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The Middle East and Africa are expected to spend more than $83.7 billion in IT technologies in 2020, a 2.8% year on year growth from the first quarter of 2019.

Enterprises will account for close to 56.8% of the spending, with the telecommunications, finance, government, and manufacturing sectors continuing to be the biggest spenders.

The transportation is expected to see the fastest growth, followed by utilities and retail and wholesale.

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Consumer and enterprise mobility will account for $40 billion, followed by the Internet of Things at $9.1 billion.

The quest for digital transformation will drive investments in other emerging technologies too, with cloud ($2.7 billion), big data & analytics ($2.7 billion) and security ($2.9 billion).

Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president of IDC in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said: “The focus of investment in areas such as mobility, IoT, cloud, and big data underlines the critical need to explore and adopt digital technologies in order to transform government practices, business models, and society in general.

“Indeed, digital transformation success is now so intimately tied to the creation of new, ecosystem-driven digital business models that any organization that fails to embrace this wave of digital transformation is placing its own competitive future at risk.”

“Organisations are continuing to invest significantly in AI software and platforms as they look to optimize their business processes, automate their operations, and enhance their offerings in order to maximize the overall customer experience,” says Manish Ranjan, IDC’s programme manager for software and cloud in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “Investments in AI systems across MEA will continue to be driven by a wide range of use cases, although the three largest – automated customer service agents, IT automation, and automated threat intelligence and prevention systems – will account for around 30% of total AI spending in 2020.”