IDC Australia predicts the current economic crisis still provides for pockets of opportunities within the Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) (APEJ) region in 2009.
Despite the global economic slowdown, IDC believes that in 2009 the APEJ region still presents great opportunities as both emerging economies and emerging technologies continue to chart advancements.
While it is expected that most businesses will rethink their growth strategies, there will still be pockets of opportunities as APEJ bounces back.
IDC's APEJ Top 10 ICT Predictions that will shape the ICT industry in APEJ in 2009:
1. Asia/Pacific IT spending growth will be down but not out in 2009
Compared to the US and the rest of the world APEJ is still viewed as the bright spot with IT spending expected to reach US$196 billion by year-end 2009. IDC predicts that in 2009, the APEJ IT market growth will slow from the previous forecast of 9.5% to a 'post-crisis' forecast of 5.8%. While a decline in IT spending is expected with some areas of spending pulled back further than others, there will be pockets of opportunities, which will remain as the economic pressures accelerate growth in emerging technologies and in emerging markets.
2. Government spending will drive Information Technology value optimisation and infrastructure development
Traditionally, governments are expected to boost spending in order to stimulate demand during economic downturns. In this current financial crisis, IDC expects to see governments coming up with various stimulus packages. IDC expects some key government projects to be brought forward as part of the stimulus exercise.
3. The cloud will grow despite, and because of the economy
The current economic meltdown coincides with the availability of rapidly maturing cloud-based services that are offered by a wide range of vendors. The new mode of acquiring and delivering services offers the valuable benefit of low upfront costs combined with usage-based pricing. IDC forecasts that the use of cloud computing services will increase in 2009 despite, and because of the economic conditions.
4. Economic pressures to keep customers will accelerate the emergence of next-generation customer care
IDC's APEJ Top 10 ICT Predictions also include a further acceleration of the use of web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise segment in 2009 as businesses look for not just more, but also efficient ways to connect with customers. Next Generation Customer Contact tools will provide smart organisations with the ability to access the new spending generation that has grown up in the Internet age. IDC predicts that IP contact centre revenue across APEJ will increase from US$278 million in 2008 to US$518 million in 2012 at 17% CAGR, accelerated by the economic pressure to keep customers.
5. Major players will look to Asia/Pacific for acquisition as the enterprise search market accelerates
The significance of controlling the costs of information search within organisations has increased during these cost-conscious times and as a result, the Enterprise Search market has grown in strategic importance. Aligned to this is the growth of cloud computing, which also accelerates the importance of Enterprise Search. IDC predicts that a slowing economy and the increasing strategic importance of search will drive further consolidation among enterprise search vendors in 2009, opening the way for Internet search companies such as Google and Yahoo! to enter the market traditionally dominated by companies such as Autonomy, Microsoft and IBM.
6. Green will become sustainable in line with greater cost reduction
In 2009 with even greater economic pressures on businesses, IDC expects investments in green technologies will continue to increase, such as virtualisation for cost savings. IDC believes that, with increased cost pressures, the adoption of sustainable IT technologies in 2009 will expand from a focus on the tactical reduction of energy consumption in the data centre and the distributed environment to a broader leverage of Green IT to achieve business process optimisation.
7. Market slowdown will force many telecom operators to rethink strategies
IDC's APEJ Top 10 ICT Predictions indicate that telecom incumbents with healthy balance sheets will continue to focus capex on enhancing core and backhaul networks, while consumer or enterprise tier 2 operators will delay new and large capex projects to focus on faster ROI investments. Broadband growth in developing Asia/Pacific economies will still provide the quickest ROI as subscriber access growth continues in these markets.
8. Enterprises will revisit managed data centre model to help drive down costs
While IT spending has taken a hit, IDC believes that the downturn in the economy will spur interest in data centre initiatives and solutions that can dramatically bring down operating cost. Beside saving costs, engaging a managed data centre service provider gives organisations access to many of the cutting-edge data centre technologies such as new forms of server and storage architecture, virtualisation, WAN optimisation, cloud computing as well as disaster recovery.
9. Thin clients will ride the wave of cost-cutting and desktop virtualisation
As the market matures and better vendor collaboration results in software standards merging, virtualisation to cut costs will extend beyond server virtualisation in data centres to virtualising the desktop. In addition, deploying thin clients and a virtualised desktop environment will also reduce the carbon footprint.
10. The economy and mini notebooks will challenge the way computers are used and sold in Asia/Pacific
IDC expects mini notebooks, a new product category created due to the demand for devices that support mobility to increase from around 5% of total notebooks shipped in the APEJ region in 2008 to more than 10% in 2009. The small cutesy form factor will be the primary selling point, but it will also change the way these devices are being used. With limited processing power and storage, users will be heavily dependent on being connected to the Internet, eventually running applications through the cloud. Consequently, mini notebooks will be sold through partnerships with mobile operators in service bundles such as mobile phones, leveraging the operators' cellular 3G infrastructure.
IDC's annual predictions for the ICT markets in APEJ draw upon the latest IDC research and a worldwide brainstorming exercise among IDC's 900+ analysts.