In spite of analyst firm Gartner now projecting that worldwide IT spending will slow by 3.8% this year, the MEA region appears to be bucking the trend. The analysts reckon that spending in the region will rise from US$213.5bn from US$207.8bn last year - a rise of 2.7%.
The view is echoed by more than 50% of senior IT executives in the region who, in a recent survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide, expect revenues to increase in 2009. Of the 335 executives surveyed, 31% expected revenues to be about the same, while only 22% predicted a decline.
This isn't necessarily brilliant news. A quarter of those polled expect to reduce headcount this year - up from 6% last year and 48% are less confident about the prospects for the technology sector in general in 2009. Just 13% are optimistic about 2009 and one-third of respondents feel the current recession will have less impact on their business that the crash following the dot.com bubble bursting in 2001.
Surveys and analyst projections are one thing but there are also concrete signs of good news in the region. Intel Corporation has ruled out any move to cut jobs in the MEA region and plans to press on with its regional investment programme.
I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.