Industry looks back on 2010, forward into 2011

Industry players recall key trends that took place in 2010, including hype that failed to meet expectations, and identify hot tech segments to look out for this year.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor and  Jamie Yap, Contributor

Cloud, mobile apps, social media and security. These were what industry players threw up when asked to identify key trends that helped shape 2010.

Some expressed disappointment, too, when hype failed to live up to expectations.

As we usher in the lunar new year of the rabbit, ZDNet Asia spoke to several tech players to discuss their plans and highlight market segments that they think will see interesting developments in 2011.

Find out what they have to say:

Mark Williams, senior vice president and general manager, Asia-Pacific, Acision


Mark Williams

Senior vice president and general manager, Asia-Pacific

"2010 was the year that virtualization came into its own. Businesses are finally grasping the benefits and understanding how the technology can help day-to-day."

Q: Was there a technology release in 2010 that disappointed you or lived up to its hype?
In my view, 3D TV was one of the biggest disappointments of 2010. This time last year, it was hyped as changing the way we view technology but in my opinion that hasn't happened.

2010 however, was the year that virtualization came into its own. Businesses are finally grasping the benefits and understanding how the technology can help day-to-day. The clearest example of this is within the call center environment.

What will be the biggest tech trend that will transform IT in 2011?
In terms of enterprise technology, fixed mobile convergence linked with cloud computing will make a big impact in 2011 because it enables the ability to access data, processes and people, anytime and anywhere.

On a more consumer level, the tablet phenomenon looks set to continue and these devices will become true lifestyle enablers. Acision will be working with operators to help them maximize the opportunity they have in this area to provide customers with a high quality of experience while still maintaining profitability.

What will be the biggest tech trend in 2011 that will impact the mobile data sector?
In addition to helping mobile service providers make sense of the explosive growth in mobile broadband, the other amazing new trend in our area of focus is unified messaging. This allows the mobile service provider to provide a single inbox for email, SMS, MMS, voicemail, and social messaging allowing the end user customer to manage all the messaging strands that underpin their lifestyle, work and pleasure.

Erwann Thomassain, account and regional marketing director, Asia-Pacific, Amdocs


Erwann Thomassain

Account and regional marketing director, Asia-Pacific

"The Connected World is about super-fast, highly efficient networks, constantly connected customers, and new connected devices...all new revenue streams waiting to be realized."

Q: What is the telecommunications scene like in Asia-Pacific?
As the telecommunications industry in Asia-Pacific enters the era of "The Connected World", the burgeoning sector offers significant opportunities for service providers in the region. "The Connected World" is all about super-fast, highly efficient networks, constantly connected customers, and new connected devices--which all adds up to new revenue streams waiting to be realized. In order to capture these opportunities, service providers need to become tera-play providers, supporting trillions of devices and applications connected to the network.

2010 was the year of connected devices, specifically smartphones in all markets. Due the need to be connected perpetually, the spike in consumer demand drove mass adoption of smartphones. With every 1 in 5 phones sold being a smartphone, global shipments of smartphones reached 250 million in 2010. While Apple's OS share remained relatively flat in 2010 at around 15 percent, Android's open OS increased from 9 percent in 1Q10 to 25 percent in 3Q10, showing success for the open model.

Connected devices will continue to grow and will expand beyond smartphones, netbooks and tablets to other verticals like gaming, home solutions, healthcare solutions, connected cars, and smart grids.

What was the biggest trend that affected your company in 2010, and why?
The biggest trend in 2010 for both Amdocs and the Asia-Pacific telecoms sector came with the rise in connected devices. Service providers (SPs) faced the challenge of data explosion (i.e. the exponential growth in data consumption). According to analyst firm Forrester, Asia remains the biggest global Internet growth engine comprising of 43 percent of the world’s online population by 2013. Furthermore, social networks will become a central pillar in data consumption as these will be bundled and integrated with other applications and mobile services, in the coming years. Case in point, mobile apps for Twitter are already burgeoning and we expect much more to come.

2010 was the year of data explosion and subsequent capacity crunch:

  • Global IP traffic grew 45 percent during 2009 and will quadruple from 2009 to 2014.
  • Singapore's mobile penetration rate stood at 137.4 percent as at end-2009.
  • Data demand driven by smartphones and laptops with mobile broadband

That said, service providers should seriously consider social networking as an opportunity to generate mobile data revenue, especially as mobile users are more active on online social networks as compared to non-mobile users. For example, CSL Hong Kong has a tailored plan for youngsters, which gives them unlimited Facebook access; Vodafone Australia intends to play the role of a "social network aggregator" with their "Pocket Life" offering; and closer to home, SingTel to waive data charges for subscribers in its joint launch with Facebook "0.facebook.com".

Amdocs believes that service providers can benefit from collaborating with social networks beyond just increasing data usage by also creating more personal and relevant customer experiences. Service providers will need to balance quality of service with cost, especially network, revenue/cost gap, and customer experience.

What will be the main business focus for Amdocs in 2011?
As consumers consume more data online, they also demand newer, more innovative services from their service providers. While data explosion creates tremendous opportunities for this, service providers are at crossroads with more consumers demanding network improvements though infrastructure challenges remain. In such instances, SOs are adopting network monetization strategies. When data made up 26.5 percent of global mobile revenues in 2010, service providers eschewed unlimited pricing models and moved to tiered pricing, usage-based and other models. With predictions of it to go up to 40.1 percent by 2015, service providers ended unlimited plans for new customers and introduced usage based pricing with data caps.

Another challenge and focus in 2011 is innovative prepaid pricing, leading to this new concept of hybrid customers--at the cross road between prepaid and postpaid subscribers. Prepaid is on the rise as it offers a cost-effective solution to low-spend customers as well as developed market, making it attractive in both high-growth markets. Prepaid usage accounts today for more than 75 percent of total subscribers worldwide and is as high as 80 percent in APAC.

SPs require innovative pre/postpaid solutions that can grow customer loyalty with new services and a better customer experience, and can scale to support increasingly larger prepaid event volumes with low-cost hardware. SPs will continue to search for the right pricing model that will help them get more value out of the data in 2011. In addition, they will look beyond selling data access and focus on data services such as entertainment (music, video), news, social networking, storage, and other value-added services (VAS), along with business applications.

In 2011, data monetization will not only extend to new connected devices and M2M, but will also include traffic prioritization and Quality of Service (QoS) services, along with new offerings such as home monitoring or 3D upgrade services. Service providers will also need to focus on policy management and usage warnings/notifications to avoid "bill shocks".

Amdocs solutions help service providers maximize the generation of revenue from existing and new technologies, by enabling them a faster time to market for new products and services. Furthermore, operational efficiency will increase through the creation of better links between different departments and information silos and removing unnecessary processes and procedures, thus allowing further revenue capture and reduction of revenue losses and/or reducing costs.

Ryan Lim, business director, Blugrapes


Ryan Lim

Business director

"2010 was the year of inflection for social media marketing in Asia...Companies now understand the importance of social media."

Q: What is the social media scene like in the Asia-Pacific in 2010?
2010 was the year of inflection for social media marketing in Asia, with Facebook taking most of the limelight. We are also seeing the increase in prominence of other platforms, such as location-based social media (e.g. Foursquare) and local group-discounted purchasing (eg. Groupon's acquisition of local company Beeconomic). Companies now understand the importance of social media. We have seen most consumer marketing companies and brands piloting at least one social media campaign with varying degrees of success.

Other activities are evidence that social media marketing is becoming a mainstream activity. Managing a company’s social media platform is no longer the job of interns, part-timers or contract staff and more companies are hiring social media manager headcounts. Brand owners are also making internal adjustments to the organization structure, to take into account the new role of social media activities. This new portfolio typically transcends across media, PR and creative activities. Within their social media strategy development, the majority of companies are at the community building mode, through acquiring of fans and building followers to their communities. The transition to sales conversion will come soon.

Another interesting social media trend is that media companies no longer own exclusive relationships with the consumer. Brands can now establish a direct relationship by building up their own communities on social media platforms. Some of the traditional media are also following suit and setting up social media accounts. We have also seen the Singapore government taking a strong lead in the social media marketing foray. They have initiated various social media platforms for better grass root communications and better engaging with citizens.

What will be the main business focus for your company in 2011?
Blugrapes' key business focus for 2011 is to continue delivering social media and mobile marketing solutions. In particular, we aim to enhance the user experience on social media platforms, through bringing content and conversation to the next level. We also will be transitioning from just community building activities to initiatives that enable customer conversion and retention.

In terms of new activities, we plan to introduce leads management solutions to be firmly integrated into social media activities. We also will pilot location-based social media (LBSM) solutions and explore ways to better account for consumer sentiments within a community, that is not measured just by fan count.

What is the biggest misconception of social media?
The biggest misconception within the social media space is that social media marketing is easy. This can lead to various problems such as:

  • Companies think of social media marketing as being free and allocate it small budgets. However, businesses should note that while social media is free to use, it is not free to market.
  • Companies focus on building the location and expect that the fans will come. Unfortunately, a beautifully constructed consumer location is nothing if no one knows of its existence. Some companies tend to limit conversations to only come from the brands, which defeats the purpose of being "social".
  • Brands run campaigns, instead of building communities. This is a waste of resources as communities are not meant for campaigns, but long-term engagements and interactions. For companies that try to excite users with contests and giveaways, this trains the consumers wrongly to react to short-term promotions, instead of building strong, long-term brand loyalty.
  • Many businesses focus on fan quantity instead of quality. Having the wrong mix of fans can be a bad thing, especially if some individuals tend to annoy other loyal fans of the community.

Gerald Penaflor, senior director, South Asia-Pacific and Korea, Brocade


Gerald Penaflor

Senior director, South Asia-Pacific and Korea

"CIOs will find themselves occupied with defining a cloud strategy to support the expansion of both the size and scope of their data networks."

Q: What was the biggest trend that affected your company in 2010, and why?
Following the explosion in new and mobile applications, the existing infrastructure was not robust and agile enough to support this new data-intensive network. As a result in 2010, we saw a trend in organizations adopting virtualized cloud infrastructures to significantly lower IT cost and complexity, while simultaneously increase efficiency and improve agility.

We have seen global bandwidth requirement growing at a compounding rate of 80 to 100 percent year-on-year that drives the need for higher performance routers and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) at the metro and core networks. The worldwide router market recorded a 23 percent year-on-year increase in Q3 of 2010, which was the highest growth rate registered and the total market revenue soared above US$3 billion for the first time since 2008.

Some of the key factors that contributed to the worldwide router market growth in Q3 2010 and the first nine months of the year were:

  • Service providers (SPs) and enterprises increased spending in 2010 to compensate for the under spending in 2009 due to the economic downturn. Many network projects that were put on hold during 2009 were initiated in 2010.
  • Enterprises began upgrading their access routers as new products became available in early 2010. With a product lifespan of about 5 to 7 years, routers deployed during the previous upgrade cycle were increasingly being replaced.
  • SPs accelerated their investments in mobile networks to address explosive mobile data growth driven by smartphones and multimedia-intensive devices such as the iPad.
  • High-end router sales improved across geographies as the year progressed.

To address these market requirements, Brocade was the first in the industry to launch true Ethernet fabric switching solutions in 2010 that would start a 10-year innovation cycle in networking, designed specifically to support highly virtualized and cloud-optimized data centers.

2010 was also a year where converging Ethernet with Fiber Channel became a standard in datacenter design, and customers migrated to 10 GbE from multiple 1000 Mbps connections. As such, we saw huge growth in demand for our 10 GbE fixed switches and chassis-based routers as well as our advanced fixed switches such as the Brocade FCX and TurboIron 24X.

What will be the biggest tech trend that will transform IT in 2011?
The effect of mobility will be more greatly felt in 2011 across all aspects of IT from the enterprise LAN to the data center and the SP core, spurring a bigger uptake in virtualization of storage and applications and cloud computing from the consumer level to the corporate level. This trend will further develop into 2011 with the increasingly mobile workforce leveraging a fuller capacity of the cloud.

What will be the biggest challenge for CIOs in 2011?
The move toward cloud computing models will be a key challenge for CIOs in 2011 as they deal with complexities that virtualization creates in the rest of the data center--networks and storage.

CIOs will find themselves occupied with defining a cloud strategy to support the expansion of both the size and scope of their data networks, driven by the volume of intelligent devices and mobile users extending the edge of the network. In addition, with applications getting increasingly bandwidth-, processing- and storage-intensive, and as they move into the cloud, they are running everywhere leading to new requirements for more highly efficient, reliable and scalable networks.

As a result, enterprises will be looking for a comprehensive network strategy that would enable the convergence of storage and data IP networks and facilitate the adoption of new technologies to extend data center capabilities, as they transitioned to a more robust yet flexible network model based on a highly-virtualized, services-on-demand infrastructure.

Driving the green agenda will also be high on the CIO's to-do list as they look to increase efficiency in datacenter design to help maximize utilization of IT assets while lowering power consumption, carbon footprint, space requirements and overall cost.

Lim Kok Hin, vice president, business imaging solutions group, Canon


Lim Kok Hin

Vice president, business imaging solutions group

"In 2011, we believe businesses will come to recognize that the key to working smartly is simply to have a proper placement of work process and technology."

Q: What was the biggest trend that affected Canon in 2010, and why?
Productivity, a key driver of long-term economic growth, was a key area of debate in Singapore in 2010. At Canon we decided to contribute to the development of productivity amongst businesses in Singapore, and have businesses understand that life is not all about work but about working smart--achieving higher revenue with the use of efficient resources and effective work processes.

With that in mind, we launched the Ambition Gap--the first Singapore-based survey to qualify and quantify success factors for Singapore companies. The Ambition Gap provides a methodology for companies of any size and in any sector to measure how far away they are from achieving their ambitions and what they can do to bridge the gap between expectations and achievements by utilizing technology to enhance productivity. The rationale for the Ambition Gap was to help businesses recognize that they can work smart and still have a life after office hours.

What will be the biggest tech trend that will transform IT in 2011?
Having seen some innovative solutions and uses of cloud computing in 2010, I believe 2011 will be the year of the boom in cloud computing. The revolution of cloud computing is that now, it can go a long way for businesses to work effectively. Cloud computing is now allowing people to communicate and manage information on-the-go. Adopting cloud computing is an example of how businesses and individuals can work smartly as individuals and businesses can locate documents and information quickly with the use of cloud-enabled devices, smartphones and browsers.

The traditional way of sharing documents requires significant amounts of time and effort for setup as compared to cloud which is portable and requires considerably less time and effort. Recognizing this trend, Canon believes in empowering enterprises and individuals to achieve greater efficiency, higher business performance and most importantly, better work-life balance via the open and flexible cloud environment.

With the economy recovering from the 2008 downturn, do you expect Canon Business Solutions to continue growing further in 2011?
In 2011, we believe businesses will come to recognize that the key to working smartly is simply to have a proper placement of work process and technology. Coupled with the recent launch of our imageRUNNER ADVANCE multifunction devices and business solutions, we have established ourselves as a market leader in the business imaging industry. We are very much looking forward to strengthening our leading position and helping businesses to realize their true ambitions by working smartly.

Irving Tan, general manager for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, Cisco Systems


Irving Tan

General manager for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei

"Organizations will understand the relevance of virtualization in 2011 and the coming years with a burgeoning mobile workforce."

Q: What was 2010's most important industry development and why?
2010 was the year of the cloud--we saw more providers and enterprises committing to cloud computing as they realised the benefits. SingTel's commitment to develop cloud-based services is an example of the interest telco providers have in launching their own cloud services. The business environment had just recovered from the earlier recession so companies were looking for ways to make IT more effective, efficient and scalable--which also drove the adoption of cloud applications (such as Software-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service).

Beyond cloud, we saw an increased in desktop virtualization and personal computer devices. According to Gartner, desktop virtualization can reduce per-user PC support costs by 51 percent, an item that accounts for 67 percent of PC-related IT expenses. Virtual desktops also help protect the security of corporate intellectual property by keeping information in a data centre rather than on physical devices. This gives users the power to have all their business applications on one platform--enabling business benefits in productivity, business agility and enhanced value to the end-user and business.

What is the outlook for your industry in 2011?
We are anticipating a growing demand for hosted unified communication services that sit on an organization's network which enables organizations to enjoy a richer voice, video and web experience.

Organizations will understand the relevance of virtualization in 2011 and the coming years with a burgeoning mobile workforce. Increasingly, employees will not be bound to the desk--they demand access to corporate data with their personal devices. Organizations have to deal with security challenges and require the solutions to manage a mobile workforce.

This year will also see the adoption of cloud services powered by the Next Gen NBN. I believe the next trend is in personal clouds where consumers want easy access to their multimedia data on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets; we will see the shift towards having a personal data centers in homes. Consumers will start saving their files (videos, photos, music) on the cloud platform, and use the high-speed Next Gen NBN to access their data while on the go with any device.

Name the top issue in your industry that CIOs should take note of for 2011.
CIOs should note that the rapid enhancements of consumer devices are pressuring enterprises to provide secure access on these devices to the corporate network. Businesses see a change in their security needs as more employees access the corporate network via their personal smartphone or laptop out of the office. As a result, enterprises need to enforce corporate policies to manage the use of consumer devices for work purposes and deploy solutions to ensure that the network is not exposed to hackers, malware and other security threats.

We are a good example of that. Two years ago we controlled the devices our employees could use. Now we have to manage devices that run on Apple OS, Android and Windows Mobile. The challenges include keeping pace with the rapid advancements in the consumer mobile device space and security, particularly in a business context--how does a business ensure that the data on a misplaced or stolen device is secure?

Chong Kok Keong, senior vice president, CEO's Office, CrimsonLogic


Chong Kok Keong

Senior vice president, CEO's Office,

"One of the most important industry developments for 2010 is that governments around the world are increasingly looking to develop e-government solutions that will help them boost their competitiveness, transparency and efficiency."

Q: What was the 2010's most important industry development and why?
One of the most important industry developments for 2010 is that governments around the world are increasingly looking to develop e-government solutions that will help them boost their competitiveness, transparency and efficiency. The growing adoption of technology within the emerging markets has led government operations to rethink their processes and changes. There is a rising expectation from citizens for government agencies to modernize government-to-citizen services as well as to improve and make eCitizen services more accessible. Despite the relatively challenging economic environment in 2010, this trend continued to surface.

For CrimsonLogic, 2010 was marked by key customer wins in Africa and the Middle East--the implementation of an eJudiciary programme in Mauritius from a manual system; and the development of the Qatar Customs Clearance Single Window (QCCSW) project, which will provide a single electronic interface linking the trading community with up to 13 relevant ministries and government agencies in Qatar.

In addition to that, our trade facilitation project in Saudi Arabia, SaudiEDI, was also awarded second place in the category "Improving transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the Public Service" at the annual United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA).

CrimsonLogic is also partnering with Singapore's IDA International to distribute and operate e-procurement systems incorporating the Government e-Business procurement (GeBIZ) platform for the global markets--to assist governments to achieve their e-business vision.

Emerging markets clearly are the driving engine for growth, with a majority of the future population and business opportunities residing in these emerging powerhouses. CrimsonLogic has secured a series of government projects in Central America over recent years, and is expanding its business further into new markets including Mexico, Peru, Colombia and the Caribbean region. There is room for closer collaboration between Asia and Latin America, with the latter looking to Asia for new sources of investment and expertise for its own development.

Within Asia, CrimsonLogic has provided consultation to countries such as Vietnam, to understand the government's IT challenges and meet IT needs, where there is growing demands for IT services and infrastructure--the country's IT market is projected to be US$3.51 billion in 2013.

What was 2010's most important industry development and why?
In Singapore, the public sector has advanced in the sphere of a public cloud, where the parameters of security and control of data are paramount. This is our area of proficiency, from experience gained from hosting and maintaining several nationwide critical IT systems for government agencies.

The evolution of cloud computing is more than a change in nomenclature as the underlying technology has been adapting with the changing business and technology landscapes. With our cloud strategy involving the building of strong alliances, coupled with our strong implementation experience in national projects, we are confident that we're able to remain at the forefront in 2011. In addition to that, we have also established partnerships with specialist players in the cloud computing industry that will enable them to adequately address their clients' specialized cloud computing needs.

What is the outlook for your industry in 2011?
Moving forward, we see an increased focus on customer-centric solutions, emerging out of cloud offerings. Gartner has also predicted that 20 percent of non-IT Global 500 companies will be cloud service providers by 2015.

A confluence of forces have led to the shift to cloud computing--a compelling increase in technological bandwidth or the business-driven need to innovate business at a faster pace. Gartner has forecasted that worldwide cloud services revenue will reach US$68.3 billion in 2010, a 16.6 percent increase from US$58.6 billion in 2009.

Historically, CrimsonLogic has been a trusted partner to governments for over 20 years, helping them find innovative and sustainable answers to complex problems. We have provided Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to deliver a variety of eGovernment 'cloud' services such as Singapore's TradeNet--a Single Electronic Window platform that enables important stakeholders within the supply chain to reduce the time needed to facilitate the trade process.

In our partnership with IDA International to distribute and operate e-procurement systems incorporating the Government eBusiness procurement (GeBIZ) platform, public sector organizations utilizing the platform can achieve greater transparency and fairer competition, ensuring that items purchased are value-for-money--the platform will adhere to World Trade Organization government procurement policies.

Mike Shove, president, CSC Asia


Mike Shove

CSC Asia

"Mobile devices are still the next big platform challenge for the insurance industry in 2011. Mobile applications are not new to the insurance industry, but the widespread adoption has been slow to emerge."

Q: What will be the main business focus for CSC in 2011?
In 2011, the following are the key focus areas for CSC:

  1. Continuing to invest in global delivery network
    This is core for CSC's managed services business--we will continue to invest and expand our delivery network and data centers. We are expanding our data center and service desk in Malaysia, Singapore and China.
  2. Focused industries such as financial services, healthcare and manufacturing
    The financial services vertical is a key area of focus for CSC. Financial services is, in fact, CSC's largest market globally and we have received numerous industry recognition and accolades for our achievement in this sector.

    In our expansion efforts into healthcare industry, we have recently announced our acquisition of Image Solutions, a global leader in regulatory submission management solutions and outsourcing services for the life Sciences sector. The acquisition will help support our strategic growth plan for our health care division that focuses on life space segment.

    Manufacturing industry is yet another focus area for CSC. We had some good wins in the hi-tech/industrial sector for the past few years and one promising win in the aerospace industry this year, giving us a good headstart in our focused industries in 2011.

  3. Cloud computing and virtualization
    As a business-cloud provider with a business-first approach, and full lifecycle of cloud services, CSC has been able to guide customers to select the right cloud solution based on individual enterprise needs. CSC successfully launched its cloud strategy globally and we have been named by HPC (high performance computing) in the cloud as the "2010 Enterprise Cloud Leader" in their first annual Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards.

    In December last year, CSC announced our four-stage, pragmatic program for financial services firms to use cloud services to gain flexibility and agility in their computing environments. CSC is leading financial services firms to the cloud, without jeopardizing their high-performance, security and compliance requirements. The staged approach progresses from early use of low-risk, horizontal shared services to deployment of ancillary applications, then cloud-enablement of mission-critical applications, all in parallel with the introduction of unique cloud-only functions

    Riding on the success and expertise from CSC Global, CSC in Asia is investing resources and expertise to deliver similar cloud solution here in Asia.

  4. Mobility solutions
    Mobile devices are still the next big platform challenge for the insurance industry in 2011. In fact, mobile applications are not new to the insurance industry, but the widespread adoption has been slow to emerge. CSC FSG globally has delivered advanced mobile solutions to many insurers worldwide. In CSC Asia, development of mobile application for smart phones remains one of the key strategies for FSG in 2011.

What will be the biggest tech trend that will transform IT in 2011?
Key tech trends that will continue to transform the ICT industry in 2011 are:

  1. Mobility solutions
    A plethora of new smartphones, iPads, tablets hit the market in 2011. With the rise in use of these mobile devices, there will be a greater need than ever for functional versions of enterprise applications. The fact that many enterprises are positioning cloud computing/deployment as one of their strategies for tech rollout, there will be many IT systems and solutions being delivered in a virtualized environment, furthering emphasizing the importance of mobile computing as opposed to device-based computing. But for these enterprises that wish to successfully leverage on such emerging technologies, the key consideration is to ensure these technologies are encrypted for enterprise use in addition to providing enterprise-level support.
  2. Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO)
    Enterprises are likely to place more importance on business processes rather than on mere technology upgrade or replacement. With BPO, CIOs will find themselves better position to align IT with businesses which is becoming an increasingly critical in 2011. Whilst business process management is not entirely a new concept, enterprises are still grappling with the deployment approach. Hence they will be paying extra attention to the experience and domain expertise of the vendor in their selection process.
  3. Cloud computing and virtualization technologies
    Undoubtedly, cloud computing is a core area of focus for the enterprise IT industry and CSC in 2011. In a recent report released by infoTECH spotlight, it is predicted that CIOs are going to spend more on cloud and automation technologies in 2011. In fact, there is a projection that by 2012, 9 percent of IT budgets (around US$42 billion) will be dedicated to cloud services, a 5 percent increase from 2008. In IT outsourced services, we are seeing more requirements for a virtual environments and cloud deployments in the RFP, as compared to a year ago. Businesses recognize that cloud computing drastically reduces the amount of time, money and maintenance needed to operate a traditional data management system. Hence the take-up of private cloud technologies and services will accelerate further in 2011, with greater emphasis placed on security and reliability.
  4. Increase of organizations outsourcing their IT needs
    Gartner released a report this year highlighting an increase in spending with external service providers (ESPs) in the IT services market. Businesses are outsourcing their IT for various reasons. Firstly, to tap on expertise and resources that are at their disposal. Secondly, many businesses believe that combining the knowledge bank and staffing resources of the IT firm, outsourcing provides an unparalleled value at a drastically reduced cost. Thirdly, outsourcing IT also provides flexibility that fit an organization's needs and schedule.

What will be the biggest challenge for CIOs in 2011?
Though the Asian economy seems to be fully rebounded, many MNCs are still adopting a wait-and-see approach and pulling back the more bullish investment and expansion bets in 2011. As such most CIOs would expect limited increase in resources and budgets in IT investment. In addition, as businesses are faced with the need to grow at the same time maintaining healthy cash surpluses as a hedge against possible business volatility, CIOs may be pressured to look at IT project business cases that can directly drive cash flow back into the business within a comparatively shorter period of time.

Ng Tian Beng, managing director, consumer and small and medium business for South Asia and Korea, Dell


Ng Tian Beng

Managing director, consumer and small and medium business for South Asia and Korea

"Customers are demanding simplicity in the acquisition of, operation and maintenance of their investments in the cloud."

Q: How was business like in 2010?
Cloud computing and services remains key for us on the commercial front both in 2010 and beyond. More Asian customers are enquiring and implementing cloud services and we're proud to say that today, majority of the cloud infrastructure providers in key Asian technology hubs like Singapore are powered by Dell. Globally, Dell powers the popular cloud service providers Yahoo, Windows Bing, Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services, and Windows Azure among many others.

More than ever, customers continue to deal with two fundamental pain points--storing and sorting the explosion of data, and managing and operating the infrastructure and applications needed to run the business. The essentials of an efficient architecture is ensuring an organization has the right virtualization, storage and network design, paired with good quality orchestration for all components to work in unison. We believe that these two pain-points--cloud and storage--will drive key CIO agendas in 2011, as they have in 2010 to achieve the optimum efficient enterprise architecture.

Do you think cloud computing is still a fad?
Dell is really focused on helping more customers build efficient and affordable cloud computing and hyperscale data center installations, as well as a strong drive towards the unification of storage. This year, Dell will be rolling out an array of cloud computing solutions for large and medium enterprises to help them migrate to a cloud computing model across Southeast Asia. The initial focus will be on enterprises in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea.

Customers are demanding simplicity in the acquisition of, operation and maintenance of their investments in the cloud. Thus, Dell is also taking the guesswork out of building and running efficient private and public clouds by delivering turnkey cloud solutions comprised of pre-tested, pre-assembled and fully-supported hardware, software and services enabling customers easily and quickly to deploy and manage cloud infrastructures with confidence. This coupled with our complete range of end-to-end products ranging from NAS to iSCSI SAN to Fibre Channel SAN and deduplication solutions which benefits growing businesses seeking the benefits of Web-based computing.

What can we expect from Dell in 2011?
Dell has moved away from being a hardware vendor to a solutions provider and will continue innovating solutions targeted at these pain points through an innovative end-to-end approach that leverages new and existing technology assets, including the Perot Systems, KACE and Boomi acquisitions, and our industry-leading partner ecosystem. We will deliver these solutions to customers the way they want them--in business-ready configurations or via the cloud-as-a-service.

Par Botes, chief technology officer, EMC


Par Botes

Chief technology officer

"CIOs would place emphasis on faster deployments; as such, I expect to see organizations focusing more on software for managing IT or management platforms within IT."

Q: Which technology was the most exciting for you in 2010?
Cloud computing would have to be the most exciting technology for EMC in 2010. While 2009 was the year when discussions and excitement surrounding cloud computing peaked, it was in 2010 when we saw the adoption and implementation of cloud computing by enterprises and organizations taking off. Reducing IT spend remains a top priority for CIOs today and it is the key driver for the adoption of cloud computing. Many customers are also slowing down new deployments and instead focusing on restructuring their existing environments to lower operating costs for their data centers.

2010 also marked a major progression for the VCE coalition, of which EMC is a part of. As cloud technology takes shape and the market matures, we are seeing a lot of interest coming from various vertical industries, particularly the financial services and telecommunications sector, in leveraging the private cloud to create new business opportunities.

What was this year's most important industry development and why?
Regional telecommunications player SingTel recently announced that it was collaborating with VCE to introduce cloud-based services to enterprises in Singapore. This underscores the significance of the private cloud in creating a new business model for organizations looking to increase efficiencies and reduce cost through the use of new technology platforms.

What is the outlook for your industry in 2011?
CIOs would place emphasis on faster deployments; as such, I expect to see organizations focusing more on software for managing IT or management platforms within IT. As for EMC, we are going to be pushing for newer and richer engagements with the mid- and emerging markets sectors, which are EMC's main revenue drivers in Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Customer demand and cost efficiency will continue to be the key driving factors for the adoption of cloud computing in 2011. Currently, cloud computing is still being used for less mission critical applications such as email systems. 2011 is going to be the year the cloud will take a giant leap forward. I expect to see traditional mission critical applications moving to cloud environments. The focus on cloud computing will shift from being purely infrastructural to include the end-user experience.

I also foresee the early deployment of "thin applications", a specific new architecture that allows applications to be deployed over the cloud in a very efficient way. The deployment of 'thin applications' will also help boost the advanced deployment of virtual desktops. We have already seen this being deployed this year, but we can expect this to become bigger in 2011, primarily as it combines security, privacy and confidentiality data along with the benefit of lower costs.

Clement Goh, managing director, Equinix Singapore


Clement Goh

Managing director
Equinix Singapore

"The cloud will be the biggest tech trend in 2011 to affect the data center sector."

Q: What was the biggest trend that affected your company in 2010, and why?
The biggest trend that affected Equinix in 2010 was the lack of internal datacenter capacity and financial resource constraints within organizations, which resulted in a growing demand for space in third party datacenter facilities as a cost effective solution that allowed enterprises to scale expanding IT requirements. In line with this trend, Equinix conducted the following expansions throughout 2010:

  • Expansion in Asia-Pacific locations that Equinix has a presence in: We announced expansions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo with an investment amount of US$250 million, adding 4,400 cabinet equivalents. We took our first step into China through a strategic partnership with Shanghai Data Solution to further support Equinix customers' co-location needs in Shanghai.
  • Expanded footprint: With the completion of Equinix's acquisition of Switch and Data, our global reach has been extended to include more than six million gross square feet of global data center space with more than 600 network service providers. The acquisition provides our current and potential customers broader access to 35 global data center metropolitan areas throughout North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions for extended market reach and interconnected business ecosystems.
  • Expanded service offerings: The Equinix Carrier Ethernet Exchange was the first service of its kind--to improve quality and remove the cost and complexity of facilitating commercial transactions between Layer 2 Ethernet networks. Since it launch in April 2010, the number of participants has grown to 39. We are planning to launch the service in Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore in 2011.
  • Expanded into "ecosystems": Equinix's carrier-neutral platform enables the ecosystems of network providers and content providers with the widest choice of networks, to interconnect and exchange traffic for optimized performance. These benefits are in need by other ecosystems in the financial sector, cloud computing and enterprises. We are gearing our efforts towards these verticals, and we call these "ecosystems" as those mission-critical and low latency applications will truly recognize our benefits.

What will be Equinix's main business focus in 2011?
We have now positioned ourselves as Platform Equinix, and will continue to connect global businesses by addressing both inbound and outbound opportunities, leveraging our global footprint and operations while accelerating our global reach and scale. As Equinix continues riding on the waves of market trends including the growth of mobile, global IP, video traffic, financial trade volume and cloud services, we plan to focus our efforts on the following:

  • Deepening and seeding ecosystems with the development of vertical specific products supporting go-to-market plans to each of our vertical market segments.
  • Reinforcing Equinix's position as an interconnection hub with continued carrier acquisition by our exchange services, bringing global content to a local audience.
  • Exploring easier ways for customers to conduct their business transactions in a seamless manner through the Equinix Carrier Ethernet Exchange, an online portal that connects buyers and sellers of Ethernet-based services.

What will be the biggest tech trend in 2011 that will impact the data center sector?
The cloud will be the biggest tech trend in 2011 to affect the data center sector, with the following cloud developments having the strongest impact:

  • Consolidation of cloud computing services providers: Due to the competitive and immature market landscape, the providers will strive for growing revenue and market share through consolidation. The consolidated cloud will be even keener on getting closer to their key enterprise markets for market opportunities, while maximizing the exposure to the widest network choice for optimized performance.
  • Increasing adoption of private clouds: Hybrid model sooths the concerns of CIOs in adopting cloud technologies. The enterprise cloud application will move from remote data centers to network hubs to reduce backhaul costs.

Wong Heng Chew, president, Fujitsu Singapore


Wong Heng Chew

Fujitsu Singapore

"In 2011, CIOs can expect to see new markets appearing for pay-per-use business activities and agreements will become more flexible and based on outcomes. "

Q: What was the biggest event that affected your company in 2010?
In April, Fujitsu announced the deployment of a globally standardized cloud platform across five locations outside Japan--Australia, Britain, Germany, Singapore and the United States.

Singapore is the first country in Asean to launch Fujitsu's cloud computing initiatives. Our cloud investments will see us supporting the nation's iN2015 master plan and help accelerate the adoption of cloud computing, in order to foster and build a more human-centric Singapore, one that boosts stability and growth prospects.

Globally, we are investing US$1.2 billion in cloud computing services next year and will train 5,000 specialists globally by 2012.

What was 2010's most important industry development and why?
From a technology point of view, there were some unique drivers impacting organisations in 2010. Fujitsu calls them the Six C's.

These forces of change are putting irresistible pressure on existing business models, and inevitably, organizations are changing the way they conduct business. In rising to this challenge, it is particularly important for companies to distinguish between activities that are servicing the business and those that can generate real competitive value or underpin the organization's strategic aims.

The Six C's are:

  1. Consolidation: We are seeing better alignment and greater value from existing assets driven by the desire for consistency and greater efficiency

  2. Commoditization: Product and service are becoming modular and off-the-shelf driven by the need for greater agility and visibility of cost

  3. Collaboration: This year, we also saw improved web technologies and better access, driving ever greater interaction between people

  4. Consumerization: A significant development had to be the emergence of consumer technology, overtaking business technology as the driving force of choice

  5. Conservation: There was also an increasing need for organizations to be green, driven by ethical, reputational, regulatory and increasingly business grounds

  6. Compliance: Legislation, regulations, standards are impacting organizations both globally and locally

As ever, organizations are driven by external competition, innovation and pressures to reduce costs. There are also forces that restrict change, such as budgets, risk, complexity and security. The interaction between these competing factors defines the pace at which an organization is able to change, the value it can realize and the risk it exposes itself to.

Name the top issue in your industry that CIOs should take note of for 2011.
Cloud computing will see us consuming technology resources in an on-demand, subscription-based fashion. As a result, technology will become abstracted from us. We will stop caring about detailed techni­cal requirements, such as makes and models, and will focus exclusively on what services we need. This will naturally drive a change of focus from technology requirements to business outcomes.

CIOs will soon come to realize that business functions will be able to consume business services directly. In 2011, they can expect to see new markets appearing for pay-per-use business activities and agreements will become more flexible and based on outcomes. Organizations will also become outward-looking rather than inward-looking with regard to technology and services; information supply chains will replace reference architectures.

At the same time, technology resources will be modular and highly scaled. They will be provisioned rapidly, elastically and dynamically. Services will come from a variety of physical channels. Financial models will also emphasize on operational expenditure rather than capital expenditure, and the focus will be on management and aggregation of suppliers rather than management of physical resources.

This has significant implications, not least that it changes the way customers will behave. For example, Fujitsu anticipates cloud services eventually being purchased by business functions rather than by technology func­tions. While much of the focus we see today is on technology offerings, radical change will become reality when businesses process content from the cloud and brokered services can be consumed from the cloud.

Liam Keating, IT director, Asia Pacific and China IT country manager, Intel


Liam Keating

IT director, Asia Pacific and China IT country manager

"Enterprise security remains one of our highest priorities, with requirements changing rapidly due to an increasingly complex threat landscape and new usage models such as IT consumerization and cloud computing."

Q: What will be the biggest tech trend that will transform IT in 2011?
Consumerization of IT and cloud computing are key trends that are reshaping the IT industry. In 2010, we enabled more than 8,600 employees to use their own smartphones to access corporate information, increasing job satisfaction and productivity. In 2011, we will build on these efforts with initiatives allowing network access from a broader range of employee-owned devices and enabling additional capabilities and applications. We also plan further testing of client virtualization, which we see as a way to decouple our operating system (OS) and applications from the underlying hardware to deliver IT services across the expanding continuum of computing devices.

Cloud computing enables us to rapidly deploy new solutions in response to changing business needs and delivers greater efficiency. We more than tripled the number of virtualized servers in our environment in 2010, ending the year at 42 percent, and we are on track to meet our goal of 75 percent. Through on-demand self-service provisioning, we reduced the time to deploy new infrastructure services from 90 days to just three hours.

We will continue to enhance and extend this solution across the enterprise, allowing for complex application infrastructure provisioning with a single click and reducing the time for provisioning to less than an hour. In 2011, we also plan to institute metering to show actual usage metrics across all IT infrastructure services in order to further increase utilization and help internal customers better manage their service requests.

What new role(s) will IT play in your organization or industry in 2011?
IT continues to play a larger role in business success. We use IT to enhance employee productivity, facilitate business growth and top-line value, and to drive business efficiency and bottom line results. We also deploy next-generation IT capabilities to improve the efficiency of our own IT operations--and in doing so, deliver value back to Intel.

Increasing employee productivity enables all employees to work smarter and more efficiently, while inspiring innovation and collaboration. We take advantage of industry innovations around client computing as well as collaboration tools including social media, and communications technology. These tools become even more critical as our company’s ecosystem expands to drive company-wide productivity. We need to connect, network our people, partners and customers in new ways.

To facilitating business growth, we apply and use technology to improve top-line revenue growth by delivering new or enhanced capabilities coupled with agility to react to changing business conditions. For instance, the shift to online sales process as our customer base changes, which enable us to reach more customers and close transactions faster. Other examples include IT services for revenue like Intel Upgrade Service, which allows customers to get down-the-wire CPU upgrade for a fee.

We deploy technology to facilitate business users to make better decisions, faster, thus driving business efficiency. We need to continue to apply innovations around factory automation, business intelligence (BI) solutions, and on-line solutions to improve our business processes and solutions. These tools helped us efficiently evaluate company-wide costs and what we can reduce, for example, low cost supply chain and engineer job failure reduction. These projects saved millions in our company-wide costs in 2010.

We also look at how do we improve our velocity (server landing time, project durations, request satisfaction time, for example), so that we can keep pace with changing business needs. Optimizing and leveraging the full potential of ICT to ensure the services not only deliver the required SLA (service level agreement) and uptime required, but in a cost efficient manner. We must continue our momentum in driving down our IT operations cost. The payback on our efficiency programs is too big to stall or defer.

What will be the biggest challenge for CIOs in 2011?
Enterprise security remains one of our highest priorities, with requirements changing rapidly due to an increasingly complex threat landscape and new usage models such as IT consumerization and cloud computing.

We predict that there will be more specialized attacks directed toward specific targets and objectives and that sophistication will increase as attackers become bolder in target selection and follow-through. Social media sites will also be targeted by attackers as the value of the social data itself will prove valuable.

This year, our focus will be on improving core capabilities for infrastructure protection, detection, and recovery, coupled with security business intelligence.

Ronnie Lee, country general manager, Lenovo Singapore


Ronnie Lee

Country general manager
Lenovo Singapore

"On the consumer product side, key technologies such as 3G, Wi-Fi and Intel Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) which provides excellent battery conservation, are becoming integral to consumer PC standards."

Q: What was last year's most important industry development and why?
The PC market has become more dynamic and emerging markets will be drivers of future growth in PC demands.

Within the emerging markets, small and midsize business (SMB) represent a hyper-growth segment. According to IDC, the growth of SMB IT spending in emerging markets over the next 4 to 5 years will be twice that of mature markets.

Lenovo has been and will continue to attach the rapidly growing SMB market as part of its two fold strategy for achieving growth and profitability called "Protect and Attack" which is to protect our core businesses in China and in global commercial markets; and attack key growth opportunities in emerging markets and the global transactional space, including SMBs.

In a hyper-competitive market, Lenovo will continue to focus on innovation to achieve competitive differentiation, and drive new market opportunities such as the mobile Internet, digital home and cloud computing.

What is the outlook for the technology industry in 2011?
On the consumer product side, key technologies such as 3G, Wi-Fi and Intel Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) which provides excellent battery conservation, are becoming integral to consumer PC standards. Consumers demand greater portability, a richer and faster Internet experience in additional to adequate battery life and trendy designs.

We are leveraging these trends through our product portfolio in areas such as the All-in-One PC and multi-touch capabilities, for both consumer and enterprise segments. Enterprises can look forward to working with the next generation of PCs that will be much faster, lighter and more intuitive in anticipating our daily work-lives. Consumers will enjoy products that look attractive and distinctive, while still retaining product reliability and quality.

Lenovo will focus on the mobile convergence market through new mobile Internet devices that are multi-network capable and supported by Internet applications that offer an optimal end-to-end Internet experience.

Jessica Tan, managing director, Microsoft Singapore


Jessica Tan

Managing director
Microsoft Singapore

"End-users are increasingly more influential in driving technology adoption in the workplace; and businesses are catering to their employees' preferences to allow them to become more productive on the go."

Which technology was the most exciting for you in 2010?
2010 was a big year in taking consumer software and devices to the next level. At Microsoft, the biggest innovation that excited me was the Windows Phone 7 and Kinect. We believe these are game changing for us in the consumer market.

Kinect will grow off an already strong base of Xbox users, and with the user as the controller, it certainly does open up new customer segments for Microsoft.

For Windows Phone specifically, we wanted to keep the consumer clearly in focus as an individual and steer away from convention by building it from the ground up. This means creating a new operating system not just for the office working and increased productivity; not just for the avid gamer and not just for the busy social networker. As consumers wear multiple hats, we have re-engineered the way people use their phones by integrating all our services for an all-in-one offer that combines all our online services such as Windows Live, Xbox Live, Office Mobile, Music & Entertainment and even Enterprise applications such as SharePoint.

There is strong developer momentum with over 1,000 developers in Singapore trained, and already over 120 locally-made applications have been released on Windows Phone Marketplace, with more in the pipeline. This momentum is testament to the eagerness of developers to utilize the platform and we look forward to more exciting applications in 2011.

What is the outlook for software and technology in 2011?
Cloud computing will continue to draw attention in 2011, especially for its cost-effectiveness in reducing high upfront acquisition of hardware and software licenses with cloud-hosted services and flexibility. Businesses can now choose between a hybrid model of on-premises and off-premises resources that enables businesses to move what they want to the cloud, and move it back when they decide to.

In fact, cloud computing would become more pervasive as it goes mainstream across both the enterprise and consumer space. Currently, business decision makers are evaluating their options, watching the early adopters as they venture into this new space. 2011 would see these companies spring into action as they take advantage of new cloud computing technologies that provide them with a cost-effective edge that equips their employees with tools that enable them to be more productive and connected. Also, the ecosystem of partners, ISVs and hardware vendors are all ready for the cloud, which will make the evolution of the cloud transition to mainstream smoother.

A survey from Springboard Research (Oct 2010) found that 20 per cent of organizations were already using cloud computing technology and services, with another 35 per cent planning to adopt in 2011.

In fact, offerings such as Microsoft Office 365 and CRM Online, slated to launch later this year, are able to fit a wide-variety of customers, from independent professionals to small, mid-sized and large organizations. A survey of Asian small and midsize businesses (SMBs) conducted on behalf of Microsoft in 2010 found that 70 per cent of employees of SMBs in Southeast Asia work away from their desks for at least a portion of the day, 52 per cent of them had no access to their work documents or e-mails outside of the office. With such cloud based technology, employees can work together more easily from anywhere on virtually any device, while collaborating with others inside and outside their organization in a simple and highly secure way.

What was this year's most important industry development and why?
Apart from innovations in the cloud, the consumerization of IT was an important development in 2010. End-users are increasingly more influential in driving technology adoption in the workplace; and businesses are catering to their employees' preferences to allow them to become more productive on the go. Increasingly, companies offer smartphones, tablets or a laptop that comfortably fits into their employees' lifestyle. Gen Y talent joining the workforce also demand access to technology for social networking as well as speedy communications and companies looking to tap into this new talent pool must provide them with their preferred devices.

Johan Stael von Holstein, CEO, MyCube


Johan Stael von Holstein


"The biggest misconception is that engaging in social media is an easy way to acquire and retain customers. It can be, but it takes a lot of work and patience."

Q: What will the issue of privacy be like in 2011?
2010 was in many ways the year that the general public started to realize that privacy is important, and that they could not rely on online services to protect their privacy for them. I think this was in part because so many people were new to social media in 2010--in the fourth quarter, Facebook added 20 million users in Asia--and because there have been several widely reported privacy issues and other problems throughout the year.

For 2011, I expect this trend to continue, in that people will not only continue to be increasingly aware of the need for some privacy controls in social media and the internet in general, but in fact will also start to demand that social media services do something proactive to address this. Whether these services will or not is another matter.

What is the biggest misconception of social media?
From a user perspective, I think the biggest misconception is that social media is all about connecting with people. It is a lot more than that, and I think some of the most interesting developments in 2011 will be around using social media to connect with interests and information, in addition to people. This is certainly where Twitter seems to be heading and I expect others to follow suit.

From a business perspective, I think the biggest misconception is that engaging in social media is an easy way to acquire and retain customers. It can be, but it takes a lot of work and patience. The basic rules of marketing--providing the right message to the right person at the right time--still apply, and social media services are not always able to satisfy this.

Was there a technology release in 2010 that disappointed you or lived up to its hype?
I was rooting for Diaspora, a new social networking service that was launched specifically to address privacy concerns, and which received quite a lot of press coverage. However, their launch has not been that well received--not because people don't care about privacy, but because the service was a bit underdeveloped and underwhelming. I am disappointed in this because I think a successful launch could have really started to force other social media services to take privacy seriously as well.

Mike Murphy, CTO, Asia-Pacific, Nokia Siemens Networks


Mike Murphy

CTO, Asia-Pacific
Nokia Siemens Networks

"Virtualization and cloud computing, virtual networks, 'Everything-as-a-Service' and cloud based services to consumers and enterprises, communication technology will continue to be a key trend and will enrich many verticals."

Q: What was the biggest event that affected your company in 2010?
Nokia Siemens Networks made a remarkable turnaround as we returned to growth this year, and Asia-Pacific is a significant growth market for us.

Recent Asia-Pacific achievements include a managed services deal with Vodafone Hutchinson Australia, successful Long-Term Evolution (LTE) trials countries like Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Japan, and the opening of a Smart Lab in South Korea, which will focus on developing smart device-optimized applications, services and networks.

We also announced the acquisition of certain Motorola wireless assets this year, and we expect to start 2011 in a stronger position as they come onboard.

What is the outlook for the telecommunications industry for 2011?
Virtualization and cloud computing, virtual networks, 'Everything-as-a-Service' and cloud based services to consumers and enterprises, communication technology will continue to be a key trend and will enrich many verticals. Machine-to-machine, and smart grid are examples of new solutions supporting business processes. They contain a few intrinsic things that we see as a common thread across the industry: They all drive increased network usage and therefore bandwidth, signaling and Quality of Service requirements. They all drive additional linkage of 'things'. We're no longer just looking at phones, laptops but appliances, vehicles, home automation, which requires the ability to react on the fly to what is necessary in a specific scenario--user, application, device, services.

Network automation such as Self Organizing Networks will become more widespread given the increasing heterogeneity of technologies in a single the network and the increasing pressure on efficient traffic handling. Of course we will see a major uptake of LTE complementing 3G networks and bringing broadband profitability and mobile end user experience to the next level.

Do you think cloud computing is still a fad? Is your organization working on cloud projects?
As basic services like voice, messaging, and now even broadband access are increasingly commoditized, the industry needs to dramatically reduce its cost structures and develop new revenue streams. Cloud computing is part of the answer to both of these needs and thus it is absolutely not a fad and will dramatically increase in focus in 2011.

To that end, the issue that has not been solved yet is telecom clouds. We have enterprise clouds and they are well understood, but telecommunications is a different beast with significantly more stringent requirements and, in some contexts, greater scale. So a key area of focus in 2011 will be how to build telecom clouds. These may be private solutions, hybrid solutions, or many variants in between. There is no single answer just yet. Mixed in with this will be the need to manage all of this seamlessly.

Nokia Siemens Networks is working on every element of this picture from standardization activities, to data center models, to innovative services in the clouds. In fact, we might say that one growing observation is that you need to be in each part of the chain to understand it well and even drive it, to be able to create unique solutions that will satisfy the needs of Communications Service Providers. It's a disruptive industry right now, and we intend to be one of the disruptors.

Yeoh Phee Suan, director of marketing and communications, NTUC Club


Yeoh Phee Suan

Director of marketing and communications,

"Even though we haven't got the budget for digital advertising as many of us would like, we managed to garner support from across the organization to successfully engage and acquire over 50,000 fans organically on Facebook."

Q: Can you share an IT project you are proud of for 2010?
We planned to revamp the Web site for Costa Sands Resort in 2010 and it so happened that Facebook rolled out their 'Like' button. It gave us the opportunity to become an early adopter of this social plug-in. Sounds trivial but it isn't. This button allows our visitors to show their preferred resort in one convenient click, transporting their 'Likes' back to Facebook to be shared on their profiles. Not only are we able to utilize these likes as testimonials on our site, it also gives us organic exposure to the visitors' friends. The social impression generated through the visitors' endorsement greatly benefit our business as consumers trust their friends' recommendation more than our advertising messages.

What new role will IT play for NTUC Club in 2011?
This initiative marks the first of our efforts to integrate third party social applications on our corporate Web sites to enable a direct and continuous relationship with our fans and customers in their preferred digital environment. Other rising trends we are anticipating to venture into are apps for mobile devices, now that phones have become so sophisticated and are widely used by the mass market.

Which IT product impacted your business the most in 2010?
Facebook becoming mainstream has truly heightened the profile of digital media in Singapore. A lot of local companies are joining this social network and you can see it visibly on their print advertising. It really helped that we embraced it earlier in 2009. Even though we haven't got the budget for digital advertising as many of us would like, we managed to garner support from across the organization to successfully engage and acquire over 50,000 fans organically on Facebook. While the technology is free, participating on social media is not. Engaging customers requires huge effort not just from the marketing team but also the various service and operational departments as many customers are using it as an outlet for enquiries and clarifications.

Rolf Assev, chief strategy officer, Opera


Rolf Assev

Chief strategy officer

"Advertising, e-commerce and what happened in the Internet will be seen on the mobile Web [in 2011]."

Q: What will the mobile web scene look like in 2011?
The mobile Web will continue thriving in 2011. We have seen user growth of the mobile Web in both developed and emerging markets. According to Opera's State of Mobile Web report, between November 2009 and November 2010, Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East showed significant growth in terms of Opera Mini users. In Latin America, for example, the unique users were up 308 percent this year.

More people are able to access the Internet through their mobile phones, which is especially great for people who do not have laptop or desktop computers. Mobile phones are the primary device for users to access the Internet. In East Asia, data transferred via Opera Mini grew surprisingly quickly, up 335 percent.

Advertising, e-commerce and what happened in the Internet will be seen on the mobile Web, as users spending more time browsing on mobile phone. We will see these booming in 2011.

On the other hand, we will see other mobile devices such as tablets and Web pads join the league. We can expect that the users of mobile Web are not limited to mobile phone users.

What will Opera’s main business focus be in 2011?
Opera has always been about making the Web available for everyone. Till now we have signed 12 of the world's 30 biggest operators, bringing more people to the Web. In 2011, we will see the age of two, three screens (TVs, mobile phones/devices, computer) taking off. From a U.S. poll commissioned by Fourthwallmedia by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), 82 percent of respondents say they surf the Internet on their computers while watching TV. No matter which device people are using to access the Web, they are always looking for the same content on the Web they are familiar with.

Opera is focusing on facilitating a unified browsing experience on multiple platforms and devices. We have worked with several major TV manufacturers such as Philips, Toshiba, Loewe, and Sharp to bring HbbTV to the market. In 2011, you will see more connected TVs powered by Opera in the market.

What was the biggest news that affected your company in 2010, and why?
The importance of HTML5 had been widely addressed in 2010 as Apple, Google and Microsoft announced their support. With HTML5, online video and many Web applications can be rendered by the browser without requiring plug-ins. In fact, Opera has started the HTML5 movement and supported it in its browser products. In 2007, Opera proposed the standard

Andrew Lim, vice president of systems sales, Asean, Oracle


Andrew Lim

Vice president of systems sales, Asean

"Enterprises will evolve their current IT infrastructure (from standalone, consolidated and optimized) to become more 'cloud-like' or 'IT-as-a-Service'."

Q: What was the biggest trend that affected your company in 2010, and why?
In 2010, Oracle has given swift and committed delivery to the hardware roadmap since the acquisition of Sun Microsystems' server and storage product lines. Regardless of the buzz around different technologies, Oracle consistently hears the need for extreme performance in mission-critical computing environments. This translates to a need for ease of manageability and failover capability to protect the company’s data assets--hosted on premise, cloud or a hybrid setting.

What plans does Oracle have with Java in 2011?
At Oracle OpenWorld in September 2010, we had outlined a specific roadmap for Java SE 7 and Java SE 8, and to-date we are pleased that the roadmap has been ratified by the JCP executive committee. It is the next step in our delivering significant updates to the Java Platform and Language Specification.

More recently, Oracle announced in early December that the Java Specification Requests (JSRs) for the next two releases of the Java Platform, JSR-336 and JSR-337, had been formally approved by an overwhelming majority in the JCP executive committee vote. These involved the standardization of technologies in Java SE 7 within 2011, with Java SE 8 following in 2012.

For Java SE 7, these included language changes for improved developer productivity, dynamically typed language support, and performance improvements, while for Java SE 8, the plan included technologies in support of Java modularization and language enhancements for advanced multi-core support.

The JCP executive committee's approval of the Java SE 7, Java SE 8, and component JSRs followed Oracle's recent announcements surrounding OpenJDK momentum with IBM and Apple participation. Altogether, these developments demonstrated a renewed energy behind Java and strengthen its future as the language and platform of choice.

What innovations does Oracle plan to roll out in 2011?
Oracle remains poised in the position to address needs for extreme performance and mission-critical computing, so that companies can reap the greatest return on investment (ROI) out of their IT investments. We believe that enterprises will evolve their current IT infrastructure (from standalone, consolidated and optimized) to become more 'cloud-like' or 'IT-as-a-Service'.

'IT-as-a-Service' will see IT departments become a better internal service provider to the lines of business, business units and departments. IT will become more agile and responsive to business needs, give higher service quality in terms of latency and availability, offer lower costs and maintain higher IT resource utilization. This evolution will take time, and will take shape in different ways for each company. Oracle can evolve with the company's IT infrastructure using compute, storage, network, and software building blocks for flexible, optimized datacenters. Similarly, the same building blocks can be tightly integrated and engineered to work on purpose-built systems.

Don Cooper-Williams, executive director, Asia Pacific, SAS


Don Cooper-Williams

Executive director, Asia-Pacific

"Organizations need to exploit the full potential of social media, not simply use them."

Q: With the economy recovering from the 2008 downturn, do you expect the business intelligence (BI) industry to continue growing further in 2011?
There is no question that the global economic crisis had caused grief for all industry sectors in Asia-Pacific and abroad. We have seen the adoption of business analytics in Asia-Pacific outpace other regions, a trend that analysts from IDC recognize as a means of addressing the significant challenges of an uncertain economic environment.

We should not be surprised by this; because organizations across industries in this diverse region are seeking the same things--to spend limited funds more effectively, to manage their operations more efficiently, and optimize their resources.

Business analytics adoption has flourished as it is proving to help these companies glean more value from their IT investments to make better decisions. For instance, we have seen strong sales for SAS software in the Asia-Pacific region in the first half of 2010. Total software is revenue up 19 percent from the same time period in 2009.

As organizations continue to look for innovative ways to improve customer engagement, sales of SAS customer intelligence solutions in Asia-Pacific have gone up nearly 50 percent over the previous period in 2009. In 2011, we look to build on the momentum generated this year, which includes the introduction of SAS Social Media Analytics and SAS Customer Link Analytics solutions.

What was the biggest news or trend that affected your company in 2010, and why?
Over the past year, our customers have been most concerned with improving their own customer interactions and data analysis. Compared to last year, SAS sales of the Social Media Analytics Solutions and other applications designed to help companies better understand people’s behavior have risen nearly 50 percent in Asia-Pacific.

Across the board, we are witnessing companies wanting to lead with cutting-edge analytics, and SAS has seen a huge surge of interest in applying customer intelligence in industries such as banking, retail and the public sector. For instance, we have been working with a major telecommunications company based in the region to analyze Twitter data as part of its online reputation management initiative.

We've also witnessed a growing interest in various markets across Asia-Pacific to analyze all sorts of data. There are several applications for customer intelligence beyond single-customer view and segmentation. Korea's first Internet shopping mall Lotte.com deployed SAS for Customer Experience Analytics to help overhaul its Web site, and were able to execute sophisticated marketing activities, conduct customer behavior forecasting to discover and target high-profit customers. With insight on individual customers and various customer groups to improve service and provide more sophisticated target marketing, the company could achieve high-efficiency channel marketing by understanding when customers will make purchases and the way they navigate the site.

On the whole, we are tracking increased demand for SAS to help organizations optimize resources to drive return on investments, reduce churn, improve targeted cross-sell and up-sell, and even cut costs, all while improving customer experience.

What will be the biggest tech trend in 2011 that will impact the BI sector?
This year SAS sponsored a survey of 2,100 companies which revealed that despite the vast potential of social media, many of them fail to listen to customers and analyze conversations to turn that information into a bottom-line benefit. Many organizations cling to antiquated marketing paradigms, using social media only to push marketing messages, instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to monitor, analyze, and participate in millions of conversations among consumers.

In brief, some findings from the SAS survey included:

  • 75 percent of companies surveyed did not know where their most valuable customers were talking about them.
  • 31 percent do not measure effectiveness of social media
  • Only 23 percent use social media analytic tools
  • A mere 7 percent are integrating social media into marketing activities

More than half the companies that responded are using social media, yet only a quarter of them actually know where their most valuable customers are "talking" about them. Simply put, organizations need to exploit the full potential of social media, not simply use them. Even though organizations are increasingly turning to social media, only a small number of them genuinely believe that it's working. Without applying analytics tools to accurately gauge the efficacy of social media campaigns, companies simply continue to operate in the dark.

According to the SAS survey, 36 percent of companies plan to conduct customer sentiment analysis in the next couple of years. 33 percent are planning social monitoring solutions, 27 percent want predictive analytics, and 26 percent intend to measure the impact of online conversations. As the companies look for innovative ways to maintain a direct link to their key audiences, there is no question that social media analytics is set to take off in the near future.

Ian Gardner, corporate vice president, head of Asia Pacific region, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications


Ian Gardner

Corporate vice president, head of Asia Pacific region
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications

"Environmental innovation should gain greater prominence and attention in the industry."

Q: Which technology was the most exciting for you in 2010?
The Google Android mobile operating system is fast moving to be a strong contender, if not the leading contender in the OS space. Just within last year, we saw it claim significant market share in the smartphone segment as more consumers switched to this OS.

Its progress is even more remarkable when we consider it is the new kid on the block. I believe their success is possible because the Android OS is built on an open system, which allows collaboration with manufacturers, third-party developers and other stakeholders to contribute towards the ecosystem.

Even as mobile phone manufacturers, Sony Ericsson included, seek to differentiate themselves by customizing the interface with signature applications, we believe that the Android OS provides an ideal foundation to build a completely open, human and intuitive experience for our consumers.

Name one issue which you think the industry should collectively work harder to address.
Environmental innovation should gain greater prominence and attention in the industry. As part of our commitment to drive green, Sony Ericsson continues to push sustainability initiatives and programs across 2011. We remain committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent and greenhouse emissions by 15 percent from our mobile phones' full product lifecycle by 2015.

Sony Ericsson has a holistic portfolio approach to making our products more sustainable. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and our GreenHeart programme reflects this philosophy from product development to engineering organizations to become a core value.

For instance, our Greenheart range of phones is made using recycled materials, and features other green innovations such as energy efficient chargers, e-manuals, smaller packaging. We are proud to say that Elm has topped the U.K.'s first sustainable rating system, O2 Eco Rating for mobile phones with 4.3 out of 5 points for its 'green' credentials.

What is the outlook for mobile communications in 2011?
Sony Ericsson sees the anticipated double digit growth in the smartphone market as something the industry will continue towards in 2011. We view this projected growth in smartphone demand as a valuable opportunity to create the best customer focused experience.

Our Sony Ericsson consumer focus study highlighted a need for freedom of choice, simplicity, and ultra connectivity allowing people to stay in touch whenever they are on the go. To fulfil these needs, we have introduced phones that simplify the user experience. We offer a customized user experience with signature applications such as TimeScape and Mediascape that enhance the vanilla operating system.

Clarence Phua, director for ASEAN and India, Sophos


Clarence Phua

Director for Asean and India

"As more companies migrate their business applications to the cloud, it is becoming a new magnetic frontier to cyber threats."

Q: What were some of the biggest trends that affected your company in 2010, and why?
The consumerization and democratization of technology continued to influence and shape the security landscape in 2010. The growing use of social media both at work and for leisure diverted cybercriminals to use these channels as baits to lure their victims.

Fake anti-virus and blackhat SEO malware, the installation of fake Web sites in search engines, were widely deployed by cyber rouges. Many of these compromised sites attracted visitors thanks to aggressive SEO techniques designed to push links to the top of search results. These attacks took advantage of breaking news stories, popular trends and major events.

In the mobile arena, early Android malware was already being encountered in January 2010, and theoretical threats and threat vectors continued to be proposed and investigated. In March, researchers tricked thousands of smartphone users into joining a demonstration botnet of iPhones and Android-based devices, while in the summer the potential for rootkits on Android phones was discussed in depth by security researchers.

The Android marketplace is not as closely monitored as Apple’s and it adopts an "anything goes" philosophy. Combined with the steady growth in Android use as the sophistication of available devices catches up with the iPhone, this may make the platform more attractive to cybercriminals in the near future.

We also saw increasing attacks on the Mac platform in 2010 as the market share of Mac encroached on the PC.

What will be the biggest tech trend in 2011 that will impact the IT security sector?
Privacy threats are set to dominate the security landscape in 2011. More than ever, data is the ultimate business asset. With the sophistication of modern cybercriminal gangs, business reputations are only as strong as the processes, precautions and protective solutions in place to guard company and customer data.

Spyware and malware designed to steal data will gain greater prominence as they perpetrate across platforms. A new Trojan horse targeting at Google Android operating system was recently uncovered--Troj/Geinimi-A, also known as "Gemini". It has been seen incorporated into repackaged versions of various applications and games, and attempts to steal data, and may contact remote URLs. As compared with Apple iOS, Android is a much more "open" operating system, and users do not need to jump through as many hoops to install applications that have not been made "officially" available.

Critically, we have been seeing threats which only exist "within the browser" or spreading entirely inside a social network, without touching the smartphone's operating system, which means there are dangers out there, irrespective of the browsing device we are using, whether it's desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet.

The most important step in stopping data loss is to encrypt sensitive information, laptops and removable storage devices. If data is encrypted with a password, it cannot be deciphered or used unless the password is known. This means that even if all other security measures fail to prevent a hacker from accessing the most sensitive data, he or she will not be able to read it and compromise the confidentiality of the information.

In Asia-Pacific, there are no standardized regulations on security standards, little or no requirement for encryption, and few, or no rules forcing companies (even multinationals headquartered outside the region) to come clean when data exposures occur. With this in mind, data and privacy leakage is definitely one of the top security watchwords for 2011.

Do you expect the IT security industry to continue to grow further in 2011?
New technologies continue to present new habits and ways of doing business, which would be followed closely by new malware and cybercriminals. As more companies migrate their business applications to the cloud, it is becoming a new magnetic frontier to cyber threats. Hence cloud security is surely one of the key concerns to watch in 2011, and we expect spending on this area to increase this year.

The growing adoption of cloud computing will drive the sharing of corporate data in never-before-seen ways and result in both the immediate exchange of information and increased vulnerabilities for enterprises. More encryption policies and security innovations will be needed to safeguard data wherever it may lie.

Businesses will be required to make greater efforts to ensure the security of their networks and their data, protecting themselves from external malware and hacking attacks as well as leakage from within. Encryption is becoming a more vital part of any corporate IT policy. Anyone running a Web site needs to keep that safe too, addressing vulnerabilities in software and other potential loopholes that could allow cybercriminals to compromise their site and harvest data or push malware on to their visitors.

Today, having anti-malware tools and firewalls in place is no longer enough to protect the dissolving network perimeter. The lack of data protection can hurt the bottom line, and organizations not only require an integrated approach to cross-platform security, full-disk encryption and network access control but they also want to do it easily without upsetting the existing security infrastructure and incurring additional costs.

The idea of simple security management is critical to enterprises regardless of size, as more often than not, the barrier to complete protection lies in the complexity and cost of managing myriad security solutions and platforms. Maintaining full-spectrum protection across these differing tools on a day-to-day level can be arduous and labor-intensive if not done right.

In reality, comprehensive protection does not have to be complicated or costly. A more efficient approach to security means both human and physical resources are freed up to improve and expand other areas, resulting in increased productivity, profitability and flexibility for businesses.

Trevor Haeger, chief information officer, Standard Chartered Singapore


Trevor Haeger

Chief information officer
Standard Chartered Singapore

"As customers become increasingly reliant on electronic channels, they and our regulators rightly expect extremely high levels of resilience, along with 24x7 availability for many channels of access, which is always our goal."

Q: Which technology was the most exciting for you in 2010?
In 2010, it was exciting to see the proliferation of mobile phone and tablet applications extend its reach into the financial services industry. At Standard Chartered, we launched our very own Internet banking iPhone and iPad applications for our customers. However, what has perhaps been more exciting has been the bank's development of internal applications for the iPhone to enable Standard Chartered's staff to better collaborate with its customers. Known as Project "FLEX", internal applications such as Mobile Authorization and Trade Enquiry Service enable staff to be more efficient when meeting customers. For example, relationship managers can provide wholesale banking customers with products and services that were previously only offered at branch offices. In addition, iPad applications have also been developed for branch staff to interact better with their various clients. The development of these applications not only improve efficiency but also offer simpler ways of working.

Name the top issue in your industry that CIOs should take note of for 2011.
Systems stability should and will remain a top issue in the financial services industry. As customers become increasingly reliant on electronic channels, they and our regulators rightly expect extremely high levels of resilience, along with 24x7 availability for many channels of access, which is always our goal. All banks must ensure fast recovery times to minimize customer impact, so business continuity planning is absolutely essential.

How has the consumerization of mobile devices affected your IT organization ?
The increased reliance of mobile devices, especially smartphones, has definitely benefited Standard Chartered. One prominent example would be the launch of the Breeze application--the bank's consumer banking application. Since May, it has registered more than 350,000 logins and facilitated transactions amounting to US$105 million. We expect the demand for mobile application for both internal and external use to continue to grow extremely fast through 2011. As such, the bank is focusing its development on more applications to enable more products and services to become accessible via mobile devices.

Matthew Tonkin, senior director, Asia, Sybase 365


Matthew Tonkin

Senior director, Asia
Sybase 365

"Mobile customer relationship management will become commonplace with coupons, discounts, and incentive programs at the forefront of enterprise mobile services."

Q: What is the mobile commerce scene like in Asia-Pacific?
As compared to the current state, mergers and acquisitions activity and consolidation across the Asian mobile operators will increase in 2011. With 2010 being a strong year for the Asian economies and the surge in mobile data revenues, this momentum and confidence will continue into 2011, creating a buoyant market for both buyers and sellers.

In the coming year, mobile payment solutions will be rolled out to reach hundreds of millions of subscribers, worldwide, but there will continue to be fragmentation in the solutions--from near-field communication (NFC)-based solutions (e.g. Isis), to SMS and application-based solutions to browser-based solutions, depending on where one is in the global marketplace.

What will be the biggest challenge for CIOs in 2011?
A CIO's priority is the improvement of flow of information not just in the company but externally as well. CIOs are faced with an increasing number of channels of communication both within and outside the company. They need to overcome the challenge of integrating this flow of information seamlessly while maintaining or reducing costs.

Enterprises and brands will continue to turn to mobile and social networks as preferred ways to reach employees and consumers. As smartphones continue to grow market share, we’ll see more usage of advanced technologies such as IP-based push notifications, apps, HTML5, and browser-based capabilities. SMS will still be a key mobile channel, coexisting with these newer channels, around the world.

Mobile customer relationship management (mCRM) will become commonplace with coupons, discounts, and incentive programs at the forefront of enterprise mobile services. As with the trend of all new consumer technologies, Asia will lead this charge in early adoption and rollout.

With the economy recovering from the 2008 downturn, do you expect your company or industry to continue growing further in 2011?
The mobile commerce (m-commerce) space will continue growing. While the economy is still growing, people are still looking at ways to run their business and work more effectively on the move. Given the upcoming technological developments in 2011, and the foreseeable wide adoption of NFC in the coming year, the industry is bound to grow at a great pace.

Eric Hoh, vice president, Asia south region, Symantec


Eric Hoh

Vice president, Asia south region,

"With the tremendous growth of new mobile platforms, bad guys will have even more new avenues to attack and unchartered social engineering tricks to engage in to continue to steal from us."

Q: What was 2010's most important industry development and why?
In terms of cybercrime, cybercriminals have moved from seeking fame to being financially motivated (dubbed "crimeware") in the last 10 years. Mass e-mail messages were replaced by malware stealing credit card information and selling phony antivirus products. The goal became stealth and financial fain at the expense of unsuspecting computer users, using Trojans and toolkits such as Zeus.

However, we have now entered a third stage--one of cyber-espionage and cyber-sabotage. Cyber-espionage did not begin with Stuxnet, and crimeware does not end with it. In 2010, Hydraq, a.k.a Aurora, provided a high-profile example of a growing class of highly targeted threats seeking to infiltrate either specific organizations or a particular type of computer system by leveraging previously unknown software vulnerabilities.

There are also an increasing number of zero-day vulnerabilities emerging. In 2009, Symantec observed a total of 12 zero-day vulnerabilities. As of early November 2010, Symantec has already tracked 18 previously unknown security vulnerabilities this year that were or are actively being used in cyberattacks. Nearly half of these--possibly more--have been used by targeted threats such as Stuxnet, which exploited a record four zero-day vulnerabilities; Hydraq; Sykipot; and Pirpi, which was identified just recently in December.

Attackers have been using such security holes for many years, but as these highly targeted threats gain momentum in 2011, plan to witness more zero-day vulnerabilities coming to light in the next 12 months than in any previous year.

As a matter of fact, business is just too good for the cybercriminals. With the tremendous growth of new mobile platforms, bad guys will have even more new avenues to attack and unchartered social engineering tricks to engage in to continue to steal from us. These new vulnerabilities are a clear indication that the world is changing and the looming threat landscape will be different than the previous years.

Name the top issue in your industry that CIOs should take note of for 2011.
The ongoing consumerization of IT will be an area of concern for CIOs in 2011. According to IDC, 1.2 billion people will be using mobile phones capable of rich Web connectivity by the end of 2010. This explosion of mobile devices in the enterprise not only means organizations will face new challenges in keeping these devices and the sensitive data on them accessible and safe; they also must comply with various industry data protection and privacy regulations. Despite regulations, many organizations do not currently disclose when mobile devices containing sensitive data are lost, as they do with laptops. In fact, employees do not always report these lost devices to their organizations.

In 2011, we expect that regulators will start cracking down on this issue and this will drive organizations to increasingly implement encryption technologies, particularly for mobile devices. Organizations will also take a more proactive approach to data protection with the adoption of encryption technology in order to meet compliance standards and avoid the heavy fines and damage to their brands a data breach can cause.

As devices continue to become more sophisticated and with just a handful of mobile platforms cornering the market, it is inevitable attackers will key in on mobile devices and that mobile devices will become a leading source of confidential data loss. Since this proliferation of these gadgets shows no sign of slowing in the coming year, enterprises will gravitate to new security models to safeguard the sensitive data that will be on and accessible through these devices.

On top of that, as employees increasingly become more mobile and work-on-the-go, enterprises will also have to address the associated challenges by adopting new models, such as security in the cloud, for suitable solutions that will work seamlessly across multiple platforms and devices. Expect IT managers to be forced by business necessity to implement more granular and refined Web security policies as well.

Do you think cloud computing is still a fad?
Cloud computing continues to be a hot topic, and will greatly change the way services are delivered in 2011. More organizations will look to leverage public and private clouds as they become highly available. As we head into 2011, enterprises will require the ability to manage storage resources whether they are local, campus wide, multi-campus, global or in the cloud. Tools will emerge to manage this new complex storage environment and to help IT administrators better understand and capture information about unstructured data that resides within it. This will allow IT to fully utilize the benefits of the cloud and intelligently report to management.

There will also be increased adoption of the hybrid cloud archiving model to allow organizations to use hosted messaging services while keeping their archives on-premise to drive cost out of the discovery process, maintain strict access to data, and define who is searching it and where they are sending requests.

Cloud computing, hosted services and appliances are examples of increasingly attractive delivery models that provide organizations with flexibility and ease of deployment.  In 2011, organizations can expect to tackle agility, technology and storage optimization through unified storage devices with security and backup cloud access.

However, the cloud also adds another layer of complexity for companies looking at their disaster recovery plans. Data center mangers are struggling to protect, control and manage the steadily increasing amount of applications and data that reside in the cloud and other virtual environments. According to the global findings from Symantec's 2010 Disaster Recovery Study, organizations run approximately 50 percent of mission-critical applications in the cloud, and two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) report that security is their main concern of putting applications on the cloud.

Vish Iyer, head of Asia-Pacific, Tata Consultancy Service


Vish Iyer

Head of Asia-Pacific
Tata Consultancy Service

"We believe large part of Asia-Pacific region is on firm footing, thanks to sound economic policies pursued consistently over years by many countries."

Q: What was 2010's most important industry development and why?
There are a number of developments that were important to the company. The most important development that impacted us was the uptick in the demand environment for IT and BPO services across the globe despite uncertainties in several economies.

Demand for our services were driven by multiple factors, including: M&A activities in the banking sector leading to need for common systems; the need to actualize operational efficiencies quickly; and transformational engagements. A report by NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) in India, confirms our optimism. According to them, there is an increase in IT spend due to the proliferation of technology across major sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.

Besides this, we're also seeing the benefits from our pioneering efforts in establishing a Global Networked delivery Model (GNDM), which we are proud to say, has become the industry standard.

Name the top issue in your industry that CIOs should take note of for 2011.
The macro conditions are still uncertain in different economies. However we believe large part of Asia-Pacific region is on firm footing, thanks to sound economic policies pursued consistently over years by many countries.

The key priorities for our customers are efficiency and growth. They need to be equipped to scale up the operations and seize every opportunity that comes along and bring in operational efficiencies to drive the profitability. At the same time, they need to retain the ability to scale back in the event of any economic setbacks.

Continuous efficiency would mean different things to different customers. However, the areas they might be looking from IT perspective are consolidation of their complex IT systems, improvements in their IT infrastructure in terms of their enterprise business software footprint, or even improvements in their design process.

The second priority for our customers is investing for growth. Some may want to get to know their customers better, to up-sell them new things. Or some may invest in new technologies like mobile, to access those customers in new ways. Flexibility to scale up or scale down investment is also seen as an increasing need for many customers.

Traditionally, the demand for outsourced services comes from multinational corporations with operations across the region. However, we are seeing an increasing interest from the "national champions" in these countries as well as from midmarket customers across the different countries in APAC. With the large percentage of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in Asia-Pacific, we believe that catering to this market segment can greatly enhance revenues and increase market share.

Do you think cloud computing is still a fad? Is your organization working on cloud projects?
Cloud computing for the enterprise world is the new business model paradigm. Cloud computing is steadily changing the way businesses interact and manage cost. We have taken some pioneering steps in this area and have leveraged cloud computing technologies in three new revolutionary ways.

The first one is the bank-in-the-box for Indian corporative banks, rural banks, and rural agricultural banks. This cloud model supports the branches of these banks in a centralized fashion with all the sophisticated functionality and technology that the largest banks in the country have on a pay per use model without any big investments. We are already supporting close to 2000 branches of various small banks using this approach.

The second initiative is IT-as-a-Service for small and midsize businesses. It is a new approach, which has only been launched in India and we already have around 90 customers in India, at this point in time. We have chosen four industry verticals for this service and customers in those verticals can avail their entire IT needs, from infrastructure to applications on a cloud model for a fixed bundled price.

The third initiative is in the area of BPO platforms; TCS offers BPO services based on a service platform apart from just outsourcing the processes. As an example, in the area of Payroll outsourcing, TCS offers a Payroll Platform to which the customers activities are migrated. Thus, in addition to outsourcing, the customer also gets the productivity gains of a ready platform.

Greg Russell, senior vice president, Asia, Telstra International


Greg Russell

Senior vice president, Asia
Telstra International

"Businesses need to be aware that cloud computing as an outsourcing strategy will not always deliver cost savings because other investments may be needed to enable cloud services."

Q: What will be the biggest tech trend in 2011 that will impact the telco sector?
The telecommunications industry is facing a seismic shift parallel to the changes seen in the printed media and music industries. Going into 2011, telcos will need to identify new frontiers for sustainable growth. Asia is expected to continue to attract attention for investments and expansions given its relatively stronger economic fundamentals compared to U.S. and Europe.

As businesses look to expand into Asia, and Asian businesses look to grow outside of the region, customers are asking the telco industry to help them connect their offices and sites quickly. The challenge is that telcos typically make investment plans over a 10 to 15-year horizon, so they are finding they can't turn on a dime. However, the opportunity here is for telcos to collaborate and capitalize on each other's network assets.

With that in mind, the emergence of innovative business models, such as the Whole of Business Contracting, will start to make more sense in the telco community. This approach advocates telcos to forge innovative partnerships that capitalize on one another's assets and core competencies for growth instead of an approach based on doing-it-alone and price undercutting. Ultimately, customers will enjoy the benefits of working with a single service provider who can consolidate their IT and deliver seamless end-to-end connectivity.

What is the biggest misconception of cloud computing?
There is a misnomer that cloud is a panacea and an innovative game-changer for all businesses. While there are benefits to adopting cloud services, the technology is in its infancy. Businesses need to consider taking a more evolutionary, calibrated approach towards the adoption of cloud services. Cloud services should be viewed as another ICT deployment methodology that sits on a continuum aligned with the typical stages of business adoption and acceptance. In some cases, it may make sense for businesses to adopt a hybrid model consisting of managed services and virtualization together with cloud services.

Businesses also need to be aware that cloud computing as an outsourcing strategy will not always deliver cost savings because other investments may be needed to enable cloud services. It is therefore critical to identify the total benefit businesses are seeking to achieve, using metrics such as utilization and cost-as-a-percentage-of-total-revenue.

Finally, there are other considerations about the cloud which are yet to be addressed. These include security, standards and protocols, data privacy, performance and the stability of players delivering cloud services. Telstra enables its customers to take advantage of the latest cloud technologies by implementing world-class security features including network-based firewalls and remote access security under one integrated service.

What will be the biggest challenge for CIOs in 2011?
In November 2010, Telstra released the results of The State of the Asian CXO Survey to access their priorities for 2011. Out of 301 CXOs across Asia, more than 50 percent of respondents said that their biggest challenge will be to implement IT that allows for rapid adaptation within constantly changing business requirements. The pressure to manage costs while delivering IT initiatives to support business objectives and capitalize on new growth opportunities will also be expected to prevail through 2011.

For CXOs, this means that they will increasingly need to apply IT demand management strategies for better control and prioritization of work. Some of these strategies include charge backs or cost allocation approaches, or even service catalogs with project based portfolio management. These findings point to a strong future for managed services, outsourcers and cloud computing service providers. But it also means that businesses will need to review and adapt their ICT infrastructure to be more network-centric and centralized, which would allow them to engage managed services partners for non-core activities, and eventually to switch over to cloud-enabled IT services.

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