APAC spend on remote management services to hit $2.4B

SMBs lacking in internal IT expertise and looking for cost savings in region will drive demand for remotely managed IT services, new study shows.

Remotely managed IT services (RMITs) will account for a large chunk of the IT spend within the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, with demand driven by cost savings and lack of IT expertise among small and midsize businesses (SMBs), according to AMI-Partners.

The research firm released a study on Wednesday which estimated companies in the region will spend US$2.4 billion on RMITs in 2011. Additionally, it is predicting that this spending will "more than double" in the next five years, with remotely managed hardware such as PC and servers as the area that will see the greatest increase in spending.

Such remote management services will be particularly attractive to SMBs, noted Venu Reddy, vice president of AMI-Partners Singapore, in the study. He explained that a majority of SMBs in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, operates with limited financial and internal IT resources and management.

Furthermore, for small businesses, shortage of specialized IT manpower has always been the hindrance to adoption of new applications as this require trained talent to implement.

However, the remote management features of RMITs would allow these businesses of usually less than 100 employees to also adopt innovative solutions, he noted

"This makes RMITS a logical solution for small businesses that neither have the capability nor willingness to manage the growing complexity of hardware and software in house," added Reddy.

Midsize businesses, which are defined as those with 99 to 999 employees, in the region also stand to gain from such services. AMI-Partners highlighted that these enterprises will appreciate RMITs for their competitive pricing, which can also be a "less daunting financial commitment" compared with investing in expensive infrastructure.

The study also highlighted that emerging markets such as India and China, both of which have a "vast number" of SMBs that are eager to leverage new IT solutions to leapfrog more advanced competitor markets such as Australia, will latch on to RMITs. Remotely managed services delivered via the cloud is one way to appeal to this customer segment, it suggested.

"IT vendors and channel partners will need to incorporate a highly effective go-to-market strategy that will enable these SMBs to compete with large enterprises without the necessity of building and maintain a costly infrastructure and delivery team," the study stated.