Australian IT spending expected to grow in 2014: IDC

IDC has predicted that spending on the Australian IT industry will continue to grow this year, and it will be driven by mobility, cloud, big data, and social business.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

While there are declines in spending for PCs and servers, cloud, mobility, big data, and social business are the four pillars that IDC has predicted will be the key drivers of continued spending in the Australian IT industry for 2014.

The market research company expects that as enterprises look at mobilising their business processes, there will be a shift away from bring your own device (BYOD) to choose your own device (CYOD).

IDC Australia research director of telecommunications Graham Barr told ZDNet that there has been a recent "explosion" of BYOD within businesses, but the downside is that the rollouts were done so without strategies, and now businesses begin to look at regaining control.

"IT departments will start to take control back of what devices will be allowed in their networks, and start to build strategy around that in terms of application management and data management, while also move away from personal data towards corporate data," he said.

"This will help lay a foundation for a mobility strategy, rather than be done ad hoc, which has imposed more costs rather than the perceived productivity gains."

IDC has also predicted that cloud services consumption will expand beyond IT to the business user as the cloud evolves into a cloud brokerage-based delivery model.

"For telcos, this will be a real opportunity for them to become a broker of cloud services where they help organisations pull together cloud strategies that may not be from one single vendor. As a telco, they own a network which puts them in a unique opportunity to do that," Barr said.

IT expenditure is also changing; not only will purchasing decisions and budgets move increasingly away from IT towards other line-of-business (LOB) managers, but also from capex to opex, with shorter ROI cycles. As a result, new roles, such as "director of mobility" and "chief data scientist", are expected to arise within those organisations.

Barr said there's been a "seismic shift" in the way technology is being applied to businesses and the skill sets that are needed to exploit them. He said this explains why other executive lines, such as CMOs and CFOs, are becoming more involved in the decision making process around IT strategies.

It has also been predicted that this will be the year of the Internet of Things. For companies, this means business models will be redesigned to deliver improved efficiencies and to change the customer experience.

IDC also noted that there will be significant changes and delays in the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Australia, based on the policies outlined by the new government, elected in September 2013. This uphill battle to get it rolled out has been even more evident in the last few days.

"Whilst the NBN may drive further consolidation in the telecom sector, any significant increases in service rollout will not start until 2015," Barr said.

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