The impact of technology is having a huge impact on businesses in the Middle East, as IT spending continues to grow at a solid pace and digital advances affect every aspect of firms' operations.
This is according to new research by Gartner, which revealed overall investment in technology services is set to reach $217.7 billion this year - a 5.2 per cent increase from 2014.
In particular, companies will be focusing their attention on areas such as business intelligence and analytics, data centre infrastructure, and cloud computing, but the effect of more digitally-focused solutions will be felt across the board.
“The impact that the digital business economy is having on the IT industry is dramatic," said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and global head of research at Gartner. "Since 2013, 650 million new physical objects have come online. 3D printers became a billion dollar market, ten per cent of automobiles became connected, and the number of chief data officers and chief digital officer positions have doubled. In 2015, all of these things will double again."
He noted that the Middle East region is also seeing a dramatic shift in where IT spending is coming from, with 38 per cent of total investment now coming from outside IT departments - and this is set to rise to more than 50 per cent by 2017.
"Digital startups sit inside your own organisation, in your marketing department, in HR, in logistics and in sales. Your business units are acting as technology startups," Mr Sondergaard said.
But with the huge amount of information that this can end up generating, and more business units operating technology solutions outside the control of IT departments, this may present a tempting target for cyber criminals. Therefore, companies in the Middle East must make sure they make securing their entire ecosystem a top priority when evaluating their technology needs.
This may be something that many firms are not doing at the moment, as recent research by Condo Protego revealed that a lack of communication between business leaders and IT professionals often hinders the creation of effective security solutions.
But as business units takes a bigger role in IT spending in the region, this must change if companies are to successfully defend themselves from today's advanced threats.
The right technology tools will be essential in protecting today's enterprises from the latest risks. Innovations from Encode, supported by IBM QRadar, can assist with this and give companies in the Middle East the peace of mind they need to succeed.