Posted on August 05, 2016

IN line with the global trend, the ICT sector in Qatar is growing and is expected to grow significantly in the near future, according to the latest report released by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

In 2014, the total revenue generated by the ICT providers in Qatar was estimated to be close to QR9 billion, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 15.4 percent for the period 2012-2014, the ministry has said in its latest publication 'Qatar's ICT Landscape 2016'. Citing International Data Corporation (IDC), the ministry has said that a total ICT spending by the commercial sector in Qatar in 2015 was $1,932.25 million, and is projected to increase to $2,761.07 million by 2019. Around 97.9 percent of individuals living in households in Qatar were reported to be using smartphones in 2015, the ministry has said in the report.

The report has also revealed that Internet penetration in Qatar has increased from 59 percent in 2010 to 70 percent in 2015 among business establishments. A review of the ICT landscape in the business sector which comprises 44,439 business establishments excluding specific government bodies in Qatar employing 1,233,110 people shows that a great deal of progress has been made since the last study was conducted in 2012, and since 2008 when the first study was commissioned. The percentage of employees routinely using the Internet for business purposes reached 30 percent in 2015, the report said, adding that the web presence has nearly doubled from 20 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2015.

The report has also observed growth in terms of increased online activities, including use of online marketing and customer support, e-banking, social media and e-government services. In particular, the Internet activities that have shown a great deal of growth at business establishments include marketing products and services online, increasing from 27 percent in 2012 to 42 percent in 2015; and providing online customer service, with an increase from 15 percent to 36 percent during the same period. The overwhelming majority of business establishments 83 percent believe that their businesses have benefited from ICT.

Nearly half of the business establishments surveyed 48 percent said that the ICT helps them access to customers in new geographies and expand their potential market. Improved quality of products and services was cited as a key benefit by 37 percent, followed by faster delivery (30 percent) and better customer relationships (23 percent). The report, however, said that the use of cloud computing and mobile applications is still in the nascent stage. While awareness of such technologies has increased exponentially, the report said, usage is still very low. 

Awareness of cloud services has increased from 14 percent in 2012 to 76 percent in 2015, however, the usage is minimal at three percent overall. The same is true of the use of mobile applications, with only three percent of the business establishments surveyed currently having a mobile application. According to the survey, more than 70 percent of the business establishments in Qatar said they were aware of various emerging ICT services.

source: Qatar Tribune