Evolving biz models top ICT trends for 2012

Unstable economy will push Asian companies to transform their business models to become more customer-centric, and IT offerings will become "singular" but more focused, says IDC.

SINGAPORE--Amid an ominous market outlook, next year will see the rise of Asian enterprises, singular IT offers being pitched to Asian-based businesses and the emergence of enterprise-orchestrated cloud services, according to IDC's top 10 ICT trends for 2012.

Sandra Ng, Asia-Pacific group vice president of IDC's practice group, explained that in light of current economic woes, Asia markets will be looking to cope by transforming their business models.

Speaking at a media briefing here Tuesday, Ng said this would lead to the rise of emerging Asian enterprises that will drive a new wave of IT spend.

She added that time to market, flexibility and customer centricity will be the top three most important traits companies must have in order to survive. However, she noted, they will also be the "most difficult traits to cater to".

Elaborating, the IDC analyst said speed is everything when it comes to marketing and Asian companies must find the right balance between customer satisfaction and the need to achieve super-economies.

To gain flexibility and forge relationships with Asian companies, tech vendors will "seed early" to prepare for "culture-alignment" and establish a trusted partnership, since both parties have to deal with risk and economic uncertainty, she said, noting that the Asia-Pacific region was highly heterogeneous and comprised different market cultures.

According to Ng, tech vendors will also be focusing on customer experience in addressing Asian markets.

Another trend pertaining to business model transformation is the rise of "singular offers" targeting Asian-based businesses, she said.

A single portfolio can generate successful and sustainable business model for the IT vendor, Ng said, citing vendors such as Amazon Web Services and China-based BestTV as being able to "delight" customers with "laser-sharp focus".

She added that many had touted business diversity as a critical success factor but not everyone can succeed in being "a jack of all trades". She noted that more ICT companies across the board will be considering the "singular" product model in 2012 and beyond.

An "enterprise-orchestrated cloud" will also give outsourcing a new dimension, Ng said.

She pointed to an IDC study which estimated that 80 percent of new enterprise application development will be for public clouds, but by 2015, some 20 percent of enterprise application spending will be cloud-sourced.

Hence, cloud service buyers will now have to manage a larger number of service providers and vendors, adding a level of management difficulty to what is touted to be an easier adoption of new services, she explained.

To address this, cloud service providers will provide an integrated management for disparate cloud services, the IDC analyst noted. She added that by 2015, there will not be much hype over cloud computing which will be seen as a natural outsourcing evolution.

Rise of big data, automation
With regard to business intelligence, 2012 will also see the arrival of big data in the Asia-Pacific region, Ng noted. This will include social media interactions, real-time sensor data feeds, geospatial information and other data sources available within the organization.

This will give rise to business analytics which can be deployed on the growing volume, velocity and variety of data organizations produce, she explained. However, since big data is likely to be new, skillsets to manage this emerging area will be sought after and "Chief Data Scientist" will surface as a job title, she predicted.

New cloud workloads will also emerge, leading with automation, Ng said. In light of the economic uncertainty, the ability to quickly provision IT capabilities and resources will differentiate vendors in the market, she said.

As workloads move to the cloud, it will become increasingly important to standardize and automate IT processes, she added, noting that automation will become a key focus for CIOs next year.

Mobility, sub-US$100 smartphones
In the workplace, mobile and IT will fuse and pave the way to a new environment, Ng said. She explained that the consumerization of IT has created new demands in office environments and organizations will pilot new mobile services and initiatives next year.

Additionally, with smartphone unit shipment projected to exceed PC volume in 2012, she predicted that "sub-US$100 smartphones" will be introduced in the market.

The entrance of "middle class" smartphones will bring new revenue streams and opportunities for service providers in Asia, she added.

IDC's top 10 ICT predictions for 2012 are:

  • 1. Emerging Asian enterprises that will drive a new wave of ICT spend.
  • 2. Businesses will appreciate the value of singularity in IT offers.
  • 3. Cloud service orchestration will lead the drive toward outsourcing.
  • 4. The "Chief Data Scientist" will make big data relevant to the business.
  • 5. New cloud workloads will emerge, led by automation.
  • 6. The apps aggregator: telco's innovation scout team will deliver connected homes and hotspots.
  • 7. Predictable failure will become a strategic platform choice.
  • 8. Companies will return to customer-centric IT.
  • 9. Fusion of mobile and IT will pave the way for a new workspace.
  • 10. Becoming "middle-class": Sub-US$100 smartphones will deliver new revenue streams.

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