IT spending

Japanese companies spend more on IT

Agence France Presse

Tokyo, April 28

A survey on investment plans by major Japanese firms has indicated an upturn in spending on information technology (IT), a weekend press report stated.

The survey, published by Kyodo News on Saturday, showed that 43 firms planned to invest a total of 448.5 billion yen ($3.5 billion) in IT-related areas in the year to March 2003, up 3.8 per cent from the preceding year.

The survey in mid-April yielded responses from 150 major Japanese firms of which the 43 provided specific amounts of their IT-related investments, Kyodo news agency further stated. The other firms refused to give figures.

Of the respondents, 36 planned to increase IT investment while 23 others planned cutbacks. Twenty-seven said their IT-related investment would level off from the previous year.

Many firms hoped to use IT for improving their procurement and control of resources, upgrading services for their clients and speeding up the process of management.

"But there are also many enterprises which think it is more important to cut costs than investing in IT," Kyodo said. "It is still unclear if IT investment will greatly expand to become a leverage in refloating the economy."

Hitachi Ltd reported the largest amount of planned IT investment among the surveyed firms. The value of the spending will rise 15.9 per cent from the preceding year to 65.5 billion yen, Kyodo said.

Hitachi had been selective in IT investment last year due to a slump in the IT market. But it plans to increase such spending focusing on software useful for streamlining operations, the report said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc ranks second on the list with 61.4 billion yen, up 3.9 per cent from the previous year, followed by Toshiba Corp at 50 billion yen, up 2.0 per cent, and Canon Inc at 36 billion yen, up 24.1 per cent. Daiwa Securities Group Inc was fifth at 31.6 billion yen, but the figure was down 19.2 per cent.