The value of Thailand's digital industry in 2022 reached 2.6 trillion baht, up 14% from 2021, according to a joint survey and assessment regarding the status of the country's digital industry in 2022 carried out by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) and the IMC Institute.
The country's digital industry includes five main sectors: software; hardware and smart devices; digital services; telecommunication; and digital content.
The digital services industry showed the highest growth rate among the five sectors, driven by a growth in the value of fintech and healthtech businesses in line with global trends.
The digital services industry, which includes a variety of online platforms, grew 21% from the previous year to roughly 282 billion baht. It has been predicted that the value of the digital services industry will surge to 454 billion baht in 2025.
The second highest growth rate was the software industry, expanding 19% to 190 billion baht. The value of the hardware and smart device industry grew 18% to 1.4 trillion baht.
These growth figures are expected to continue through 2025, according to the survey.
Kasititorn Pooparadai, Depa's senior executive vice-president of the strategy and security group, said on Wednesday the latest survey shows significant growth in all sectors.
Ms Kasititorn said the software industry grew by 19% with imports outpacing exports.
The value of the software and software services industry in 2022 reached 190 billion baht, with the value of exports increasing 9% to 2.4 billion baht, and the value of imports increasing 23% to 49.5 billion baht.
The survey involved 13,013 companies in various businesses such as software development, custom computer programming, information technology services, and data processing.
The value of the software industry grew 18% to 78 billion baht. It can be sub-categorised into installed software (on-premises) valued at 47.5 billion baht and rented software (cloud/software as a service) valued at 30.4 billion baht.
The value of software services in 2022 increased 19% to 112 billion baht. The services include system integrators, software maintenance, software customisation and consulting/training services.
Software customisation registered the highest value at 33.8 billion baht, followed by software maintenance at 31 billion baht, and system integrators at 27 billion baht.
"Considering domestic and international software demand, it has been predicted that the local software industry will continue to grow during 2023-2025, with a value of 218 billion, 241 billion baht, and 265 billion baht, respectively, driven by the demand for software both domestically and internationally," Ms Kasititorn said.
Referring to the hardware and smart device market, she said the growth in value aligned with urban lifestyles.
The hardware and smart device industry comprises six categories: computers; peripherals; printers; storage; smart devices; and robots and automation. Its total value increased by 18% to 1.4 trillion baht in 2022.
This included imports valued at 438 billion baht, up 13% from 2021, and exports worth 993 billion baht, up 19.4% from 2021.
The outstanding growth categories were smart devices and robots and automation with a combined total value of 419 billion baht, reflecting the crucial role of smart devices in the country's digital society.
It has been predicted that the hardware and smart device segment will post moderate growth of roughly 1.4 trillion baht this year, before reaching 1.7 trillion baht and 2 trillion baht in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Thanachart Numnonda, executive director of the IMC Institute, added that the survey also measured the value of the big data and artificial intelligence (AI) industry, which overlaps with the software and hardware industries.
The survey, which covered 213 companies, found the big data and AI industry in 2022 was worth 25 billion baht, up 15% from 2021.
The significant increase in income of the digital industry and related businesses is driven by the digital transformation process in Thailand. New tech such as AI, Internet of Things, blockchain, Web 3.0 and quantum computing have significantly boosted the growth of the country's digital industry, Mr Thanachart said.