Experts are projecting that South Africa’s public sector ICT spending will rise to $707.6m (R8.85 billion) by 2019.
This is according to new research by Frost and Sullivan on ICT spend in South Africa.
Researchers said the public sector spent $615.9m (R7.7 billion) on ICT platforms in 2014.
“Managed services, combined with fixed and non-cellular connectivity, accounted for 73.1% of these investments,” said the research.
Naila Govan-Vassen, the ICT industry analyst at Frost and Sullivan, said the projected increase in public sector spending in ICT will “centre around updating IT hardware and data centres and on supporting systems integration,” especially within the health, education and administrative departments.
“South Africa’s National Development Plan, the National Integrated ICT Policy Green Paper, and the Broadband Policy are expected to drive the development and uptake of e-government services,” said Govan-Vassen.
However, limited infrastructure investment, legacy issues and security concerns around cloud computing are seen as the major drawbacks to this and this needs to be addressed, the report urged.
The Frost and Sullivan research report further noted that current public sector expenditure on ICT was mainly limited to day to day requirements.
It highlighted that South Africa lacked “a coordinated plan to enforce ICT standards” while it also needed to “ensure interoperability within national and provincial departments”.
A shortage of skilled resources and limited internet access as well as subdued citizen access to online content were also hobbling the roll-out of ICT platforms and utilisation of e-government platforms.
“Defining clear roles for ICT agencies and building partnerships with the private sector will be crucial to this endeavour.
“The breadth of knowledge and expertise that the private sector can bring on board will complement the government’s commitment to strengthen ICT integration and accelerate digitisation in the South African public sector,” added Govan-Vassen.