HiGrowth project will 'map' ICT industry

New Zealand needs to know the dimensions of its ICT industry

NZ trade and Enterprise's HiGrowth project is conducting a detailed survey of the country's ICT industry — its companies and professional associations, and the industries they serve. Microsoft is jointly funding the survey.

The exercise will be performed by analyst firm IDC, which won the contract in a competitive tender. Four organisations were on the shortlist for the contract, says HiGrowth project head Garth Biggs.

The value of the contract is confidential, he says.

A 2003 government-funded taskforce identified the issues facing the ICT industry and set up the HiGrowth project to tackle them. But understanding the issues is different from establishing the dimensions of the industry, says Biggs. The latter “we still don’t know in enough detail", he says.

The industry survey will have three key deliverables. First, it will produce a map of the funding sources and significant resources available to ICT companies. Second, ICT industry organisations, reportedly numbering over 150, will be surveyed to determine whom they serve, their geographical reach and the services each offers. Third, a “landscape map” of the ICT industry will be drawn up, identifying both the horizontal technologies each company provides and the vertical markets each serves.

The map will also provide a detailed analysis of each vertical market, identifying the roles ICT producers are playing in the various sectors of the New Zealand economy.

This information will be published in an accessible form for the ICT industry and user organisations.

This should help facilitate contact between the industry and its customers, and in developing government policy and targeting finance and other NZTE resources.

Microsoft’s contribution will be financial and will also include intellectual property, Biggs says. “They have done this kind of exercise elsewhere in the world and have modelling tools we can use.”

A report on the economics of the New Zealand ICT industry will also be published a joint exercise between IDC and The Economist's Intelligence Unit in London.

The project and the report should both be completed by the end of this year, says IDC NZ country manager Graeme Muller.

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