Gartner: More IT investments in the Asia Pacific next year

Bulk purchases going to software implementation, upgrades

Organisations around the world are now more willing to invest in IT, according to a survey by Gartner. But those in the Asia Pacific region are a little bit more bullish, with more than 72 per cent of respondents saying they will invest 10 per cent more than this year's budget.

The worldwide survey of more than 1,500 IT leaders in 40 countries revealed that 39 per cent of global respondents said they would increase their IT budgets next year. But more respondents from the Asia Pacific region, at 44 per cent, said they would do so too with most of the budget going to enterprise software implementations and upgrades.

The results are significant as they can indicate that countries are recovering from years of economic uncertainty. But Gartner also explained that the Asia Pacific region may be quick to recover because it was not as hard hit as the rest of the world.

"Following two years of tumultuous change and uncertainty, IT budgets will increase modestly in 2011; however, responses indicate that the 'new normal' is as much about where the money is going as how much is available," said Derry Finkeldey, principal research analyst at Gartner. "The Asia Pacific was not as hard hit as other regions by the economic downturn and the region is resilient, currently experiencing a return to growth."

Cloud computing

Despite the seeming bullishness in IT investing in the region, a closer look at IT investment plans reveals that organisations are not yet trying out recent industry trends, such as the much-hyped cloud computing. On the contrary, most respondents said their investments will go to traditional IT spending such as software licences and upgrades, including productivity and CRM software.

For the region, 23 per cent of the IT budgets earmarked for next year are intended for enterprise software while 35 per cent will go to new licences, the survey revealed. Meanwhile, 83 per cent of respondents said they will spend their IT budgets on office and productivity software while 63 per cent said they will invest in CRM applications.

"It would appear from the results of the survey that the worst of the recession is over on a global scale; at least for IT software spending anyway," said Finkeldey. "Software spending in the Asia Pacific reflects the upbeat outlook of most enterprises and a strong focus in many industries on improving customer service in an increasingly competitive market place."

However, 63 per cent of respondents in the region said they have not included cloud computing in their budget this year. Still, Gartner's Finkeldey noted that some of this year's IT investments are slowly but surely leading to more IT spending on more recent IT trends in enterprise computing.

"While we are seeing growing interest in cloud computing, most organisations are still learning when it comes to cloud services initiatives," said Finkeldey. "But this doesn't mean they are not thinking about it -- data centre initiatives such as virtualisation are currently higher on the priority list than cloud, but these initiatives are the necessary precursors to a move towards cloud computing. We are seeing that the money is now shifting from traditional IT budget categories to new types of spending."

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Veronica C. Silva

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