The Asia Pacific region is considered to be a ripe market for IT investments, particularly bolstered by the booming BPO industries in countries like China, India and the Philippines. Because of these trends, the market for cloud services and mobility is expected to expand dramatically in 2011.

According to the IDC (news, site) Asia-Pacific Web Application Survey 2010, businesses in the region are increasingly becoming dependent on online services for running their day-to-day operations. Because of this, firms and their IT departments face certain challenges, particularly with regard to efficiency and effectiveness of the applications that they use.

Inadequate Infrastructure Leads to Poor Productivity

The Akamai (news, site) sponsored survey (PDF link) indicates that application delivery via the cloud will rise by 40% through 2011, with IT managers being expected to improve the performance of their firms’ network infrastructure. Poor infrastructure can be a roadblock, as among the 423 organizations surveyed, 26% met with productivity hits because of poor Web application access with their current setups.

Akamai president David Kenny notes that Asia Pacific organizations are using web services as an ecosystem where their employees, partners and clients can communicate and coordinate. “[B]usinesses are rapidly migrating more applications to the Web, and we can expect dramatic growth in application adoption over the coming year,” he said, adding that businesses will need to leverage cloud-based solutions to ensure performance and scalability.

Mobile and Online Transactions on the Rise

Growth in the region will also be fuelled by an increased utilization of mobile devices -- being used for applications and streaming multimedia content. In the region, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia lead the rest in terms of mobile utilization. In Malaysia, 86% of the organizations surveyed plan to implement mobile access to applications within its ranks starting in 2011. Likewise, a fifth of the organizations surveyed in APAC plan to use video streaming applications, which are usually bandwidth-heavy.

Learning Opportunities

Mobility entails providing employee access to business applications, while on the move and regardless of geographic location. This will involve devices like smartphones and tablets, which IDC predicts to grow to 100% utilization within the more mature markets like Japan, Singapore and Australia. Emerging markets will reach this level as well, but in two or three more years.

Security is a Top Concern

While mobile access to applications will provide ease of use and accessibility to enterprises, security remains a top concern, particularly among the companies surveyed. 15% of survey respondents are worried about their sensitive data being leaked through mobile applications. Meanwhile, other issues that mobility and cloud use will face include inefficiencies in sharing files, inability to access rich content like streaming video and application development delays.

All this leads to one thing that businesses and service providers in the Asia Pacific region need to consider. With the potential for growth of mobile applications, cloud computing services and multimedia streaming, there is need to improve the network infrastructure in the region. The recent Asia Pacific Cooperation Summit highlighted the need to agree on a unified target for Internet service standards in the region, which particularly pointed out the need for an improved broadband infrastructure. Only this can make a growth in mobility and cloud computing a sustainable one in the long run.