Indian govt spent $1 b on IT

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 18 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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HYDERABAD: Gartner estimates the Indian government to have spent $ 1.008 billion on IT in 2002. This includes hardware, software, telco equipment and services, and IT Services, but excludes salary costs of IT staff.

Announcing this at a preview briefing of the Gartner Summit 2003- 'Leveraging IT: What the future holds' scheduled on 16-17 July, 2003 in Mumbai, Gartner stated that the government was the only recession proof vertical that could keep up the momentum in IT spend despite a downturn in the country's economy.

While 'eGovernment' is just five years old in India, which is relatively nascent, 12 states already have an IT policy in place. Besides, the government's directive of keeping aside 2% of each state department's budget for IT purchase has been instrumental in driving IT penetration in government offices.

The combined spend on IT across APAC governments in 2002 is US $15.2 billion. Mapping India's progress on eGovernment to counterparts within the region, the country is on par with China, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Philippines. The most evolved countries and leaders of e-government include Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand

Gartner however cautions that Indian eGovernment initiatives have reached the peak of inflated expectations; and through 2003, insufficient increases in service levels and difficulties in managing constituent relationships will push Indian e-government toward the trough of disillusion.

Says Bob Hayward, Senior Vice President, Gartner APAC, 'Over the last year, most Indian states have announced an IT policy, with each one trying to compete with the other in terms of mind share. This influx of e-government initiatives is bound to lead to a mismatch among constituents' needs, political vision and ability to execute.'

However, India is not unique in this situation. Gartner estimates that through 2004, more than 50% of e-government projects worldwide will fail to deliver the service levels required by citizens and businesses (0.7 probability).

A G2C relationship requires a distinctly collaborative approach in contrast to the transaction focused e-business consumer relationship. Concludes Hayward, 'A successful e-government initiative is one that has adopted an outside-in approach. Since unlike the business-to-consumer relationship, a citizen cannot shop around for an alternative government, the government has to keep its consumers interests in mind to make the business of e-government successful.'

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