The Mea region’s enterprise hardware market at standstill

April 23, 2014 12:26 pm

The Mea region’s enterprise hardware market, comprising servers and external storage, remains in a passive state, according to the latest figures from International Data Corporation (IDC) that were released today (Tuesday, April 22). Referencing its EMEA Quarterly Server and Disk Storage Systems Tracker, the research firm announced that the market expanded by a sluggish 5.1 per cent year on year in 2013 to total $2.58 billion, with much of the growth spurred by infrastructure deals within the oil and gas (O&G), telecommunications and banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) verticals.

The Mea region’s x86 server market witnessed a 5.0 per cent year-on-year increase in value, but a 3.7 per cent decline in unit terms during 2013.”There are a lot of changes occurring in the Meaenterprise domain, with a gradual shift towards fully virtualised datacenters and cloud-based infrastructure,” says Zeeshan Gaya, research manager of systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.”As such,the growth seen in the x86 server market’s value and the corresponding decline in volume can be attributed to the increased adoption of virtualisation technologies that utilise fewer server units than is the case with traditional data centres.”

The region’s external storage market expandedby 5.1 per cent year on year in 2013.”The overall sentiment in the Mea storage market ended on a positive note in 2013, with most countries witnessing healthy growth barring a few in Africa,” says Swapna Subramani, senior research analyst of storage systems at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “The storage market is witnessing increased uptake of entry level and mid-range storage devices, mainly driven by a demand for the NAS protocol. Mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives, video surveillance and Big Data are the key driving factors for this on-going shift within the Mea storage market.”

The UAE’s enterprise hardware market witnessed a strong growth of 11.5 per cent, with last year’s revenue representing a healthy mix of spending by the country’s key verticals, namelythe financial, telco, hospitality and government sectors. Saudi Arabia’s growth was more subdued at 3.2 per cent, which was annually hampered by a small decline in the server market this year, when compared with last year’s massive server revenue that was recorded in the kingdom.

The enterprise hardware market in GCC countries registered very positive results in 2013,growing by 12.8 per cent year on year, with the region’s smaller countries, such as Oman (50 per cent) and Bahrain (37.4 per cent),posting exceptional growth that was bolstered by projects in the O&G and telecommunications verticals, respectively.Qatar and Kuwait also witnessed healthy growth, owing to large infrastructure investments taking place across various verticals.

North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) saw a healthy year-on-year growth of eight per cent in the enterprise marketlast year and continues to show strong uptake. This can be attributed to investments made in the telecommunications and finance verticalsacross the region and a few O&G deals that took place in Morocco.Key strategic projects in Algeria within the O&G sector in the second half of 2013 also contributed to the healthy growth seen in North Africa. Egypt’s enterprise market declined by 7.3 per cent year on year, owing to a curb on spending across most verticals, with investments limited to a few enterprises in the very large businesses segment.

The South African enterprise marketdeclinedmarkedly (14.5 per cent) year on year in 2013.This decline can be attributed to shifts in the foreign exchange rate, which has become an important risk factor to vendors in the country due to continuous depreciation of the rand of close to 20 per cent (plus associated volatility) during 2013.

On the vendor side, HP retained top spot in the overall Measerver market of 2013,with more than42.3 per cent share, followed by Dell and IBM. Cisco emerged as a bright spot in the Mea server market in 2013, recording year-on-year growth of 57.5 per centand taking considerable share away from market leaders, owing to its aggressive blade server strategy across the region. EMC continued its dominance of the region’s external storage market,with 37.7 per cent share of total disk storage,followed by IBM and HP.