The opportunities for technology companies within Asia Pacific, specifically Australia, China and India, are only going to increase, especially within public sector markets. However, technology vendors should ensure they enter these markets now to guarantee that they are well placed to make the most of opportunities in the future.
Australia an appealing place to enter Asia Pacific market
With more similarities to the UK, Canada and the US than with other countries in the Asia Pacific region, Australia will be like familiar territory to technology vendors. A common language, similar government structures and comparable IT usage trends make Australia a promising place for North American and European vendors to start in Asia Pacific. However, Australia also faces its own unique challenges that vendors must be aware of in order to be successful in the market.
Vendor opportunities are abundant as numerous Australian public sector contracts total more than $100 million – some government projects are as high as $367 million – demonstrating the extent that Australia is investing in technology. For example, IBM, a dominant player in this market, is working with the Australian Federal Department of Immigration and Affairs to overhaul the department’s IT system. The contract is valued at $150 million.
IBM is also working on a $273 million project with the Australian Department of Health to provide mainframe, midrange, network, storage and desktop support. Meanwhile, Fujitsu, another vendor with a strong presence in Australia, will provide the Northern Territory Government with desktop, laptop, server and helpdesk services for $111 million and Western Australia Health with applications and infrastructure overhaul for $55.6 million.
Overall, Australia’s public sector is looking to strengthen its technological infrastructure to help the country compete in an increasingly technology-oriented global economy, streamline back office processes and ensure that the country will be technologically ready for the future. These trends will guide Australia’s growing investment in technology.
Despite challenges getting into the Chinese market, vendors can’t avoid it
China is a complex market to enter and there are many challenges that technology vendors face when working in this market. These challenges include the complex procurement system of the Chinese government and intellectual property rights issues.
However, vendors cannot afford to ignore the opportunities in China as the government makes moves towards investing a significant amount in public sector technology. Vendors need to ensure they are aware of and understand the challenges ahead to ease their route in.
The Beijing Olympics has helped to accelerate the rate at which the government installs public sector technology projects. The government wants to show the world that it has the ability to implement a large-scale 21st century technology project.
There are other signs the Chinese government is evolving and opening up. The Chinese military is looking towards outsourcing various services and this trend is likely to include technology projects – for example electronic medical records for hospitals.
India is an increasingly attractive market for technology vendors
Despite the underdevelopment of India’s education and healthcare sectors opportunities still exist for technology vendors. Due to India’s size, opportunities will still exist for technology vendors within the healthcare and education sectors. In particular, opportunities will occur within business management schools and private hospitals. Considering the large growth of the Indian economy, it is becoming an ever more attractive market for technology companies to enter.
With a growing middle class, the social services provided by the government will increase as the government will seek to provide social services fit for the 21st century. Considering the complexities of the Indian market and the importance of local knowledge, technology vendors should be creating a presence there now so they are well placed for the future.