Market Overview

GCC in the Middle East has been relatively looked upon as a region that lagged IT Spending. However, the scenario seems to change, considering the Government, large organizations and small-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as start-ups across all industries in the region, are slowly realizing the need to digitally transform.

  • In a recent study by Microsoft, two in three Gulf enterprises reported that they were planning to invest at least 5% of annual revenue in the digitization of their operations. Further, up to 51% of organizations reported having prioritized cloud computing, business intelligence (41%), Internet of Things (37%), and Artificial Intelligence (29%). Therefore, the region, which is expected to register a significant growth rate in terms of IT upgrades is expected to provide greater demand for managed services.
  • Further, the GCC region has also been the target for cyberattacks since. The facts presented by FireEye, a prominent cybersecurity vendor, is a clear indicator of cloud security becoming a trend in the region over the next few years. For instance, FireEye mentioned that Saudi Arabia witnessed more than 1,64,00 online attacks in a day. Considering the progress of the region in the direction of artificial intelligence and IT experience (Vision 2030) and their dependency on cloud, cloud security might flare in the region over the forecast period.
  • Overall, the market for managed services in GCC countries is driven by the region’s increasing cloud penetration, network upgradations and the focus on the digital economy.

Scope of the Report

Managed services involve the outsourcing of services related to infrastructure, security, mobility and other functions, while the ownership rights stay with the end-user. The demand for managed services across GCC countries is analyzed in this study.

Key Market Trends

Managed Hosting Services expected to grow significantly over the forecast period

  • Government-led infrastructure expansion, along with an increasing number of enterprises embracing the cloud for their operational applications, are driving the growth of the data center market in the GCC countries.
  • Considering the GCC enterprises’ limited IT budget and the lack of in-house capabilities to keep abreast with the evolving technologies, the dependency on Data Center service providers can be rated high in the region.
  • Cloud service providers including Microsoft, Google, AWS have been making significant investments in the region and have expanded their footprint. According to AWS, which opened three data centers in Bahrain, the region has been the most requested by its global partners. The company believes that with the new data centers, enterprises in the region will be able to move to a cloud system hosted by a specialist company, which will be a cheaper option than building their own infrastructure of servers, hardware, and security networks.

UAE Expected to Record Fastest Growth

  • The region houses local players such as Mindfire Technologies Inc, Injazat Group, ASPGulf, Unified Microsystems and Emitac Corporate which are driving intelligent transformation for enterprises across UAE.
  • Further, cloud and other technology players such as Microsoft, Ericsson, Cisco in partnership with telecom players are looking to digitally transform businesses in the region. With increased awareness of the technologies, the region is expected to increase its spending on upgrading its IT infrastructure, thus increasing the scope for managed service providers in the region.
  • New and extended strategic partnerships to enable managed services have been evident in the region. For instance, in May 2019, du, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), strengthened its partnership with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE, to provide data center services. As part of the agreement, du will continue to deliver advanced network solutions with increased operational and network efficiency.

Competitive Landscape

The GCC Managed Services market comprises a significant share of homegrown companies as well as international companies such as HP, IBM, Wipro among others. The region also homes small managed service providers that are a part of partner programs of large companies like Cisco. Some of the recent developments in the market are:

  • February 2019 - Oman Data Park, a prominent Cloud computing company in Oman, commissioned Cyber ??Security Center at Knowledge Oasis Muscat. The Center seeks to provide IT services, enhance managed security services such as cybersecurity operations and a network operations team, managed by an elite team of experienced Omani experts.
  • April 2019 - Saudi Arabia’s Integrated Telecom Company(ITC), expanded its portfolio of security services by launching a new suite of managed security services. The company recognized the challenges faced by Saudi enterprises with respect to managing risks. The company as a part of its new offering will assist organizations in activities such as monitoring, threat detection, incident handling, and management of ongoing cybersecurity risks.

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