There is no reason not to, so long as steam can outperform competing systems.
Indeed, with different starting assumptions, it might be possible to have a proto steampunk world as far back as 1 AD, when Hero of Alexandria was experimenting with low pressure steam and atmospheric engines. A "book" was written, describing many different machines, but the prevailing attitude of the time was that machines were little more than toys and "special effects" for theatres and temples (an automatic door opener is one of the machines described).
The next possible start date would be in the late 1700s or early 1800s, when devices like the Jacquard loom pioneered early forms of automatic control, and devices with interchangeable parts were becoming common. The Babbage Machine represents the foundation of computer science, which provides another potential starting point.
The disadvantages of steam power include the danger of high pressure steam, low conversion efficiency and lack of portability. Steam powered factories had one very large steam engine at one end of the hall providing power to multiple drive shafts on the ceiling, which in turn drove pulleys for drive belts running down to the machines below. A computer server room full of Babbage machines would resemble this:
In OTL we know that steam powered machinery is large, and not very scalable for smaller applications (steamships and steam locomotives, rather than steam cars and steam airplanes). The final generations of steam engines that were capable of powering cars and airplanes were developed in the early 20th century, after almost 300 years of development. Internal combustion engines were simply lighter, had higher power to weight ratios and more convenient for mobile applications, and small electric motors attached to each machine was much more portable and flexible than a central steam engine.
Alternatives like compressed air, clockwork etc. also have disadvantages, mostly relating to energy density. Leonardo da Vinci's clockwork powered car was only capable of moving a few 10s of metres in modern reproduction, and the Girandoni air rifle had a maximum range of 125m, which rapidly declined as the reservoir was depleted. (It also took 1500 strokes of the hand pump to recharge it, to give you an idea of the energy required).
So a Steampunk world is quite possible, but will be very centralized, large and in important respects, very slow.