Indian government IT spending to rise to $8.9 bn

Driven by the 'Digital India' initiatives, Indian government's IT spending is slated to rise 8.9 per cent to $8.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 8.9 per cent from 2017 estimated spending of $7.8 billion.

Software and IT services continue to exhibit strong growth with device spending continuing to drive the majority of the overall IT spending in the Indian government sector.

Software spending is projected to grow by 15.6 per cent in 2017, and will grow another 15.1 per cent in 2018 to reach $1.2 billion, according to a study by Gartner.

IT services spending is on pace to grow by 15.3 per cent in 2017 to total $2 billion in 2017, and increase by 13.8 per cent in 2018 to reach $2.3 billion.

''Spending on devices, which includes printers, copiers, mobile devices, PCs and tablets, is estimated to see the highest growth in 2017, with an increase in spending by nearly 21 per cent to reach $1 billion,'' said Moutusi Sau, principal research analyst at Gartner.

''This will further increase by another 9.4 percent to reach $1.1 billion in 2018.''

Several initiatives by the government, such as the 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.

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, 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 digitalization of government business functions, will all be very essential for the Digital India programme to succeed.

Government sector IT Spending Forecast, India, (millions of US dollars)
2017 Spending 2017 Growth (%) 2018 Spending 2018 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems 504 5.4 521 3.3
Devices 1,026 20.8 1,122 9.4
Internal Services 1,558 6.1 1,661 6.6
IT Services 1,986 15.3 2,261 13.8
Software 1,004 15.6 1,156 15.1
Telecom Services 1,762 7.0 1,818 3.1
Overall 7,840 11.4 8,537 8.9
Source: Gartner (October 2017)