Digital transformation investments in the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa (Meta) are set to hit $74 billion across the 2021-2026 period, International Data Corporation (IDC) said. Globally, spending on digital transformation is projected to reach $1.6 trillion in 2022. By 2026, global digital transformation spending is forecast to reach $3.4 trillion. The global technology research, consulting, and events firm says that digital transformation spending in the region will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent over the five-year period, accounting for 43.2 per cent of all ICT investments made that year. IT spending in the Mena region is forecast to total $178.1 billion in 2023 growing at a rate of 3.1 per cent from 2022, according to Gartner. Worldwide information technology spending is projected to total $4.6 trillion in 2023, an increase of 5.1 per cent from 2022, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. Demand for IT in 2023 is expected to be strong as enterprises push forward with digital business initiatives in response to economic turmoil. “For many organisations, the digital and tech investments they made during the pandemic to build resilience could be put to test in 2023 across key business dimensions such as customer experience, operations, and financial management, among others,” says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Meta region. “The implementation of further digitalisation in critical areas and a more rapid shift to a ‘digital business’ approach will be key to separating the thrivers from the survivors. Lalchandani noted irrespective of the economic trends, organizations must not lose sight of their digital aspirations. The focus should be on enabling clear and measurable outcomes, and digital spending needs to transition from building to scaling. IDC predicts that by 2027, at least 30 per cent of the C-suite’s focus will be on scaling innovation and operating a truly digital business. Automation will sit at the heart of this process, helping to reduce the cost of IT operations, address labour shortages, and increase the velocity of innovation, he added. Globally, IDC expects spending on digital technology by organisations to grow at eight times the economy in 2023, establishing a foundation for organisations to drive operational excellence, competitive differentiation, and long-term growth. IDC will expand on these insights as it hosts the Meta region’s influential technology vendors, telecommunications operators, and IT service providers at a regional event in February 2023.