Mumbai– The IT spending by the Indian government is likely to reach $8.3 billion in 2022, an increase of 8.6 per cent from this year, a new Gartner report showed on Thursday, as the digitalisation initiatives took a giant leap in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The software segment is forecast to achieve the highest growth of 24.7 per cent in 2022 as the adoption of citizen service delivery applications with use of artificial intelligence and machine learning will improve across citizen initiatives.

“The pandemic forced the government to shift priorities as supply chains and revenue streams dwindled,” said Apeksha Kaushik, senior principal research analyst at Gartner.

“As vaccination rates increase throughout the country and public health improves, the governments will focus on furthering the digitalisation efforts on concerns such as ‘citizen experience’ and digital inclusion,” Kaushik added.

Moving from legacy systems to digital will be a major reason for IT spending growth in 2022.

For initiatives such as digital licensing, online judicial proceedings, digital taxation, that were initiated as a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic in 2020, there is a still long way ahead to achieve full potential as digital inclusion is not fully met in the country.

The forthcoming 5G spectrum auction in India will aim at solving some of these challenges related to digital inclusion in 2022, the report noted.

“In India, with increasing investments on cloud and cyber-security, the prime focus of IT spending by government organisations is on building collaborative partnerships, along with technology solutions,” said Kaushik.

As cloud deployments and implementations further the digital agenda, privacy and security continue to be government CIOs’ top concerns in the country.

Key technologies that government CIOs in India will be prioritising their spending on in 2022 will be digital workplace and business continuity solutions, business intelligence and data analytics, responsible AI and blockchain along with improved data privacy and data sharing tools, the report elaborated. (IANS)