mark by 2023.

Digital transformation (DX) initiatives will be responsible for driving much of this growth in the MEA region, with government spending in this space forecast to increase at a CAGR of 17.6% over the 2019-2023 period. A key area DX growth in the government sector will be artificial intelligence (AI), with IDC predicting that 60% of national governments worldwide will have deployed AI by 2023 as they strive to improve their datacenter management, service and information accuracy, and constituent interactions. To this end, government spending on AI in the MEA region is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 22.2% over the coming years.

Governments throughout the region are also increasingly looking incorporate blockchain within their DX initiatives, with the technology becoming a powerful government tool for reducing fraud, boosting security, and establish new relationships with citizens. And while MEA governments only directed $21 million towards blockchain last year, IDC expects that figure to top $105 million by 2023, representing a phenomenal CAGR of 49.2%.

"Governments across the region are under mounting pressure to become both more efficient and more effective," says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. "However, this is proving to be a troublesome task as many government organizations are simply not prepared for digital redesign. Whether it's finding ways to integrate 5G, AI, and blockchain or protect against intrusions on digital trust, government agencies have a whole new set of IT skills to learn."

These issues will come into sharp focus at the upcoming IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2020, which takes place on February 26-27 at Dubai's Atlantis, The Palm. Now in its 13th year, the event will provide more than 500 CIOs and other C-Suite executives from both the public and private sectors with the chance to benchmark the DX progress of their own organizations. Running under theme The Race to Reinvent: Connecting Leaders to Empower Digital Transformation , the event will also provide a perfect platform for the industry's leading ICT players to demonstrate their commitment to accelerating the Middle East's DX journey.

Spread over two days, the event will include a dedicated panel discussion titled "Towards Digital Government: Building the Nation's Future" that will outline best practices for managing the organizational, systems, and process changes needed to make government digital. Chaired by IDC's Jyoti Lalchandani, it will feature fascinating first-hand insights from:

  • H.E. Saeed Al Mulla, executive director of government services at Abu Dhabi Digital Authority
  • Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of Oman's Ministry of Technology and Communications
  • Dr. Zakareya Ahmad Al-Khaja, vice CEO at Bahrain's eGovernment Authority.

IDC is delighted to welcome Dubai Internet City on board as the event's Strategic Partner. "The UAE has seized the opportunities of a fast-paced digital economy and Dubai Internet City has played a key role in this by supporting tech companies, attracting talent, fueling innovation, and enabling start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop cutting-edge ideas," says Ammar Al Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City. "For more than 20 years, we have developed a technology-driven ecosystem with world-class infrastructure that attracts industry leaders and millennials with new ideas to our community. We are proud to partner with the IDC Middle East CIO Summit, which is one of the most important events on digital transformation in the region, to exchange knowledge and explore digital strategies that will future-proof industries around the world."

IDC's valued partners for the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2020 also include the following: Summit Partners – Riverbed and VMware; Digital Transformation Partner – Injazat Data Systems; Artificial Intelligence Partners – Intel and UiPath; Future-of-Work Partners – Citrix and SAP; Technology Session Partners – Veeam, HCL Technologies, OpenText, MicroFocus, SentinelOne, FireEye, Rackspace, Blue Prism, Salesforce, OutSystems , ManageEngine, and Hitachi Vantara; Industry Partners – Equinix, OpenText, Commvault, Intel, and Salesforce; Exhibit Partners – Mimecast, Freshworks, Symphony SummitAI, T2, CommScope, Qlik (in partnership with Square One Technologies), Jabra, Dropbox, GBI, and Datamato; Dinner Partner – DETASAD.

To learn more about the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2020, please visit or contact Sheila Manek on +971 4 446 3154 or at You can also join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #IDCMECIO.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of  IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC. 

IDC in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa
For the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa region, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, 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 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region. To learn more about IDC MEA, please visit  You can follow IDC MEA on Twitter at @IDCMEA.

© Press Release 2020

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