Govt’s IT spends to jump 12% to $9.5 bn: Gartner

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NEW DELHI : The Indian government’s spending on information technology is expected to grow 12.1% to $9.5 billion in 2022, far higher than the 5% rise globally, according to Gartner, Inc. The research firm estimates government IT spends for the year globally to touch $565.7 billion.

“Contrary to the worldwide spending, all segments will experience growth in India in 2022,” Apeksha Kaushik, principal analyst, Gartner, said in an interview. Global geopolitical tensions and looming recession in the US are not expected to have much impact on India, she added. While software spends by the Union government will grow at the fastest pace globally at a record 28% and cross the $2 billion mark in 2022, IT services is likely to post 13.4% growth to reach $2.4 billion.

“Now, more than ever, governments are executing innovative activities by harnessing technology to streamline digital services, advance automation processes, evolve citizen experiences and build a data fabric,” Kaushik said.

The investments will continue in line with the stimulus measures and rise in annual IT budgets, and the momentum is likely to continue both at the national and state levels, she added.

“With the rise in the adoption of hybrid work, there will be an uptick in spending on devices, such as laptops, notebooks and printers, in education, healthcare and other government departments.”

Pay-as-you-use is also gaining momentum, so anything-as-a-service (XaaS) is expected to emerge as an area of investment across government organisations, Kaushik said.

“The pandemic fast tracked public-sector adoption of the cloud solutions and XaaS model for accelerated legacy modernization and new service implementations. 54% of government CIOs (chief information officers) indicated that they expect to allocate additional funding to cloud platforms in 2022, while 35% will decrease investments in legacy infrastructure and data centre technologies.”

Gartner said by 2026, most government agencies’ new IT investments will be in XaaS solutions. Kaushik said telecom services, especially with the launch of 5G, is expected to solve some challenges related to digital inclusion. Jayanth Kolla, tech analyst and co-founder, Convergence Catalyst, said both the Centre and state governments are increasingly realizing the potential of data-driven innovation. “They are investing both money and energy to step up spending to build public infrastructure and drive economic growth.”

Neel Ratan, the former digital government leader at PwC Global Network, said government CIOs could spend more on healthcare, agriculture and education this year.

Key technologies that government CIOs in India will be prioritizing their spending on will be digital workplace and business continuity solutions, business intelligence and data analytics, responsible AI and blockchain, besides improved data privacy and data sharing tools, said the Gartner report.

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