Growth in Asian Businesses to Fuel ICT Transformation in 2011

Recovery and transformation were the two overarching themes in the annual International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) Top 10 predictions for 2010. 2011 is projected to be a natural extension of these themes. In the coming year, IDC expects the Asian business and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) space to be defined by sustainable growth, and in some cases, high growth. The healthy economy, in turn, will fuel ICT transformation, triggering it to go “mainstream.”


Although the Asian markets were not as badly hit by the financial crisis as compared to North America and Western Europe, the failing economy did have a lasting impact on the market dynamics in the region. "As growth became an uncertainty at the end of 2008, most companies in the region started increasing their focus on capturing a larger wallet share in their existing markets rather than expanding into new ones. As a result, competition in the region has intensified after the crisis has passed and even after organic and inorganic market expansions are back on the agenda. Most companies across all sectors are now faced with increased competition for their products and services and IDC expects the trend to continue in the next few years. IDC also believes that customer centricity initiatives will become a priority in emerging markets in 2011 and beyond,” says Claus Mortensen, Principal for Emerging Technology Research, Practice Group, IDC Asia/Pacific.


IDC expects the Asian market to enjoy another solid year of strong growth. The People’s Republic of China (PRC), India, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are projected to generate the strongest IT spending rise in 2011.


The following are IDC’s top 10 ICT predictions in 2011. These trends are what IDC believes will have the biggest commercial impact on the APEJ ICT market.


1. Socialytic Applications Will Transform the Collaboration Market


IDC predicts that 2011 will be the year where the trend of combining social media with business analytics will make its mark across most of the key enterprise applications in use today. Applications are beginning to be embedded with unified communications and social features today and IDC expects virtually all types of business applications to undergo a fundamental transformation in functional structure by fusing traditional business applications with both social/collaboration software and analytics in 2011 and beyond.


2. Mobilution -- Mobility Will Make A Leap Into IT


IDC is seeing what we could call a “perfect storm” created by the evolution of different areas of technology combining to create a revolution in mobility. Tablets, media tablets like iPads and large-screen smartphones can now run almost fully functional versions of all enterprise software and services. With the move towards cloud computing, we are now seeing many of these IT systems being delivered in virtualized environments minimizing the importance of device-based computing power. It truly is “everything” going mobile and IDC believes 2011 will be the catalyst year for this.


3. "Less for Less" -- Self-Service Customer Portals Will Spearhead Low-Cost


Customer Centricity Market competition in Asia, regardless of industry, is expected to intensify in the next three to five years. As a result, many businesses will face the ever greater task of finding the unique competitive differentiation in the marketplace. IDC predicts that customer centricity – the adaptation of products and services to match changing markets -- will become the single most important driver for most, if not all organizations. At the same time, we are also seeing the rising influence of Gen Y in corporate world. With these two forces at work, the role of self-service (via the web) will become significant. The notion of “less for less” refers to spending less on service delivery with what appears to the customer as a less complex, easy to use customer-care environment. ICT will clearly play a critical role in a “less for less” self-service customer centricity environment.


4. Analytics Will Accelerate the Chase For Asian Consumption


Competition is expected to intensify in Asia in the next three to five years with more businesses entering into the region given its growth potential. As a result of its ability to improve decision-making and drive revenue growth, business analytics is predicted to take center stage for CIOs in 2011 as the technology is increasingly viewed as an enabler for organizations to compete more effectively.



5. Apple's iPad Will Catalyze Interest in Client Virtualization


With the hype surrounding Apple's iPhone and more recently the iPad in 2010, CIOs are now being approached by C-level executives wanting their Apple products to be connected to the corporate infrastructure and accessing confidential data, despite potential fears that CIOs may have about the risks.


One possible solution is the use of client virtualization. Creating virtualized sessions would not only allow access to applications regardless of the operating system, but it could also provide the assurance that CIOs need in knowing that their corporate data is secure. It will likely take a number of years, but IDC expects widespread deployments of client virtualization to eventually occur.


6. Services and Federation Will Lead "Enterprise-Class" Cloud Deployments


The take-up of private cloud technologies and services in medium- and large- enterprise will accelerate further in 2011 due to lingering concerns about security, reliability and performance of public cloud services. IDC foresees that the ability to integrate applications or services from the cloud with apps or services from an in-house IT environment or with services from another cloud service provider will be a key enabler or inhibitor for enterprise cloud adoption. Given that the Asian enterprise will adopt cloud services as targeted solutions for specific needs rather than in a “rip and replace” manner, it is imperative that existing apps and cloud apps are integrated.


Without this integration, it will be difficult to achieve ROI targets and siloed apps will again frustrate business users. Whether or not cloud will get the foothold that we predict within Asian enterprises will depend on how well cloud infrastructure providers, cloud integrators and public and virtual private cloud providers manage to enable a cloud federation.


7. Smart Enterprises Will Adopt Catalog-Based IT


As the regional economy gets back on track and growth in businesses accelerate, users will become more demanding for IT resources. Shorter time to market and instant provisioning of computing resources are becoming compulsory requirements. IT organisations will be expected to support ad-hoc requirements, almost instantaneously. The only way to meet these expectations is to track and provide IT resources through a catalog-based IT. According to IDC's Dynamic IT Benchmark Survey in early 2010, 49% of the 355 respondents across Asia indicated increased self-service IT for business users as the company's IT strategies. As the regional economy picks up in 2011, IDC predicts that more than 50% of mid- to large-sized Asia-based enterprises will be building or beginning to build a catalog-based ICT in 2011.


8. Business-as-a-Service: The answer to IT-business integration?


Business-as-a-Service is an offering that focuses on business processes rather than on technology replacement. It is a trend that illustrates the importance and impact on not only the IT space but the whole business process outsourcing space in general. Business-as-a-Service is expected to bring to light the need to marry IT and business to become “one entity” to compete aggressively in the “new normal” Asia/Pacific marketplace. Because of its ability to deliver business outcomes, CIOs will be able to align or integrate IT with business. IDC believes that this trend is increasingly critical and will receive a lot of attention in 2011.

9. Telecom Services Providers Will Return to IT


Cloud has been described has a once in a generation technology that will allow telcos to dominate as it has all the inherent advantages, especially the ownership of networks, which essentially is what cloud is all about. IDC believes that the majority of organizations will migrate to a hybrid cloud model with many organizations preferring to ring-fence their critical workloads and applications within an on premise private cloud environment. IDC believes that telecom providers will not turn their backs on the opportunities of on-premises private cloud solutions. This market is estimated to be worth close to US$752 million in 2011 and is expected to grow to US$1.8 billion in 2014.


10. Telecom Service Providers Will Look to Cloud Computing for Operations


Apart from the traditional discussion on telcos and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering consumer and enterprise cloud computing services, there is a whole new sub-industry emerging which revolves around the software, hardware and services Network Equipment Providers (NEPs) serving telcos, and the transformation of their products/technologies and services into money-making cloud services. The type of cloud service offered is not the "one-to-many" model that typically comes to mind when talking about cloud services as carriers typically are very hesitant to share the same servers with their competitors. Instead, NEPs will be looking at offering these services as hosted private clouds with logical separation of infrastructure between carriers, with a future roadmap of moving into virtually separated cloud infrastructure as the carriers become more comfortable with a shared-services concept.







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