Government IT investments set to rise across Asia-Pacific: IDC

​The government sector in the Asia Pacific region, not including Japan, is on track to spend $32.5 billion (AU$41.3 billion) in IT investments in 2018, according to new research by IDC.

Government sector IT investments in the Asia Pacific area excluding Japan (APEJ) is set to increase from the $25.4 billion (AU$32.3 billion), which it hit in 2014, to $32.5 billion (AU$41.3 billion) in 2018, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate of 6.2 percent, according to industry analyst IDC.

According to IDC's Pivot Table: Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Public Sector IT Spending 2013-2018 report, the overall year-on-year IT spending growth this year for the APEJ public sector is anticipated to grow at 5.9 percent.

IDC said this indicates both a more cautious, and maturing APEJ public sector public spending landscape. IDC suggested that this is because the public sector in the region will be increasingly focused on consolidating and streamlining "scarce" IT resources.

The report also said the government sector in the Asia Pacific region is on track to spend more on IT services than hardware investments in 2015.

This forecast comes despite the Australian government reporting that it spent AU$661 million less on information and communications technology services in 2012-2013, than it did for the year ending 2012, according to the Australian Government ICT Expenditure Report 2008-09 to 2012-13, published by the Department of Finance.

All up, the Australian government spent AU$4.9 billion on IT services in the financial year ending 2013, which is 10.5 percent lower than its spend in 2007-2008, with IT investment falling to 4.8 percent of total general government expenditure.

However, IDC's research suggested that 2015 will be the year that overall hardware investments will surpass in absolute numbers by overall IT services spend for the region's public sector.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-countries leading this transition include Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. This indicates more established domestic IT landscapes in these markets, according to IDC.

Australia, along with China, India, Singapore, and South Korea are collectively forecasted to invest over $1 billion on IT spend in 2015, the research indicated. As a group, they represent 82 percent of the entire APEJ public sector IT spending.

IDC's latest research follows a report -- also by IDC -- from late last year, which suggested that enterprises in the APAC region will be focusing their IT services expenditure on consolidation and security over 2015, and choosing outsourcing and managed services as the primary delivery.

Meanwhile, Gartner reported in January that the mature APAC market including Japan is expected to spend $7.4 billion on public cloud services this year.