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The Bigger Picture: Top 10 key ICT trends set to impact regional market…

Why 2015 will be a year of accelerating innovation on the 3rd Platform across New Zealand and the region...

International Data Corporation (IDC) envisions 2015 will be a year of accelerating innovation on the 3rd Platform.

“While the smartphone component of IT spending continues to grow in Asia Pacific,” explains Shyne-Song Chuang, Program Director, Cross-Pillar, Security and Technology Advisory Service Research Group, IDC Asia/Pacific.

“Its relative size is plateauing as enterprises shift gears to focus on efficient workflows on both employee and enterprise-owned devices; web scale cloud systems built by agile development teams to enable new business capabilities and systemic improvements on the journey to becoming a true data driven enterprise.

“Not forgetting personalised digital experiences as well as branded Internet of Things (IoT) that provide an unprecedented customer experience.”

Following the Chuang’s observations, IDC revised IT spending growth in the Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan, (APeJ) region down from 8.7% to 5.8% in 2014 followed by a very modest increase to 6.0% in 2015.

IT spending growth for the rest of the 2014-2018 forecast period however is expected to climb upwards to 6.4% in 2017.

IDC expects the APeJ region to remain a most reliable engine for growth with multinational companies (MNCs) and Asian enterprises alike continuing to relentlessly look to Asia for future opportunities.

As a result, revealed below are top 10 key ICT predictions in 2015 that IDC believes will have the biggest commercial impact on the APeJ ICT market:

1) US$15B of government funding in 2015 will turn ICT plans into battlefields innovators

In 2015, IDC expects government ICT investments to be focused on the consolidation and streamlining of scarce ICT resources; the attainment of better management tools for effective decision making; and cyber-security.

In the next two to three years, IDC expects several regional authorities to utilise new sourcing models for transformational ICT such as 3rd platform technologies (i.e. cloud, Big Data/ analytics, mobility and social); continued Smart City programs; connected smart machines and intelligent sensors (i.e. edge computing); and IoT.

2) 60% of enterprises in 2015 will structure IT into core vs Lines of Business (LoB) IT

In 2015, IDC predicts that 60% of enterprises will structure their IT departments into two functional groups: Core IT and a separate LoB IT function.

For larger organisations, these groups will become physically distinct entities, but for most Asia Pacific enterprises this separation will be logical, as the two kinds of roles will be distinctly different but the reporting structure may not differ.

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3) The software-defined battle lines will get defined in 2015

The hybrid cloud, or federated datacenter is still the current architecture of choice for organisations trying to align their IT infrastructure to the demands of the business.

Looking ahead to 2015 and based on the IDC Asia/Pacific Transformative Infrastructure (TI) Index, between 20-25% of all organisations will already have adopted Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Software-Defined Storage (SDS) or with Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) to deliver on the hybrid cloud architecture (such as automation, show back and service catalog capabilities) across the region.

4) The agile development team will be in high demand in 2015 with growth in DevOps adoptions

IDC's IT Services Survey found that 45% of businesses are undergoing or planning to undergo application modernisation projects.

Their ability to scale up 3rd Platform adoption will require changes to IT operation that bring agility and overcome siloed legacy systems.

This need for speed will bring the first big wave of DevOps adoption in the region and will make agile development the de-facto norm.

5) The digital experience in 2015 will separate market leaders from followers - Agility is the new business hygiene

Organisations are experimenting with “immersive experiences” and virtual brand experiences. These initiatives attempt to drive different conversations, promote digital channels, reduce the cost per transaction, and positively change the brand and perception of the organisation.

Ultimately, the goal is to improve the overall customer experience.

IDC predicts that in 2015, the digital experience will separate market leaders from followers. Agility will become the new business hygiene.

6) 3rd Platform technology mash-ups go on steroids in 2015, driving new business models and fundamental organisational change

The mash-ups of Cloud, Social Business, Big Data Analytics and Mobile will continue to come together at a more intensified rate of adoption in 2015.

IDC predicts that as the list of adopters expands, 2015 will see the greatest disruption yet across all industries.

Organisations will magnify the power of the 3rd Platform technologies by integrating them.

7) Creating new markets with branded IoT

During the past year, IDC has witnessed an explosion in the consumer wearables market with new fitness bands, smart watches and smart clothing being launched from traditional OEM vendors and a multitude of tech startups and 3rd platform-born players.

IDC believes that in 2015, the market will see a flux of consumer IoT embedded into consumer retail brands/products.

Partnerships between IoT vendors (including ODM/OEM manufacturers) and non-tech consumer goods’ brands will emerge rapidly to create a sizable market opportunity for the IT industry.

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8) Personalised businesses will thrive on disruptive platforms in 2015

In 2015, IDC predicts that there will be an influx of cloud-based, business-led innovation platforms to support the growing need for personal digital services and businesses across multiple sectors and industries.

These personal services deliver a new level of customer experience that has become the new norm. Many of these will leverage cloud-based, business-led innovation platforms to support this growing need.

9) Data whisperers will emerge in 2015 driving the shift to a data-driven enterprise

While technology is a critical component of business success, becoming a data-driven organisation is about more than just investing in the right technologies.

This transformation needs to be complemented with a cultural shift toward analytically oriented decisions and processes.

IDC predicts that in the next three years, those who fail to adopt a data-driven strategy will no longer be able to effectively meet consumer demands.

10) Service providers will compete aggressively in 2015 for world dominance with the support of Big Data and analytics

Big Data and analytics will be a major weapon for service providers in 2015. Those that are able to attract consumer transactions and assets will have a much deeper arsenal to work with.

The service provider industry is transforming and the self-defining entities within it will emerge from a wide variety of heritage.

The American mega-providers will continue to lead in the near term, but other and more organisations will challenge that position.

IDC predicts that the battle for global dominance of the consumer will be defined in the coming year.