Following what is fast becoming conventional wisdom, Gartner Group last week predicted that IT professional services in Asia-Pacific will continue with double- digit growth despite the region's economic difficulties.
Gartner expects that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for IT services will reach 24 per cent between 1998 and 2002, which is well above the worldwide growth rate of 15.6 per cent, according to Craig Baty, principal analyst for regional IT services.
And with the services market in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) bringing in nearly $US16 billion in 1997, high growth means the services market is predicted to be about $US46.6 billion in 2002, Baty said, noting that the Asia-Pacific region makes up 5 per cent of the worldwide market.
The results of Gartner's regional study - which were released here last week - are based on over 300 interviews with 174 IT services vendors and IT vendors with services offerings in the region.
Jewel in the crown
Gartner defines the IT services market to include traditional and non-traditional services provided in support of the design, implementation and management of information systems.
Currently, Australia is the jewel in the crown when it comes to IT services, accounting for 32 per cent of the region's market share.
In 1998, India had 14 per cent, followed by Korea and China with 11 per cent.
By 2002, the market share picture should change dramatically, as India will have the top services market share with 32 per cent.
However, Gartner's Baty called this number "artificial", since the Indian market is largely spurred on by application software developed for export - especially centred around year 2000 work.
Australia is expected to still have a strong showing in 2002, representing 25 per cent of the services market.