A look at Asia's two tech giants

Businesses in both India and China point to increasing productivity as top IT priority but differ in how they select technology partners.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

The world's two most populous nations, India and China, are often tagged together as Asia's key growth drivers. But while the two tech giants share similar traits, businesses in these markets sometimes differ in how they view and respond to IT developments.

With the global financial crisis slowly easing up, IT budgets of organizations across Asia have seen an increase. According to ZDNet Asia's IT Priorities Survey 2H2010, some 52.3 percent of respondents polled said their IT budget had increased since 2009. The budget remained the same for 31.9 percent of respondents and dropped for only 15.8 percent. Conducted in July, the report examined the key IT objectives and challenges facing IT departments in the Asia-Pacific region including Singapore, India, China, Malaysia and the Philippines. A total of 3,657 information technology (IT) decision-makers were polled about their IT priorities, technology implementation plans and purchasing strategies.

Businesses in India also reported an increase in their IT budgets. Almost three quarters (72.9 percent) of 358 businesses polled in the country saw bigger budgets this year, higher than the regional average of 52.3 percent. These respondents were mostly from the manufacturing/mining and wholesale/retail/logistics industries, according to the ZDNet Asia survey.

In comparison, 58.6 percent of organizations in China--where 913 respondents were surveyed--reported increased IT budgets, most of them were in the public healthcare sector and business services.

More justification needed for IT spending
Asked how the past year's economic conditions affected their IT operations, most respondents (37.5 percent) across the Asia-Pacific region pointed to slashed IT budgets as a "major effect", followed by the frequency of budget revision (36.4 percent).

Some 25.1 percent of respondents, the top 8 most commonly noted, highlighted increase in IT outsourcing activities as a major effect.

In China and India, two of world's biggest outsourcing markets, respondents revealed different results in terms of how economic condictions had impacted their outsourcing activities.

Only 19.4 per cent of Chinese companies reported an increase in IT sourcing as a major effect, while 32.4 percent in India indicated likewise.

Pricing key in choosing tech partners
The two countries also differed when choosing a technology partner. Most Indian businesses (50.8 percent) named competitive pricing as a "very important" consideration when selecting a technology partner, while 44.4 percent pointed to approved supplier status. About 39.7 percent highlighted innovation as a "very important" consideration.

In China, however, most respondents (41.5 percent) pointed to an IT vendor's approved supplier status as a "very important" consideration when selecting a tech partner, while 39.6 percent highlighted competitive pricing. Some 35.9 percent noted existing channel or partner relationship as a very important consideration, compared to 25.7 percent in India.

Both countries, though, shared similar views when assessing IT improvements for their organizations. Respondents in the two countries pointed to security and application enhancements as two of the most important considerations, with improvements to infrastructure availability and performance as the third-most important consideration.

Respondents in both economies also pointed to increasing productivity as the most important IT prioritiy for their business.
Source: ZDNet Asia IT Priorities Survey 2H2010

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