SINGAPORE, 14 OCTOBER 2009 - The Hong Kong IT industry will create 21,000 new jobs and more than 600 new businesses locally over the next four years.
This is forecast by research firm IDC in a new global study commissioned by Microsoft. It reports that about 5.8 million jobs and 75,000 new businesses will evolve worldwide by 2013.
Innovative technologies can support economy
Investing in IT can significantly contribute to economic recovery and growth, says IDC. This is evident as the expected growth rate for IT employment of three per cent a year is more than 16 times the rate of growth of total employment in Hong Kong.
The report shows that IT spending in 2009 will be HK$38 billion (USD 5 billion) and will grow 2.6 per cent a year to the end of 2013. The increased spending will result in the growth of jobs for IT professionals giving employment to hundreds of skilled individuals.
This growth is also driven by software and according to IDC, spending on software, at 5.8 per cent a year, is growing faster than the spending on IT overall. This is more than double the 2.6 per cent growth for all IT spending.
Local spending on packaged software will be only 13 percent of total IT spending in 2009. But 47 percent of IT employment will be software-related and its growth over the next four years has been forecasted to be 6.5 percent.
About 600 new businesses will be created by the end of 2013 and most of them will be small and locally owned organisations. This forecast translates into more money for the government as IDC says these IT-related activities will generate HK$14 billion (1 billion USD) in taxes in 2009 and more than HK$8 billion in aggregate net new taxes by 2013.
Microsoft Hong Kong helps economic recovery
Microsoft has a huge partner network in Hong Kong and the coming months and years will offer economic opportunities for local companies selling products that run with or on Microsoft software, or that service and distribute Microsoft software.
The software giant expects companies in the Microsoft ecosystem in Hong Kong to generate about HK$15 billion (2 billion USD) in revenues this year. The company's officials said that for every HK$1 Microsoft will make in Hong Kong in 2009, companies in the local ecosystem will make HK$11.05. The companies in the local ecosystem will drive nearly HK$5 billion (around half a billion USD) of investment to generate these revenues.
According to IDC, spending on cloud computing and cloud services will account for a little less than one per cent of IT spending in Hong Kong. This percentage is expected to triple over the next four years. This percentage is small but IDC says cloud could add more than HK$40 billion (5 billion USD) in net new business revenues to Hong Kong's economy between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013. The research firm believes it can be achieved if IT spending is applied to innovation more effectively than it is today.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.