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Which areas will spur IT spending in 2015?

The top focus for IT services spending in the coming 12 months will be spread across five key areas...

The top focus for IT services spending in the coming 12 months will be spread across five key areas, including IT infrastructure resources consolidation, security enhancement, IT-enabled business innovation, social applications and Big data & Analytics.

“As we look ahead to 2015, the industry is entering the most critical period of disruptive transformation - what IDC calls the “innovation stage” of the 3rd Platform era,” says Cathy Huang, Research Manager, Services and Cloud Research Group, IDC Asia/Pacific.

“IT services (inclusive of Cloud services) will be the most important catalyst and enabler, to facilitate this trend.”

As a result, Huang speculates that the opportunities will not only be found in the professional services market, which IDC expects to double in the next three years, but also in the managed services and outsourcing markets.

The 2014 IDC IT Services Survey also asked respondents the primary services types they engage for each critical investment focus area.

Among the top three areas, the results showed a high level of acceptance towards consulting type of services leading the analyst firm to predict the “broad adoption of 3rd platform technology” will double the current enterprise investment on professional services in the next three years.

On the managed/outsourcing services model, more than 39% of respondents chose this option as the primary service types they will engage in 2015.

The business innovation theme is highest at 54%, which means more than half of the respondents chose the outsourcing/managed services model when it comes to meeting business innovation needs.

“This finding is in line with the current transformation happening in the offshore and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market,” Huang adds.

“Customers who are currently outsourcing their business processes are moving away from pure cost reduction metrics to more business insights-driven metrics which can help them innovate.”

Consequently, IDC believes customers will select partners who can help provide business data/insight and consulting services to help them enhance their competitive positioning.

“Moreover, the BPO service delivery is moving toward a platform-based model, and customers expect a high level of automation,” Huang adds.

“The promise of Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) is to provide the next quantum of reducing costs, speed of service delivery, better financial management, and the ability to integrate more easily with other business processes. "

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Better security when IT resources are consolidated in data centre

On a five point scale, the majority of respondents (i.e. 63.7% of respondents) chose "agree" and "extremely agree" for the statement:

“When I consolidate my IT resources in the data centre, it allows me to have better security controls and management.”

The average mean score for this statement across APEJ region, 4.04, is the highest score among other assumptions tested in the survey.

“We have seen a growing number of organisations across the region leveraging their consolidated datacenter as part of their security strategy,” Huang adds.

“Data centres across the region are undergoing a major revamp and security is a priority for the updates."

Huang believes consolidating resources in data centres will benefit network security vendors, and other facets of security players, such as mobile security and content security.

Security and the Cloud

The IDC IT services survey also revealed that the primary services types for security enhancement are consulting/system integration and managed/outsourcing services, in order of priority.

"Security is a critical topic for CXOs, and the traditional product-oriented sale is no longer sufficient,” Huang adds.

“Customers need to ensure the maximum value and protection they can gain from the security technology investment, and as such, the engagement has become more consultative in nature.”

Other than the top two identified services types, 37.1% of respondents chose "use of cloud to deliver" as well.

That, combined with the option of managed/outsourcing services (which includes all the cloud-based managed/outsourcing services), is in sync with one of IDC IT services predictions for 2015: 60% services for security will be dependent on cloud-enabled tools and service delivery.