Deloitte 2016 Middle East: Virtual Reality to Become Billion Dollar Niche

In its 4th year of releasing TMT predictions with specific relevance to the MENA region, Deloitte continues to supply industry insights based on deep analysis, built around meetings with industry experts and field executives, as well as Deloitte’s proprietary programs of research with tens of thousands of consumers worldwide. Global TMT predictions focused this year on virtual reality, women in IT jobs, cognitive technologies, mobile ad-blockers, mobile games, and Gigabit Internet, European sports, and e-sports.

“A lot of energy has been poured into these predictions, as there are few other industries that are as exciting, fast-evolving, and game changing as TMT. More exciting than this is witnessing the Middle East adopt and create their own trends in the TMT space. Over the past five years, this region has made significant forays in broadband connectivity and speed, which have in turn enabled new categories of service to become mainstream,” said Emmanuel Durou, Partner and Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Leader at Deloitte Middle East.

“In 2016, we look forward to seeing some evergreen ideas finally take flight in the Middle East. These include virtual reality corporate applications, hybrid cloud adoption, or the take-up of cognitive technologies in enterprise software. We also see mobile everywhere – taking over in gaming and now payment with touch commerce,” he added.

The Deloitte TMT Middle East predictions explored in the report include four areas:

Virtual Reality

Deloitte predicts that most MENA revenues from Virtual Reality (VR) devices and services in 2016 will continue to be driven from video games. According to industry sources, the estimated MENA computer gaming market is currently around US$1.5bn and forecast to grow three-fold by 2020, the majority of which will come from the GCC region.

GCC countries have already witnessed companies beginning to sell commercial enterprise VR solutions and corporates incorporating VR solutions to help sell their products and services. Although currently at a low base, the VR market in the region is expected to grow at a rapid rate, driven as much by the corporate sector as by gaming.

Development of VR technology has spurred a global race to identify and capture the next major market opportunities. However VR still faces technological and user experience challenges before it can make the transition to mainstream adoption. So, will VR crossover from niche to mainstream? It is predicted that it eventually could, but not yet.

Touch Commerce

Deloitte predicts that mobile driven commerce will enter into mainstream in 2016 in the Middle East. The early success stories of app based payment such as mPay seem to be a case in point. However, the pace of adoption of mobile enabled commerce will differ greatly depending on the underlying technology. While Near Field Communication (NFC) is taking time to gain traction, Deloitte predicts a promising customer uptake of touch commerce, depending of the pace of rollout by ecommerce and payment platforms in the region.

However it will take some time before touch commerce becomes mainstream and displaces cash-on-delivery as the number one payment method for online shopping in the region.

Hybrid Cloud Computing (Private and Public Cloud Services) adoption in Middle East

Deloitte predicts that in 2016, the market for cloud services in the Middle East will exceed US$1 Billion. Customers migrating to cloud will start with hybrid cloud models than full-service cloud deployments. Further, software as a service is likely to grow much faster than other cloud technology vectors with growth being fueled mainly by the Small and Medium Enterprise market compared to large enterprises and the public sector.

Governmental organizations will continue to maintain and promote a private cloud deployment due to regulatory requirements and a conscious decision to protect confidentiality and integrity of classified information. Non-governmental organizations (Large Enterprises and SMEs) will explore options of using the public cloud for both Learning-as-a-service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings considering the maturity and stability of major productivity software in this space as well as ease of provisioning for infrastructure resources.

Music usage rights

Currently there are at least 240 collection societies licensing music, spanning across 129 countries and six continents. The Middle East and North Africa region is in stark comparison to the rest of the world, with only two collection societies (Lebanon and Egypt) and approximately 5,000 total members.

Deloitte predicts that one or more GCC countries will consider the introduction of Music Rights Licensing regime, and in effect this could catalyse the development of the regional music industry and generate indirect economic benefits across the MENA region.