WCIT: Most delegates see a ‘better 2002'

The mood among delegates on the future of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry at the World Congress on Information Technology 2002 (WCIT) is quite positive, according to an industry group poll.

An Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and Macro Consulting survey reveals 78.4 per cent of polled WCIT delegates believe 2002 offers better opportunity for industry growth than 2001.

Rob Durie, AIIA executive director said the key indicators people were using to back this view were various Government moves to encourage IT developments (42 per cent), the post-September 11 focus on specific ICT infrastructure enhancements (40 per cent) and the anticipated increase in IT infrastructure investments (37 per cent).

"Interestingly, people are not basing their perceived changes in the stock markets or interest rates, but preferring to form their opinions from indications of new business interest in technologies," said Durie.

The main technology drives in the next five years, according to the poll, include wireless and mobile (70 per cent), broadband (64 per cent), and e-payment systems (48 per cent).

"While broadband was seen as a key technological driver, only 24 per cent of poll respondents could see broadband encouraging business growth in 2002," he said.

Also launched at the WCIT was the World Information Technology Services Alliance (WITSA)'s study, Digital Planet 2002: The Global Information Economy.

Durie said the report found Australia ranks well above our size as the tenth largest ICT spending country in 2001, "a position we have retained for over a decade".

"In fact, we rank fourth in ICT spending as a percentage of GDP," said Durie.

The study found over $US37 billion was spent on ICT in Australia in 2001, with Japan and China leading Australia in the Asia Pacific region.

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