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According to the latest forecast by Gartner Inc., the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will significantly increase its growth by 4.5% in 2021 as a result of an estimated IT spending worth over $171 billion dollars by the end of the year.

"IT projects were either put on hold or canceled in MENA because of COVID-19. In 2021, as the situation in the region improves and businesses understand the true value of a resilient digital ecosystem, IT spending will return to a pre-pandemic growth rate," said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. "In the first quarter of 2021 projects such as ‘remote work visas’, ‘Smart Dubai 2021’, and other economic policy regulations were launched. These are expected to boost technology investments in the region."

Based on the table, most of the IT segments experienced flat growth during the pandemic year, except for communications services which grew by 7.2%. With the rapid digitalization within the MENA region, this year, enterprise software will experience the highest growth at 14.5%. The increase in the number of remote workers as the work-from-home system becomes the new normal is the catalyst to this growth.

Growth within the devices, IT services, and data center systems sectors per se goes beyond 10% for the next two years. As a result, the IT spending in MENA will return to pre-pandemic levels and even surpass the costs by 2022. "While 2020 slowed the growth of IT in the region, the ‘K-shaped’ recovery has begun faster in this region, as compared to Asia and Latin America," added John-David.

Increased IT spending for servers, applications, and infrastructure software in 2021 is needed to support the rapid digitalization efforts within the region. Additionally, the increase in the remote workforce will increase spending on mobile devices and remote working technologies such as desktop-as-a-service (DaaS).

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