IDC: Many IT sectors in Asia-Pacific still buoyant

IDC: Many IT sectors in Asia-Pacific still buoyant

Several sectors of the Asia-Pacific IT market (excluding Japan) have prospered throughout the global economic downturn, with e-commerce, mobile telecommunication and developing country markets leading the way, according to IDC.

The star industry is electronic commerce, which will continue to grow at 90 per cent per year to be worth over $US500 billion in 2005. Wireless revenue has grown so fast that it has now overcome fixed-line telecommunication revenue, and at least eight other markets are ready to benefit from a sharp recovery in the near future, according to Piyush Singh, managing director of IDC Asia-Pacific.

"The recovery will begin in the second half of 2002 and we will see take-off in 2003 and 2004," Singh said at the Directions 2002 conference held in Singapore recently. IDC will hold its Directions 2002 conference in Sydney on April 30.

The overall Asia-Pacific IT market will grow 9.6 per cent this year, and an estimated 17 per cent next year and in 2004, Singh said.

Among the markets predicted to grow fast are:

-- smart handheld devices, which will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 41 per cent between now and 2005, when they will represent a $2.4 billion market.

-- IP-based (Internet Protocol) VPNs (virtual private networks), set for a CAGR of 58 per cent to become a $3 billion market by 2005.

-- VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which is expected to show 36 per cent CAGR.

-- cable access, expected to show 65 per cent CAGR.

-- applications outsourcing, with estimated CAGR of 30 per cent.

Security has become a much more important issue with Asia-Pacific end users recently, Singh said.

"There will be step-function growth in IT security spending here in 2003," he said.

And although many Asian telecommunication carriers are struggling, telecommunication service revenue grew a healthy 24 per cent in 2001, to around $150 billion. But that growth was mainly achieved in developing countries such as China, which grew 41 per cent last year, and India, which grew 21 per cent. Those two countries now account for just over half of Asia-Pacific telecommunications revenue, Singh said.

Overall, Asia-Pacific remains underpenetrated by IT, compared to its telecommunication markets, according to Singh.

Asia-Pacific only accounts for around 7 per cent of global IT spending, but its telecommunication revenue is 16 per cent of the world total and it is home to 37 per cent of the world's mobile phones, Singh said.

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