IT spending by UAE, Mideast firms rises by up to 3 digits after pandemic

There has been a double-digit increase in IT and digital transformation spending because IT and digitisation is no more an option but a necessity now

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Spending by the UAE and regional companies on IT and the digital increase has seen up to a three-digit increase following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, say senior IT and ICT officials.

Jacob Chacko, regional director for the Middle East and South Africa at Aruba Networks, a subsidiary of HP, said IT is going to be a big enabler within the companies and they want to invest in the digitisation in the post-Covid era but they want clearly to see those decision based on what business outcome can be driven.

Chacko agreed that there has been a double-digit increase in IT and digital transformation spending.

“Digital transformation is about a new product, a new customer experience or a new idea that can drive more revenues. Customers are looking for those outcomes which can pay back and give good RoI.”

Going forward, he revealed that data will be created closer to the edge – which is the consumer’s phone, PC and camera etc.) “We believe by 2023, around 75 per cent of the data would be generated at the edge.”

Chacko was speaking during a meet hosted by Aruba Networks – in partnership with Khaleej Times – with some of the UAE’s top CIOs and CISOs taking part in it on the sidelines of Gitex Global on Wednesday.

Saji Oommen, CIO at RAK Ceramics, said there is a lot of emphasis from the top on technology, thanks to Covid-19.

“It’s a getting us a lot of support in terms of investments and changing the culture of the organisation because digital transformation is not just about technology but getting a holistic change within the organisation. It was a bit difficult earlier because of the cultural barriers, but now things are getting better, thanks to the support of the board,” he said.

Oommen said spending on IT and digital transformation has gone up by two digits and because IT and digitisation is no more an option but a necessity now.

Sebastian T. Samuel, chief information officer at AW Rostamani, said his group has been modernising infrastructure even before the Covid-19 but the adoption increased quite drastically during the pandemic.

“Pandemic acted as a transformation agent, triggered a lot of people to change their behaviour and adopt more technologies to increase their business growth. Technology is something that people can’t ignore,” Samuel said, adding that value for money is the most important when adopting the new technology.

Ramakrishnan Natarajan, vice president for IT at Emirates Hospital Group, noted that there has been a dynamic shift in the healthcare sector in the post-pandemic period. “Technologies like telemedicine and teleconsultation were always there before the pandemic but they were not that much sought-after. During the pandemic, the rate at which it has been utilised has been very fast and very quickly accepted by patients and healthcare firms equally. Home health has gained more attention now. For example how to take care of the elderly at home and how to monitor people with chronic diseases regularly,” he added.

Natarajan said spending on IT and digital transformation has been increased even up to three digits in the healthcare sector.


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