IoT
double exposure of hand showing Internet of things (IoT) word diagram as concept

Findings from the IDC indicate that the forecasted spend on IoT technology by utilities in the Middle East and Africa could reach $918m this year.According to a recent update to the Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), overall growth in IoT spend compares favourably to the 18.1% growth seen in 2016, with IDC attributing the market’s performance to the proliferation of digital transformation initiatives across the region as businesses and government entities strive to boost productivity and improve efficiency.

Industry specific solutions

“The MEA IoT market is becoming increasingly competitive, enabling organisations to source a range of innovative digital solutions aimed at transforming business operations, improving the customer experience, and enhancing employee engagement,” says Wale Babalola, research analyst for telecommunications, IoT, and digital media at IDC MEA. [Middle East smart meters: Qatar to finish phase one in 2016]

“Indeed, IoT now offers a myriad of industry-specific solutions that can be easily deployed by organizations in a bid to stay ahead of competition.

“IDC expects the manufacturing, transportation, and utilities industries to see the highest levels of IoT-related spending in 2017 as organizations across these verticals look to digitalise their operations and improve their value proposition across different lines of business. The commitment of service providers, application developers, and OEMs to developing purpose built end-to-end IoT solutions is serving as a major driver of the growing adoption we are seeing across the region.”

Investments in “smart grid” technologies will account for more than 82% of this total. Smart grids are rapidly gaining traction across the region as municipalities increasingly see the value proposition in deploying related solutions in an effort to efficiently distribute resources to their respective end customers. [Smart grid: Siemens predicts growth in Middle East]

“Numerous smart city projects are already underway across the region, and the propagation of such initiatives will continue to fuel IoT adoption by both public and private sector organizations,” says Babalola. “Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the charge when it comes to smart cities, so it makes sense that these two countries will account for the highest contributions to overall IoT investment in MEA during 2017, with a combined value of more than $1.6 billion.”