Qatar IT services market poised for strong growth
Qatar’s IT services market had a strong year in 2014, and will continue to grow at the fastest rate in the GCC region through 2018.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) recorded the IT services value in the Other Gulf Cooperation Council (OGCC) – comprising Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait – at USD1.13 billion (QAR4 billion) in 2014, up 11.7 percent on 2013. It expects this growth to continue, forecasting the total value of the market to be USD1.8 billion (QAR6.6 billion) in 2018.
IT services spending in Qatar will surpass Kuwait’s total by the end of this year, according to IDC. Qatar’s lead in IT services spending is fuelled by large-scale, infrastructure-driven and government-led projects in the transportation, healthcare and education sectors.
“The willingness of [chief information officers] to procure outsourcing services is increasing across the GCC countries,” said Eric Samuel, a senior analyst for IT services at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “And we are now at a stage where CIOs are actively evaluating the capabilities of ICT services providers to build and operate their ICT environments. Some organisations are already reaping the benefits associated with these technologies, such as improved operational efficiency, reduced capital expenditure, and enhanced ICT management. And as the outsourcing services offered by ICT services providers mature over the coming years, we expect the adoption of such services to increase notably.”
The competitive landscape in Qatar is changing at a rapid pace. An increasing number of global ICT companies are now competing with local ICT providers, either directly or through partners, as they strive to capitalise on the myriad ICT opportunities present within the country, according to IDC.
However, this increasing competition is exerting a downward pressure on project pricing, which is impacting the margins of many ICT providers in the region. ICT project pricing is also becoming more complex as more organisations expect their ICT partners to develop and implement solutions that are capable of solving their specific business challenges rather than merely meeting their operational requirements.
“IT services maturity has significantly improved in the GCC countries, and both public and private sector organisations are looking at implementing complex IT solutions while addressing the challenges associated with finding and retaining experienced in-house IT personnel,” said Samuel.