Vista hot in 2007 despite only modest increases to local IT budgets

Regional growth jumps 10 per cent

While IT spending in the Asia Pacific region is expected to jump a whopping 10 per cent in 2007, Australian IT managers aren't so optimistic claiming small increases in this year's budget.

Shepparton Council CIO Rod Apostol said spending will remain consistent with previous years with a small increase to accommodate CPI.

"There is no killer app to accommodate more funding so its business as usual; most of our spend will be directed at replacement cycles for our hardwre and incremental software upgrades," Apostol said.

"The biggest project Im currently evaluating is Windows Vista to see if there is compelling reasons for us to adopt the new OS.

"We are also extending our VoIP networks and working on adding value to the enterprise through extending or utilising the functionality of the existing suit of software that we own. We look to further enhance our Web offerings through additional services, payment offerings and information being delivered through our back end systems to gain efficiencies and improve customer service."

Apostol believes the hottest IT issues for 2007 include the release of Vista, Web hosted services and spam.

"Where virus management looks to be bedded down, spam is still an issue. Filtering and scanning are fairly well developed but this is causing issues around bandwidth management and also headaches with communicating with other organisations, especially when their spam filtering impacts our ability to deliver information."

Ebsworth and Ebsworth Lawyers CIO Lionel Bird said, in real terms, IT spend will be the same as previous years.

Bird said most of the IT spend is already committed and goes into salaries, services, and hardware/software depreciation/lease costs.

"In most cases, enterprise software licensing arrangements are in place so we will be aiming to get maximum value out of these wherever possible. Around 15 per cent of the spend is available for more discretionary and project-related funding," he said.

"Major projects for the year will revolve around collaboration including Web conferencing, presence, instant messaging, blogs and wikis as well as business intelligence, records management and enterprise search."

The overall IT market in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) is forecasted to reach $US132 billion in 2007, fueled by increasing domestic demand and economic growth in the region spearheaded by India and China, according to IDC's annual forecast. This is a 10 per cent increase over 2006.

"The region's astounding rates of economic and IT market growth have resulted in dynamic and rapidly evolving corporate and consumer markets. This is a role the region has gradually accepted, but the growth is now taking off explosively," said Eva Au, managing director for IDC Asia/Pacific.

According to Au, the region's economic empowerment has created more discerning and demanding IT users "who now require technology which is sensitive to the region's unique demands and are increasingly responsive to the needs of mobile communications, converged devices, and results-oriented IT projects."

Together, China and India will make up more than 43 percent of the region's IT spend. China will account for 32 per cent of the region's IT spend.

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