Monday, January 7, 2013

Views split over IT public investment


HANOI – There are many different opinions about the present structure of public investment in IT at home.
As per a recent report of the Information Technology (IT) Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Government spent about VND1.25 trillion purchasing IT products last year. The sum included VND351 billion for software and up to VND904 billion for hardware.
There are some saying that the Government is heavily focusing on developing hardware infrastructure and purchasing equipment like desktop computers rather than services and software and the investment is not proportionate.
However, Nguyen Duc Toan, director of EMC Vietnam, a provider of IT infrastructure solutions such as information storage and security, said Vietnam’s structure of investment into the IT industry is suitable.
In the first phase of IT investment, the investment ratio set aside for hardware will be higher than that of software, he said, explaining that infrastructure is always in need of investment first. It is like the traffic industry in which roads will be developed before vehicles are purchased.
“Besides, the fact that whether investment and deployment of software is successful or not depends on suitable process and awareness of users. New software cannot necessarily change the IT system for the better,” Toan said.
He underlined the importance of taking a long time to change the industry for the better. Previously, software projects were for addressing micro issues, but lately software schemes with considerable impacts like public financial projects have also started.
Toan asserted the current IT public investment is not misleading. Statistics of Gartner indicate an investment ratio of 18% for software is the common structure for IT investment in many other countries but the figure of VND351 billion out of a total VND1.25 trillion is not small, he clarified.
“Moreover, when looking at the overall IT investment picture, we can see that a lot of public services have become much more convenient compared to a decade ago thanks to IT investment,” he added.
Regarding the issue, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Minh Hong agreed that public opinion tends to pay attention to the investment ratio between hardware, software and services in comparison with the total investment value. However, Hong said the ministry will adjust the ratios in accordance with reality in every specific development period.

By Van Oanh - The Saigon Times Daily

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