Associate Vice President: Sub-Saharan Africa, IDC Middle East, Africa & Turkey

Mark Walker currently leads the Sub-Saharan Africa operations, along with Vertical Market and Insights research and consulting practice at IDC MEA. He has over 25 years of experience in the information technology and telecommunications industry.

In his position at IDC, Walker is responsible for leading consulting, research, and analyses of technology markets across the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, along with analysis of the larger politico-socio-economic environment in which these markets exist. As a large proportion of research conducted by IDC MEA is of a primary nature, he is able to acquire first-hand experience of the various technology markets in the region. His current focus includes the government, financial, and energy sectors.

Upon completion of telecommunications engineering training in the Air Force, he held technical and managerial roles in the hospital informatics and nuclear imaging industry before recommencing his studies and completing tertiary qualifications in communications, marketing management, and business administration. He then focused his efforts on the sales and marketing management aspects of the technology industry in South Africa, before embarking on a career in technology sector research and consulting in 1996.

Walker spent 13 years in various research, analysis, consulting, and management roles with IDC in South Africa and Dubai, where he was director of business development for IDC Middle East and Africa responsible for marketing and sales leadership across the region. Prior to that, he led IDC’s Southern African IT and Banking Research group, where his focus was on market strategy development and competitive market analysis in the infrastructure and services arenas for multinational technology vendors and banking and financial organizations.

Walker has conducted extensive technology industry research and has personally participated in over 150 consulting assignments as a consultant, project leader, or analyst.

He personally initiated and led quantitative and qualitative research initiatives that established benchmarks for on-going analysis of the African IT market by compiling definitive segmentation of this marketplace from technology, geographic, and user perspectives.

He frequently consults on strategic issues including policy formulation, market opportunity assessment, strategic planning, distribution and partnership initiatives, and competitive situations facing technology suppliers and users in emerging markets.

Most recently Walker spent two years with Microsoft Gulf, where he was responsible for competitive strategy development and implementation.

Areas of expertise:

  • Competitive market strategy development
  • National technology policy development
  • IT channel analysis and development
  • IT market entry strategies
  • Economic and social impact of IT adoption
  • B2B technology adoption trends and market dynamics
  • Consumer and SMB technology user trends
  • Analysis of ICT policy and strategy in government, finance, oil and gas, and healthcare sectors
  • Emerging and developing IT market opportunity assessment
  • Competitive analysis and benchmarking
  • Datacommunications market analysis

Walker achieved a diploma in telecommunications engineering while with the Air Force in 1987, a BA in communications and sociology at the University of South Africa in 1997, and a MAP (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1998.

He completed an IMM Certificate (first class) in marketing management at Damelin College in 1996.

He is a member of the Institute of Directors (South Africa).