The external storage market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew only 2% in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest data from International Data Corporation (IDC).

Referencing its EMEA Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, the research firm has announced that external storage revenue in MEA expanded slightly year on year in 1Q13 to total $233-million, with Terabyte capacity rising some 32% over the same period.

”The modest growth can be attributed to consistent business typical of the first quarter of the year in MEA,” says Swapna Subramani, senior research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
“In the coming quarters, however, strong uptake of external storage systems in MEA is expected owing to large-scale deployments and projects across verticals.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries excluding the UAE and Saudi Arabia posted growth of 83% in the external storage market in the first quarter of the year, with Bahrain and Qatar registering triple-digit growth, bolstered by projects in the government and finance vertical markets, respectively. Saudi Arabia’s storage market expanded 32% year on year in 1Q13.

“This impressive growth was driven by several projects in the kingdom’s telecommunications and government sectors,” says Subramani.

The external storage market in the UAE recorded 17% growth in revenue compared with 2011, with increased demand evident across various sectors.

North Africa (specifically, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) experienced a continued slump in external storage shipments in 1Q13 as a result of political unrest and spiralling inflation.
The South African storage market declined markedly (16%) year on year in the first quarter of 2013 due to a decline in projects for Dell and IBM.

Egypt’s external storage market grew significantly owing to projects in the telecommunications and government sectors.

”We remain bullish on the African storage market considering the relatively small installed base and sporadic nature of large-scale enterprise projects.” Subramani says.