Region’s Public Sector IT Spend Set for Exponential Growth

Surging Energy Revenues in Gulf States Mean Greater Investments in Education, Healthcare, and E-Government; Saudi Spending Alone Believed to be in USD Hundreds of Millions

Dubai, United Arab EmiratesRapidly growing populations and windfall profits from the energy sector have meant that public sectors in the Gulf States are now better positioned than ever to invest in world-class IT solutions.

Education, healthcare, and e-government projects, among others, are set for increases in IT expenditure over the next three years, according to industry sources.

One regional source points to a single Ministry of Health project in Saudi Arabia calling for bids in excess of USD 130 million IT solution requirement.

“The Gulf’s public service organizations are in an ideal position to invest wisely for the long-term needs of their citizens, and yet they face similar challenges to their private sector counterparts – cost pressures, increased public scrutiny, and rapid changes in policies and regulations,” said Sergio Maccotta, Managing Director, SAP Middle East and Africa, a global leader in the provision of IT solutions for governments and other large enterprises.

Maccotta added: “These challenges can be simplified by economies of scale resulting from IT-enabled shared services across a wide range of government departments. For example, entire Gulf cities can run on one platform, with industry-specific solutions for each of the government’s respective departments.”

Shared services is a collaborative strategy in which common operational functions are consolidated and standardized in a single organizational unit that can deliver the same services to different departments within a government enterprise – enabling efficiency and cost savings, as well as improving services for stakeholders.

Conceived in the late 1980s in the private sector, the shared services model has emerged as the model-of-choice for businesses interested in economies of scale.

SAP’s Public Sector solutions are designed to help all levels of government maximize public value, enabling them to optimize limited resources in public administration while delivering responsive front-office services. SAP solutions support operations across a wide range of government functions, from accounting and procurement to case management and social services.

SAP’s Regional Head, Sergio Maccotta, said that IT-enabled shared services drive economies of scale and cost reduction in public services.

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