It will be difficult, however, to devise a generic development strategy for the whole IT industry in Vietnam without further specifications. The IT industry is not an easily operational concept for strategy-making if it includes each and every enterprises engaged in the manufacture, provision, mainte- nance and operation of information technologies. Moreover, many IT products and processes available on the world market are rapidly changing, even disappearing before they are captured in the official statistics. (1) At face value, the IT industry is a technologically defined part of two major economic sectors, industry and the services. It cuts across many traditional industrial sub-sectors. IT is incorporated in products and manufacturing processes and increasingly in what is usually classified as the service sector.
To simplify matters, we may define information technology (IT) as what is done with microprocessors and other electronics products after they are manufactured and installed. Anything that comes before IT, we consider to be electronics production. However, the 'IT industry' notion covers all the links in this chain of activities.
In the report, we will use the 'IT industry' concept to distinguish among the reasons why a well-orchestrated mix of government policies really matter in today's Vietnam. We will also elaborate the characteristic features of the industry as defined by information technology and by its main applications.
Cf. John Houghton, "The Australian information industries: Identifying opportunities", (Melbourne: CIRCIT Working paper No. 2, 1991).
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