The Forrester Asia Pacific (AP) team has just published its predictions for 2013 in the IT Industry Disruptions Fuel Renewed Asia Pacific Market Growth report. Some of the top trends and predictions that I believe are particularly critical in the India market:

  • Government reforms will not positively affect IT spending until 2014. Forrester estimates that India’s IT purchases will grow by 9.5% in local currency in 2013. The Indian government is taking steps to reform initiatives and stimulate the economy in the wake of faltering economic growth caused by inflation as well as corruption, political gridlock, and lack of business investment. However, Forrester expects corporate spending to remain cautious ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for 2014.
  • Increasing customer expectations will drive software spending. 94% of the Indian organizations surveyed in our Forrsights Budgets and Priorities Survey, Q2 2012 cited the need to improve their product and services capabilities to meet increasing customer expectations as their top business priority. We therefore expect increased investments in CRM, customer communications management (email marketing software, SMS communication software, etc.), and business process management tool solutions.
  • Demand for converged infrastructure will increase as organizations seek to simplify data center complexity. CIOs are under pressure to improve operational efficiency and become more responsive to business demands. We expect these pressures to drive interest in preintegrated converged systems, as vendors such as Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Oracle and others aggressively pursue local market opportunities. For instance, IBM is strongly pushing PureSystems in India, while Dell plans to launch its preintegrated Active Systems in India in 2013.
  • Expanding g-cloud initiatives will help fuel cloud-related infrastructure spending. We expect India’s 2012 National IT Policy to boost cloud spending from central and state governments over the next several years as various Indian state governments pursue cloud initiatives to boost local economic activity and more efficiently deliver public services at lower costs. For instance, through its State Data Center, the Maharashtra state government is offering SaaS, IaaS, PaaS services to all government departments initially at no cost. As highlighted in our Asia Pacific g-cloud report, Indian governments will mainly target private clouds (state data centers) over the next two years due to security-related concerns.
  • Analytics will remain a top CIO priority, but value delivery will remain elusive. Forrester data confirms that BI-related spending will increase over the next 12 months in India. However, most BI implementations will continue to center around traditional database and data warehouse environments. Indian organizations remain immature in terms of analytics, with most still focused on standards.

With per capita income still under $1,500, India remains a strong growth market. However, continued strong IT spending growth requires improvements in areas like economic policymaking and transparency, well-targeted IT investments, and ongoing controls on inflation.