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APEJ IT services market to grow 9.4% in 2011, say IDC

Outsourcing, project-oriented services and cloud services boost IT services growth

Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region overall IT services market is expected to grow 9.4% year-on-year in 2011, driven by outsourcing, project-oriented services, and cloud services, according to market research firm IDC.

The research firm said that consultancy-led and business transformation projects, especially cloud related initiatives, are picking up fast to enable enterprises to capture opportunities in the recovered economic environment.

Server, storage and desktop virtualisation, along with transition to next-generation data centre, continue to fuel the growth of network consulting and integration services.

Business analytics offerings are growing fast as more enterprises are demanding predictive capabilities to capitalise on the value of information and enhance competitiveness and time-to-market.

Further, enterprises are looking for end-to-end managed services, extending the partner ecosystem will be critical to address the growing requirements for compliance and disaster recovery, IDC said.

The report said that the uptake of mobile technology, cloud computing, social networks and Web 2.0, security and risk assessment services remain high on the agenda to assist enterprises to evaluate the security posture prior to deploying new technologies and build stronger information governance for managing corporate information in the cloud.

IDC Asia/Pacific services research group associate director Linus Lai said transforming IT infrastructure, modernising applications, and streamlining business processes, are key drivers for enterprises' IT investment.

"The pressure on reducing CAPEX remains and this will continue to fuel innovation in outsourcing services over the next 12 months, as governance and IT service management take centre stage in the value proposition for outsourcing services," Lai said.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.