High Expectations

APEJ region still presents great opportunities in 2009 – IDC
by: Jerry Liao

Whether 2009 will indeed be a year full of challenges due to the current economic problem is still a big question awaiting for a big answer. Business will continue to evolve regardless of any conditions. Also, challenges and opportunities may vary depending upon the region and policies.

Research firm IDC believes that in 2009 the Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region still presents great opportunities as both emerging economies and emerging technologies continue to chart advancements. While it is expected that most businesses will rethink their growth strategies, there will still be pockets of opportunities as APEJ bounces back.

IDC believes that the negative economic force will actually intensify the focus on emerging markets and emerging technologies, as businesses look to cut costs, improve business models, and reach their customers more effectively. IT companies looking for growth in 2009 will need to accelerate their pace of change and align their offerings with the pockets of opportunity that these new marketplaces provide.

Here are IDCs predictions for the ICT markets in APEJ for 2009:

1. Asia/Pacific IT Spending Growth Will Be Down But Not Out In 2009
Compared to the US and the rest of the world APEJ is still viewed as the bright spot with IT spending expected to reach US$196 billion by year-end 2009. IDC predicts that in 2009, the APEJ IT market growth will slow from the previous forecast of 9.5% to a ‘post-crisis’ forecast of 5.8%. While a decline in IT spending is expected with some areas of spending pulled back further than others, there will be pockets of opportunities which will remain as the economic pressures accelerates growth in emerging technologies and in emerging markets.

2. Government Spending Will Drive It Value Optimization And Infrastructure Development
Traditionally, governments are expected to boost spending in order to stimulate demand during economic downturns. In this current financial crisis, IDC expects to see governments coming up with various stimulus packages.

3. The Cloud Will Grow Despite, And Because, Of The Economy
IDC forecasts that the use of cloud-based services will increase in 2009 despite, and because of, the economic conditions. IDC also predicts rationalization and consolidation among the cloud vendors, with struggling vendors having strong vertical offerings being acquired by larger, more diversified players.

4. Economic Pressures To Keep Customers Will Accelerate The Emergence Of Next-Generation Customer Care
IDC predicts a further acceleration of the use of web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise segment in 2009 as businesses look for not just more, but also efficient, ways to connect with customers. Next Generation Customer Contact tools will provide smart organizations with the ability to access the new spending generation that has grown up in the Internet age.

5. Major Players Will Look To Asia/Pacific For Acquisition As The Enterprise Search Market Accelerates
IDC predicts that a slowing economy, and the increasing strategic importance of search, will drive further consolidation among enterprise search vendors in 2009, opening the way for Internet search companies such as Google and Yahoo! to enter the market traditionally dominated by companies such as Autonomy, Microsoft and IBM.

6. Green Will Become Sustainable In Line With Greater Cost Reduction
IDC believes that, with increased cost pressures, the adoption of sustainable IT technologies in 2009 will expand from a focus on the tactical reduction of energy consumption in the datacenter and the distributed environment to a broader leverage of Green IT to achieve business process optimization.

7. Market Slowdown Will Force Many Telecoms Operators To Rethink Strategies
IDC predicts that telecom incumbents with healthy balance sheets will continue to focus capex on enhancing core and backhaul networks, while consumer or enterprise tier operators will delay new and large capex projects to focus on faster ROI investments.

8. Enterprises Will Revisit Managed Datacenter Model To Help Drive Down Costs
Beside saving costs, engaging a managed datacenter service providers gives organizations access to many of the cutting-edge datacenter technologies, such as new forms of server and storage architecture, virtualization, WAN optimization, cloud computing, disaster recovery and others.

9. Thin Clients Will Ride The Wave Of Cost Cutting And Desktop Virtualization
IDC is optimistic and predicts that thin-client deployments on the back of desktop virtualization will gain traction in 2009, and further accelerate into 2010, as PC replacement cycles peak across the region. Full year 2009 thin-client shipments are expected to grow within the 12–15% range over 2008, to about 765,000 units.

10. The Economy And Mini-Notebooks Will Challenge The Way Computers Are Used And Sold In Asia/Pacific
IDC expects mini notebooks to increase from around 5% of total notebooks shipped in the APEJ region in 2008 to more than 10% in 2009. With vendors already looking at ways to overcome the challenges associated with this product category, IDC believes that mini notebooks will change the way traditional notebooks are used and sold.

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