The System Integrators (SI) services market in the Middle East and Africa was valued at US$10.34 billion at the end of 2016, following a five-year growth spurt during which the market increased by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.87%, posing huge opportunities to bring solutions to new sectors according to STME, the Middle East’s leading IT solutions provider and systems integrator.
Driven by a concern for automation, integrated approaches to business, and advancements in cloud technologies and virtualization, it expected $387.85 billion would be invested annually in the global SI market by 2021, according to data published by MarketsandMarkets.
In line with the rapid evolution and adoption of technology, SI in the Middle East will also continue to witness a major boost, with demand expected to remain level or higher than current rates. Ayman Al Bayaa, CEO, STME, explained: “Organizations turn to SI in pursuit of value creation through the collective pooling of resources, which accentuates spending effectiveness. Between 2011 and 2016 when the industry witnessed phenomenal growth, communication, media and government sectors were the biggest contributors and in future, we expect this to shift in focus towards the healthcare, utilities, and services industries.
“Opportunity exists across the market for SI providers to tap this new business – from smaller organizations and unfamiliar industries alike – and new clients challenge providers to create new product and service developments. These opportunities should not be missed,” he added.
With Brent Crude currently standing at $54 per barrel, the sector is not immune to reduced budgets or challenging requirements for security, backup, networking, and other computing organizational requirements. Clients facing budgetary constraints have provided an impetus for SI providers to develop bespoke strategies and new tactics.
What is required next, says Al Bayaa, is a realignment of internal strategy to foster business growth. “A drop in overall expenditure in the MENA region due to the fluctuation of oil prices could be the difference between survival and growth, so correct and appropriate strategies are needed to thrive in economic downturns,” he commented.
Due to global economic shockwaves from the energy and finance markets, organizations are looking for bottom line value creation, in addition to the productivity benefits of SI. STME now offers solutions with future scalability options and bundles service and product offerings from different vendors – depending on restrictions and cooperation.
In building in-house knowledge and competencies, SI providers need to focus on staff training, in order to accurately match products and services to client requirements. Knowledgeable and well-trained staff can be a defining competitive advantage for SI providers and training empowers them to create flexible and adaptable solutions from the best-in-class products available.
Al Bayaa concluded: “There is a strong future for the SI sector as long as demand for its products and services remain high and that requires innovation and a realignment of internal strategy. This should be viewed as an opportunity for business development and growth, rather than a constraining challenge.”