Despite and Inspite Gartner and IDC and other analyst predictions ( Ref and Thanks to RWME and Arun Shankar), the world market may move in a certain direction, MENA will continue to live a technology avatar of its own in 2012.
I agree with Gartner that we will see the growth of cloud services, I disagree we will go that far with it. The pre-requisites to such an enablement is all infrastructure, security and virtualization are still in infancy with us. I believe cloud enablement will occur with an increase in focus of many an enterprise in our region to secure, manage and plan their infrastructure.
A lot more of our local data centers will try to enable Cloud services with their facilities. However, they will fail to recognize the core of the reason why cloud is a concept. - ie scalability, control, measurability and agility.
Running a cloud ops is about people and processes, centralized management and automation. Clouds make money through multi- tenency models, chargebacks and pooling of resources. Amazon , facebook and Google did not buy high end equipments to build their cloud infrastructure. Most of their technology and network is low cost and very proprietary. They are able to make money on their infrastructure because of the foundation of their scalable low cost ( non open source) networks. I dont see this happening a lot in the MENA region. Innovation is low. Even the clouds being built right now are being built with brands where ROI requires more than a nominal fee to recover.
The region will continue to grow on virtualization. And the hardware required to virtualize. The integration of virtual and physical environments will be another complexity that we will forsee. So will secuity and storage management of virtualized environments.
Another area of growth because of highly information managed environments will be the DR plans. I think there will be immense growth in DR planning and execution across enterprise.
Mobility will grow further with collaboration, security and content management being the areas that will propagate the most.
IDC puts Big data to grow to 2.7 zettabytes. ( 48% higher than 2011) and predicts that 90% of this will be unstructured. I see a bigger chunk of unorganized data being created and used in our region and that too in several languages. There are huge prospects in data mining, organization and retrieval in MENA.