Asia's users want software simple, flexible

Simplicity and flexibility are the two key factors that companies in the Asia-Pacific region consider when investing in software, a new IDC study reveals.

Keep software simple and flexible--at least that is what some users want.

According to the latest study by IDC, simplicity and flexibility are the two key factors that businesses in the Asia-Pacific region consider when investing in software.

In its study released Wednesday, the research house revealed that respondents looked out for "greater simplification and higher flexibility" in licensing and pricing models that meet their companies' specific requirements.

The study, titled IDC Software Usage and Experiences Survey 2007, surveyed about 1,000 companies in four countries: Australia, China, India and Korea.

The study polled respondents who were familiar with the overall management of an organization's software, such as IT managers or directors, and reviewed enterprises' experience and expectations in software deployment across the four countries.

According to the study, respondents from Australia and Korea also highlighted the need for greater centralized control of software license relationships.

Ullrich Loeffler, a market analyst at IDC's Asia-Pacific Software Research, said in a statement that although most software vendors have adopted simplicity and flexibility in their products, "they have yet to extend the same themes to their pricing and delivery options".

This, he added, has therefore "resulted in complex costing models, ambiguity about the true costs of AD&D (Application Development and Deployment) investments, and a mismatch in actual versus potential customer values gained from investing in these technologies".

When asked about their purchasing strategy, respondents on the whole indicated a strong preference for integrated product solutions rather than "best-of-breed" point products or custom-developed software, said the IDC report.

Integrated solution packages, consisting of hardware, software and IT services components, were the preferred purchasing option by respondents from all four countries, while buying AD&D software as part of a software suite with multiple functionalities was the second most frequently cited purchasing strategy by those surveyed in Australia, China and India.

China and India will continue to lead in AD&D software investments, the research house projected.

Survey results revealed that Indian businesses had the highest investment intentions across all AD&D software categories, and middleware software, for instance, was on the shopping list of more than 60 percent of the IT decision makers in India.

In contrast, organizations in Australia and Korea, where IT development is more mature, indicated significantly lower investment intentions.

"We expect vendors to dip into these 'high growth' pockets more aggressively while strengthening their position in the mature markets," Ullrich said.

"The main challenge is to accurately understand their customers' demands and pain points in order to communicate the right value propositions of their products and services," the analyst added.


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