Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/05/2014 -- Despite Qatar's small population, which limits the volume of sales, the country's IT market is supported by strong private consumption, a relatively wealthy population and high public spending. ICT has been a major beneficiary of government policies to diversify Qatar's economy away from hydrocarbones, notably through ictQATAR's ICT-2015 strategy and the government's push to build smart cities. These government initiatives have led to ambitious investments in network infrastructure which will encourage broader take-up of IT services as well as development of innovative IT systems. Our positive outlook for Qatar's IT sector extends beyond our forecast period ending in 2018, as the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is expected to support investment over the long term.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Computer Hardware Sales: QAR2.95bn in 2014 to QAR4.337bn in 2018, CAGR of +9.6% in local currency terms. Despite high PC penetration, high incomes will drive multiple device ownership as tablets and other new touch form factors make up a larger share of sales.
- Software Sales: QAR1.311bn in 2014 to QAR2.169bn in 2018, CAGR of +13.6% in local currency terms. Scope remains for growth in enterprise software market over the medium term with low penetration by international standards.
- IT Services Sales: QAR2.294bn in 2014 to QAR3.821bn in 2018, CAGR of +14.9% in local currency terms. Services are expected to outperform in the IT market in the medium term due to demand for cloud computing, smart systems and security services from the public and private sectors.
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Qatar is the top ranking country on our Risk/Reward Rating table for the Middle East and Africa region, ahead of both Israel and the UAE, with an aggregate score of 69.1.
Key Trends And Developments A survey of local enterprises in 2012 showed that while there is potential for a rapid expansion of the cloud computing market in Qatar there are significant barriers to adoption. The ICTQatar survey found that 86% of enterprises had not heard of cloud computing in 2012, while only 3% respectively stated they understood the concept of cloud computing well or were already using cloud services. The most commonly cited barriers to adoption included lack of familiarity with services and uncertainty about business benefit. BMI believes that cloud services have solid medium-term growth potential, however the survey clearly indicates that cloud vendors will first be required to take a more proactive approach to promoting services and educating end-users for that potential to be achieved. Along these lines, in February 2014 Microsoft announced its intention to empower 10,000 SMEs in Qatar with cloud technology.
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