Governments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will spend $11,9-billion on IT products and services in 2014, an increase of 2,3% over 2013 revenue of US $ 11,7-billion, according to Gartner.

This forecast includes internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications. Government comprises local and regional government and national and international government.

Telecom services, which includes fixed and mobile telecom services will be the largest overall spending category throughout the forecast period within the government sector. It is expected to grow 2,7% in 2013 to reach US $5,4-billion in 2014 – led by growth in mobile network services.

The software segment includes enterprise application software, infrastructure software and vertical specific software. Software spending will achieve a growth rate of 10,5% in 2014 to reach US $1,1-billion led by growth in enterprise application software (which includes enterprise resource planning (ERP), office suites and content, communications and collaboration amongst others).

“The Gulf countries are transitioning from an oil based economy to a services based economy. Vendors will benefit by offering innovative delivery models and by creating new monetization opportunities for the governments,” says Anurag Gupta, research director at Gartner.

“Saudi Arabia is the largest Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) member and is investing on various e-government initiatives. UAE & Qatar lead the adoption of GCC e-government programmes and now linking various government departments to offer a single interface point for citizens.”