Increased investment in software licences, specialised computer services, systems advisers and system development will lead to a robust improvement in IT spending by the South African government in the next four years, says Frost & Sullivan.
According to a new report from the research and consulting firm, called “ICT Spend in South Africa: Public Sector”, the public sector spent US$615,9m on information and communications technology in 2014. Managed services, combined with fixed and non-cellular connectivity, accounted for 73,1% of these investments. The size of total spend will grow to $707,6m by 2019, it predicts.
By way of comparison, total ICT spend in South Africa in 2014 was $5bn, with that number expected to grow to $5,7bn by 2019. The magnitude and growth in ICT spend by government will only be matched by the financial services sector.
“South Africa’s National Development Plan, the National Integrated ICT Policy Green Paper and the broadband policy are expected to drive the development and uptake of e-government services,” says Frost & Sullivan ICT industry analyst Naila Govan-Vassen in a statement.
“ICT spend will centre on updating IT hardware and data centres and on supporting systems integration, especially within the health, education and administrative departments.”
Despite government awareness of the importance of and need for digitisation, current expenditure is mainly limited to day-to-day ICT requirements across national and provincial departments, the firm says. Holding government back are legacy systems that need upgrades; limited infrastructure investment to connect all public sector buildings; a lack of a coordinated plan to enforce ICT standards and ensure interoperability within national and provincial departments; security concerns surrounding shared and cloud computing services; shortage of skilled resources; and limited Internet reach and citizen access to online content.
“Defining clear roles for ICT agencies and building partnerships with the private sector will be crucial to this endeavour,” noted Govan-Vassen. “The breadth of knowledge and expertise that the private sector can bring on board will complement the government’s commitment to strengthen ICT integration and accelerate digitisation in the South African public sector.” — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media