Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions 2016 for the Middle East contains revealing insights about the region’s major developments in these sectors. From hybrid cloud computing to virtual reality property walk-throughs, the Middle East is heavily implementing new technologies into everyday life, improving the productivity and livability of its residents. The following blog will explore four key points from the paper.
1. Hybrid Cloud Computing
Hybrid cloud computing is expected to see heavy adoption in the Middle East region in 2016 due to the benefits it offers governmental organizations, private businesses and consumers. Hybrid cloud computing enables reliable application deployment and maintenance, secure and flexible infrastructure project implementation and the ability to recover from IT failure or disruptive black hat hacks.
- The adoption of private and public cloud services in the Middle East is expected to result in a 2016 market value of over USD 1 billion.
- Customers will seek out hybrid cloud models instead of full-service cloud deployments.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) will be the fastest growing cloud technology vector, spurred on by heavy adoption from small to medium enterprises.
- Demand for cloud in the Middle East will be driven by increasing Internet penetration in the region, growing Internet exchanges between organizations, a mobile workforce, the proliferation of data and the emergence of a converged infrastructure.
2. Touch Commerce
Touch commerce refers to touch-based payment services used to make a purchase on a mobile device. Touch commerce enables users to make an online payment without providing the buyer credentials typically required by merchants and payment service providers. It greatly reduces the time it takes to complete a transaction, and is expected to be a strong growth driver in the Middle East e-commerce market.
- Mobile driven commerce will become a mainstream method for purchasing goods in the Middle East in 2016.
- The region will experience different touch commerce adoption rates as a result of varying underlying technologies.
- Touch commerce demand is being driven by new payment methods like Visa Checkout and fingerprint recognition, improved telecommunications network connectivity, a surge in sales of mobile devices, new shipment and logistics services for deliveries and a change in consumer payments from cash-on-delivery to alternative methods.
3. Virtual Reality
The Middle East has been identified as one of the most promising markets for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices and services, for both gaming and enterprise applications. Regional companies have been developing VR systems for corporate applications and to promote existing services and products since 2009, including applications for web-based learning materials and virtual reality property walk-throughs.
- The Middle East and North African (MENA) computer gaming market stands at USD 1.5 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow threefold by 2020.
- UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have seen high consumer adoption of head-mounted displays (HMD), a key component for VR applications.
- VR market growth drivers for the region include a renewed focus from MENA companies on innovating VR products for corporate applications, lower VR technology acquisition costs and greater accessibility to expertise, an increase in population size and a stronger focus on device usability.
4. Music usage rights
The Middle East music industry suffers from high levels of online piracy as there is a lack of legal platforms for streaming and downloading music. Creating music usage rights for the region could tackle the piracy problem and help ensure musicians and others working in the industry are paid fairly.
- Responsible music rights licensing could encourage development in the regional music industry, generating indirect economic benefits across the region.
- The regional music industry is losing an estimated USD 35 million annually due to piracy, with research indicating that 50% of Arab consumers illegally download music, and just 11% use legal download services.
- A coherent music rights infrastructure could result in increased investment in artists and repertoire (A&R) by record labels, a considerable reduction in online piracy, the growth of licensed platforms and the growth of musical exports on a global level.
The above four trends are just some of the exciting and innovative technology, media and telecommunications trends seeing heavy adoption in the Middle East. Governments, businesses and consumers of the region are using the above to improve a wide variety of activities and interactions. The Middle East is one of the most promising regions when it comes to implementing technology trends, and we can only guess what inventive trends the region will spearhead next.
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