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With IT departments increasingly being asked not only to expand the reach and roster of their services, but also innovate in terms of how these services are delivered to citizens, more and more Middle East government CIOs are approaching IDC with questions on how to meet these twin demands without pushing complexities to unmanageable levels. And with end-user expectations and service delivery requirements ratcheting up by the day, that task is not becoming any easier, so which technology investments in particular are they focusing on? (Originally published October 9, 2014)

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With a recent IDC Health Insights survey of hospitals across the MEA identifying a strong correlation between IT infrastructure investment plans and a desire among hospitals to increase patient satisfaction, healthcare providers across the Middle East are increasingly switching their attention to the so-called 3rd Platform technologies of mobility, cloud, and big data and the benefits they can bring. So what does the future hold for eHealth in the Middle East? (Originally published September 18, 2014.)

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Creating a Social Enterprise

By CEMA Group

Social networking is among the megatrends currently revolutionizing the consumer and enterprise IT space. The concept has enjoyed tremendous adoption rates and become mainstream in the consumer space across Gulf countries such as the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, with strong Internet penetration and a young, tech-savvy population serving as the key drivers. In addition, the increasing demand for ubiquitous access to information and the growing collaboration needs of users are also contributing to this uptake. (Originally published September 24, 2014.)

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IT managers in Poland are probably more relaxed than their international counterparts in Central and Eastern Europe. The main reason: trust. A recent IDC survey creates an informal trust index that indicates IT managers in Poland, relative to managers in other CEE countries, are less worried about staff messing up carefully configured systems or leaking data.

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The potential of cloud-based services has found expression in beautifully crafted marketing material from IT firms and consulting firms alike. Most of the visions are on the right track. What they fail to show is the development of the backend and the winners and losers that will emerge as cloud becomes a dominant IT paradigm.

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The numbers for the EU member states of Central and Eastern are encouraging. This year, GDP growth is forecast to grow by more than 2% in countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary, and by more than 3% in places such as Poland and Latvia. Policymakers should help maintain the momentum by making better use of IT – which should include increasing budgets.

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IT specialists, managers, and leaders must stop talking and start shouting at top management about IT security. Put another way, they must manage the managers to make IT security a top goal.

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IT security is changing visibly in response to threats arising from the latest technological developments. Organizations must cope with more complex IT environments, including the rapid growth of web-based technologies in business (e.g., cloud computing, social networks, and mobile apps), the expansion of wireless technologies, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. In March 2014, IDC's prestigious IT Security Roadshow brought together IT professionals, independent experts, and industry leaders to discuss the latest trends and developments that help organizations across all industries to make smart strategic investments in IT security, as well as improve the effectiveness of day-to-day operation. This blog brings a view of this event and presents key messages from conference speakers for manufacturers across Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA).

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