This year could well be dubbed The Year of Technology in Turkey. Overall spending in the technology sector is expected to reach US$11.7 billion this year, with consumer and telecoms predicted to attract the largest investments.
ICT transformation and growth
Turkey’s information and communications technology industry is one of the country’s driving forces, employing millions of workers and generating massive spending. With investment in the ICT sector coming from within the country as well as abroad as Turkey’s technology infrastructure grows, it’s clear that ICT will continue to be an economic driver.
New technologies currently rolling out in Turkey - including Big Data, Cloud and Social Work - are expected to herald a technology transformation, changing and modernising the country. And not only will Turks be utilising this new technology: they’ll be building on it and creating new software, transforming itself from a nation of consumers to one of innovators.
As Turkish business turns ever-more global, corporations are spending more on software and services that will improve output and productivity. Mobility is another buzzword of the year as businesses utilise the technology that allows their workers to work from anywhere in the world. Expenditure on mobile phones will increase, as will spending on apps that facilitate working out of the office.
Microsoft Turkey’s deputy director Murat Yilmaz says Turkey is “witnessing the evolution” of ICT, and mentions Turkish innovators’ knack of “evaluating the risks and converting them into opportunities”.
Global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts the rush to develop Turkey’s 4G infrastructure will result in a huge communications spend this year. Turkey’s networks are, for the moment, predominantly 3G, but 4G - basically a better, faster version of its predecessor - will roll out this year after a number of investments in the technology.
Jebin George, a senior research analyst at IDC, says telecom companies in Turkey are expanding their portfolios with value-added IT services, focussing on machine-to-machine (M2M) infrastructure, smart solutions, and cloud computing, along with more traditional offerings such as data centres and disaster recovery.
A significant driver behind Turkey’s tech transformation is its youth population. Turkey has the largest proportion of youth in Europe, with half the population aged under 30. These young people are politically and socially motivated - and technology hungry. Turkey’s youth are found on the cusp of cutting-edge technology, and it’s they who will propel their country into a future where words like cloudware and base station will be part of everyday vernacular.
With the appetite for mobile applications showing no sign of abating, Turkey’s tech-savvy youth will be driving demand, as well as creating innovative new apps specific to their country, and also for international use.
After mobile phone technology, the greatest growth was seen in the software sector, and within that sector, cloud computing stands out, with 90 percent of new technology developed and utilised in the software sector pertaining to cloud applications.
Cloud computing, the practice of using a network of remote servers to store, manage and process data, is allowing Turkey’s largest companies to take a new direction with their products and services.
Banking, insurance and securities will be investing heavily in the IT sector this year, spending $972 million. Facing heavy competition, Turkish banks are throwing money at ensuring the technology they offer to their customers is second to none. That means an investment in mobile technology, and, given the sensitive information that will be accessed by this technology, there will be secondary investments made in security.
Turkey’s technology sector will be driven this year by the youth sector and the country’s growing middle class, a population demanding better, faster and more up-to-date technology. Growth will be facilitated by investment from within the country and abroad, as investors look towards Turkey’s burgeoning communications network and strong economy.
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