Analyst firm Gartner predicts that IT spending in SA will decline by 2% in 2009 but will return to growth in 2010, with spending likely to rise by about 6%, thanks in part to spending associated with the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
“IT end-user spending in SA is on pace to reach US$24,6bn in 2009, a 2% decline from 2008 spending of $25bn,” Gartner says.
“Unlike many developed countries, SA did not suffer either a banking or housing crisis; none of its companies was ‘bailed out’, although government support of parastatals complicates this assessment,” says William Hahn, principal analyst at Gartner.
“The difficulties encountered by the SA economy in the past year were largely due to its balance of important exports and imports, which suffered as the world economy slowed.”
Of the four major segments of IT — hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications — only the telecoms segment will experience growth in revenue in 2009, Hahn says. In 2010, Gartner predicts all segments will grow.
The computing hardware segment will experience the steepest decline in 2009, with spending projected to fall 23%. The software segment will show the slightest decrease in 2009, with spending forecast to drop 4%.
“Though the global market saw signs of recession in 2009, SA was largely resilient to it,” says Hahn. In the third quarter of 2009, the country’s economy showed signs of recovery and is forecast to grow 3,3% this year in local currency.
Gartner says that despite current uncertainties, SA will be a “leading market and a major hub for the entire Southern African region, and advises organisations to secure a foothold in the country. Its role as host of the World Cup in 2010 has brought substantial investment across the economy, including within IT.
“Some of this investment will hold opportunities right up to the day of the event, and the nation will inherit substantially increased capabilities once it is over.” — Staff reporter, TechCentral