The year ahead is likely to be characterised by recessionary pressures in key global economies, increasing borrowing costs, unpredictable supply chains, oil price uncertainty, and volatile demand. \n\nRegardless of the challenges of the past few years and the hurdles ahead, digital transformation investments in the Middle East, T\u00fcrkiye, and Africa (META) are set to more than double across the 2021\u20132026 period, according to the latest forecast from IDC. \n\nThe global technology research, consulting, and events firm says that digital transformation spending in the region will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate of 16% over the five-year period, topping 74 billion USD in 2026 and accounting for 43.2% of all ICT investments made that year.\n\nAt the recent IDC Directions event in Dubai, Steven Frantzen, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director EMEA at IDC stressed how crucial it is for tech leaders to keep focused on the future and be customer-centric. \u201cIt\u2019s important for every tech leader to think about the near, mid and long-term when it comes to technology. You need to work with your customer by continuing investment in digital transformation, but how do we help our customers?\u201d\n\n\u201cWe heard about the global recession, in the Middle East we continue to see economic growth in every sector, but if you are a large market in the USA or Europe, it will also affect your business here.\u201d\n\nFrantzen said many are expecting a recession in the coming year. \u201cAccording to a survey made by IDC, 75% say yes, so we need to manage the recession for the long term because companies are not cutting spending in technologies, spending on digital technology by organizations will grow at eight times the economy in 2023, establishing a foundation for operational excellence, competitive differentiation and long term growth.\u201d\n\nAt the Directions event, it was made clear that the digital and tech investments made by companies during the pandemic to build resilience could be put to test in 2023. This may be seen across key business areas such as customer experience, operations, and financial management, among others. \n\nAccording to Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's Group Vice President and Regional Managing Director for the META region: "The implementation of further digitalization in critical areas and a more rapid shift to a 'digital business' approach will be key to separating the thrivers from the survivors.\u201d\n\nThe region is expecting to see digital transformation spending as a share of overall IT spend continue to grow, reaching 43.2% in 2026, up from just 29.4% in 2021.