The Middle East & African AI, Cyber Security & Big Data Analytics Market (henceforth, referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 11.78 billion in 2020 and it is expected to reach USD 28.36 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 20.4%, during the forecast period (2021-2026). With COVID-19 becoming the new reality, organizations worldwide must respond proactively to cyber threats that have witnessed a spike during the pandemic. For this reason, cyber resilience, which refers to a sector or organization's ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from cyberattacks, has become an absolute necessity rather than a mere option in the current scenario.
- The Middle East & African countries have witnessed a significant increase in the adoption of advanced technology. In the recent times, rapid digitalization in countries, like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, has triggered a high number of connected devices in the region.
- Enterprises in the end-user industries are increasingly deploying AI to realize cost benefits, increase productivity, and improve their safety standards. Several government-driven initiatives are changing the dynamics of the industrial sector and contributing to reshaping the landscape in key economies like Saudi Arabia and UAE, and creating stronger institutional set-up and effective regulatory frameworks, to promote private sector investments.
- Various governments in the region have conducted long-term plans for using AI and ML as an economic stimulus or enhancing workforce efficiency and government structure agility. Now, AI programs are carried out with governments' direct support, but companies in the region would have their own AI departments in the short term.
- UAE government is the first country in the Middle East region to launch its AI strategy, and the first in the world to create a Ministry of Artificial Intelligence. The government is planning to invest in AI technologies in about nine sectors.
Key Market Trends
Machine Learning Significant For AI and its Role in Driving Adoption in the MEA Region
- According to Microsoft, the most used AI technology among the surveyed companies in the Middle East and African markets is machine learning. This is due to its wide-ranging applicability, making it relevant for several use-cases across the value chain. Of the various types of machine learning, the most common is supervised machine learning, where software is fed structured data and finds patterns that can be used to understand and interpret new observations. While companies in the region have primarily used internal data for supervised machine learning, most have now begun exploring the possibility of combining internal and external datasets to produce even deeper insights.
- As consumer trends and demands in the region change rapidly, companies face challenges in creating or transforming products and services tailored to current competitive landscape needs. Executives see significant value in using complex algorithms and unsupervised machine learning to assist in analyzing the diverse data sets to create high margin services for product portfolios.
- The Middle East's traditional business mindset has taken a significant detour from oil, retail, and property to IT and digital advancements. With the latest investments, strategies, and products in fields like IoT, cloud, and e-commerce, the Middle East nations have shown their intent to stay ahead in the game of technological advancements. They are ready to embrace developing technologies, such as machine learning by creating efficient plans and capital investments.
- Organizations in both regions focus heavily on customer relationships, evidenced through innovations like machine learning-based credit scoring, often supported by homegrown startups tailoring products to local conditions. For instance, Nigerian fintech Carbon is one company utilizing machine learning to evaluate credit applications, and MyBucks, the first African fintech to be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, uses machine learning algorithms to estimate loan repayment risk and proactively reduce the likelihood of missed payments by raising flags based on behavioral and transaction trend analysis.
Network to Witness Significant Growth Rate
- The modern network is growing rapidly as it connects multiple branches, mobile users, and data centers. This, coupled with the advent of cloud, and BYOD, increases the complexity which makes it difficult to secure a network, and this drives the demand for network security solutions. Moreover, a secure network is crucial for IT systems and their proper operations as most applications work in the networking environment, and closely depend on its performance, reliability, and security.
- Moreover, according to Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV, the digital markets of MEA are expanding with an annual growth of 12%, and the number of users with access to the Internet is increasing particularly since the Arab Spring 2011, with 67.2% of the MENA population having access to the Internet in 2019, as compared to the global average of 56.5%.
- At present, many countries in the region are recognizing the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development. Kuwait, for instance, has taken steps to develop a digital economy, with the development of national-level policies for e-health and e-government. However, SIS and McAfee's study reported the UAE as the second most targeted country in the world for cybercrime, costing the Emirate an estimated USD 1.4 billion per year.
- The UAE introduced FedNet which provides available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources for all federal government entities, enhancing the UAE's cyber security, which is done through the secured and private network, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) cloud.
The MEA AI, Cyber Security & Big Data Analytics Market is moderately consolidated with few firms having limited share . The companies keep on innovating and entering into strategic partnership in order to retain their market share.
- Oct 2020 - Cisco Systems Inc. accelerated secure cloud adoption with its new WAN Edge Platform to deliver secure and automated access to applications. Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform accelerates cloud adoption by providing businesses with flexible options for secure connectivity and visibility to applications across cloud, data center, and edge.
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