Since 2019 was a challenging and transitional year, how will 2020 be for information and communications technology in the UAE and what are the main trends that will shape the industry.
Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and regional managing director of the research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), told exclusively TechRadar Middle East that ICT spending in the United Arab Emirates is expected to increase at 3.80% at $ 16.84b compared to $ 16.22b a year ago.
The research firm has revised its forecast for this year of $ 16.7b due to a slowdown in the telecommunications sector.
He said telecommunications services are feeling the impact of weak consumer confidence and a slowdown in mobile data. services.
Even in 2020, the telecommunications sector is expected to grow more slowly with 1.01%, while the device and infrastructure sectors will grow by about 6% and software and IT services (hardware and support services, cons expects ulting services, training, education, systems integration services, managed services, outsourcing to grow by about 8%.
"The commercial segment looks more positive than the consumer space. The consumer side will face pressure due to weak consumer confidence, the absorption of trade between countries, retail, real estate, hospitality, "he said.
In the commercial segment, he said the services market is growing, driven by strong Acceptance of cloud-based services, interesting movements on the systems and storage side.
Changing trends throughout The world, he said, is that business customers are taking a more cautious approach to investing and expanding. There are a number of variables, such as the assumption around world trade, if oil prices will remain stable or fluctuate, regional political uncertainty, the cost of living index and economic growth.
However, he said that organizations are investing in technology to drive certain things.
"They are investing in technology to obtain operational efficiency, to reduce costs and they are investing in Opex-based models such as the cloud, and they create new sources of revenue using AI and cognitive technologies," he said. 19659002] In addition, he said that people are watching Expo 2020 and that investments in this regard are almost complete.
With the adoption of 5G, the industry will see a significant intake of AI and the Internet of things.
Top five trends in 2020
Public cloud services are experiencing wide acceptance. The public cloud market is expected to grow 35% to $ 406 million compared to $ 299 million this year.
Two thirds of organizations will approach the cloud through a hybrid model. Organizations in the public and government, retail, public services, transportation, wholesale distribution, hotel sectors are in the public cloud.
Due to some of the regulatory challenges, banking and financial services and some of the mission-critical applications depend on the construction of your private cloud infrastructure.
The general business environment is a strong driver for the adoption of cloud services. Financial managers love it, since it is based on opex and the organization's business line loves it because they get agility and speed. IT organizations love it for the scale it provides, while channels love it for the "lift and change" approach as companies move from the facilities to the cloud.
Expenditure on facilities [non-cloud] is decreasing quite rapidly and many expenses are moving to the cloud as a subscription-based model. Speed and agility are the key drivers for the cloud.
There will be a consolidation in the public space of the cloud for four or five key players. Cost will be a key factor when moving to the cloud for organizations.
Organizations are becoming a bit more aggressive in digital transformation. Many pilot projects will enter the mainstream.
Many projects and initiatives focus on transforming the customer experience. Organizations are taking advantage of some of the technologies to enrich the customer experience.
Some of the traditional areas of IT, such as devices and infrastructure, are slowing down and companies are using investment to drive the adoption of more disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, the robotic automation process, internet of things, analysis Big data, blockchain and cloud to reduce costs and drive more efficiency.
Around 25% to 30% of large companies are currently in the process of digital transformation, investing in the third platform, such as social networks. , mobile, cloud and big data to do one of four things: be operationally efficient, more agile, create new experiences for customers and create new sources of revenue. It is a journey of five to eight years.
Initially, blockchain began to facilitate many commercial financing agreements between banks. It has not had much widespread adoption. Many of the use cases occurred between banks and banks, Smart Dubai and Real Estate Regulatory Agency. The next phase is called the maturity of a technology.
Blockchain technology will mature when it has high volume and low value transactions. Currently, many of the blockchain investments are made in low volume and high value transactions.
In the next three or four years, blockchain will be integrated into the computation and that will open a significant amount of opportunities.
Security investments continue to be an important engine for growth. One of the reasons is that companies are one of the most challenging areas for CIOs and IT.
Now, even CEOs have security as one of their highest priority areas.
Given the region in which we operate due to geopolitical problems and some of the malware that is taking place, security is becoming an important part of the agenda of banks and public sectors.
AI and cognitive technologies
Organizations are investing heavily in artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies such as chatbots, analysis and automation of robotic processes to reduce costs, increase operational efficiency by eliminating some of the repetitive tasks that humans perform and automate them .
Cognitive spending on artificial intelligence is expected to increase by 25.63% to $ 73.66 million compared to $ 58.63 million this year.
Banks, utilities, RTA, Dewa and public sectors have deployed artificial and cognitive intelligence in a big way.
The artificial and cognitive intelligence market in the UAE is set to grow between 25% and 30% year-over-year over the next two or three years. The impact of AI, along with 5G and IoT, will be extremely powerful.
IoT is already integrated into many of the technologies in manufacturing and production, fleet management, etc. IoT has become a part of the ecosystem now.  AI will automate various tasks and roles while creating new roles that are not yet defined today. It will create more jobs than eliminate them.
To run AI and cognitive technologies, the industry needs many data scientists and new skills that do not exist today. It will also force organizations to renew part of their existing staff and resources. Many large organizations are already doing so and investing in training. In the autonomy phase, the machine decides, analyzes and executes based on the established guiding principles.
The general economic situation is a key factor for that and due to lack of skills. So, these types of technologies play very well in history. It works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and fewer errors or risks compared to humans, so productivity and efficiency are much more at a lower cost.
Many public and private sectors have taken advantage of some of these technologies to automate and reduce costs. So, we are seeing an explosion in the digital workforce.
Organizations are making fundamental changes in their areas of organizational focus and priorities. Several companies are readjusting their plans, given the general economic environment throughout the region, in adjusting rights in several areas, especially in banking, retail, hotel, banking and financial services.
Organizations must correct the rights in the next two or three years. It will be a challenge. Organizations are holding back investments and reducing staff to adapt to the business environment.
Consolidation is taking place in the banking sector and retail margins are under pressure, the re-export of Dubai to other regions has decreased and there is an impact on [insurance] financial services and education sectors.