IT spending by the Indian government sector is projected to reach $8.5 billion in 2018
The government sector is picking up pace again after the brief slowdown in the past two quarters due to the effects of demonetisation and a drop in industrial production. According to the latest forecast by IT research firm Gartner, IT spending in the Indian government sector is projected to reach $8.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 8.9% from the 2017 estimated spending of $7.8 billion. This increased spending is likely to be spurred by Digital India initiatives.“The Digital India programme, which aims to transform the country into a digitally-empowered society and knowledge economy, will call for technology investments in the backbone infrastructure, advanced data analytics, digital security, digital payment and e-commerce infrastructure, digitally-enabled G2G, G2B and G2C services, and scores of other related services,” said Ganesh Ramamoorthy, managing vice president at Gartner India. “This will be the key driver for IT spending growth in the Indian government sector over the next five years,” he said.
Several initiatives by the government, such as Make in India, Start-up India, Skill India, and the corresponding policy frameworks to support these initiatives, such as the new electronics policy, software product policy, data security and protection policy, will have a positive effect on government IT spending in the near future. However, the chief among all these initiatives is the Digital
India programme. According to Gartner, software and IT services continue to exhibit strong growth with device spending continuing to drive the majority of the overall IT spending in the government sector. Software spending is projected to grow by 15.6% in 2017, and will grow another 15.1% in 2018 to reach $1.2 billion. IT services spending is on pace to grow by 15.3% in 2017 to total $2 billion in 2017, and increase by 13.8% in 2018 to reach $2.3 billion.
“Spending on devices, which includes printers/copiers/MFPs, mobile devices, PCs and tablets, is estimated to see the highest growth in 2017, with an increase in spending by nearly 21% to reach $1 billion,” said Moutusi Sau, principal research analyst at Gartner. “This will further increase by another 9.4% to reach $1.1 billion in 2018.” Digital government relies on the use and reuse of data and analytics to simplify transactions for end users. It creates information from data to support and enhance decision making, and it fosters the creation of new, collaborative and disruptive service delivery models. In the process, underlying service models are re-engineered to improve mission effectiveness and to achieve long-range cost savings through optimised outcomes.
To be successful, the Indian government’s digital strategy must address a variety of issues. “While focusing on citizen services is an essential element of the digital strategy, the main and more sustainable benefits will come to the government from the transformation of its internal data and processes,” said Sau.
Therefore, establishing a sustainable collaboration among stakeholders in different domains and tiers; adopting more flexible funding, agile procurement and project management processes; improving IT workforce skills and management practices; and securing the technologies and/or services needed to support the digitalisation of government business functions, will all be very essential for the Digital India programme to succeed.