IT budgets are not increasing substantially across the world and that is hardly able to cover the global inflation, while spending in the Middle East is expected to reach US$211.1 billion this year, registering a growth of eight per cent compared to US$195.6 billion last year, according to a new report by technology research firm Gartner. "Spending on technologies is increasing fast and we are seeing a big increase in spending outside the IT organisation," Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and global head of research at Gartner, said on the sidelines of the eighth Gartner Symposium/ITxpo which is taking place in Dubai between April 1-3. He said there is a significance difference in the country-wide spending patterns and Gulf countries are performing much better than the global average on spending. The average IT budget change in the Gulf countries between 2013 and 2014 is nine per cent compared to the global average of 0.2 per cent. Around 26 per cent of the global spend is happening outside the IT organisation, mainly in marketing budget. In the Gulf, he said the marketing budget is just around three per cent. "Emerging expansion such as mobility, smart government, big data and internet of things (IoT), will prove to be critical in the ongoing transformation and modernisation process of the region. In addition, large IT investments by verticals such as communications, media and services, banking and securities, government, manufacturing and natural resources, offer strong opportunities for technology and service providers," he said. He said there is a great opportunity with the U.A.E.'s Vision 2021 initiative, and the grants that support it, as it will serve as a "major catalyst" for IT initiatives in education, manufacturing and government services. U.A.E. is emphasising clean energy initiatives, such as solar power and nuclear energy, which will serve to create jobs, attract non-petroleum based businesses to the region and help diversify the economy. U.A.E. government is looking to diversify its economy, and it estimates that manufacturing will account for 25 per cent of its GDP by 2015, he said.