Businesses in the Asia Pacific region are expected to increase spending in ICT services in 2011, fueled by a healthy economic outlook. However, as firms face heavy competition, many will be forced to rethink their ICT strategies and focus on efficiency and productivity. Chief among enterprise concerns in the region for the coming year will include analytics, mobility and cloud computing.

IDC (news, site) Asia/Pacific has made 10 predictions for the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan), pointing out that businesses need to establish unique selling points to be competitive. IDC Asia/Pacific principal for emerging technology research, Claus Mortsensen, says organizations will need to focus on business intelligence, virtualization, a move to cloud computing and a customer-centric approach, among others.

1. Social Analytics

IDC says organizations will start to incorporate social media and collaboration with their business analytics. These will be embedded in unified communications, collaboration and social applications, and will aid in determining trends that the business will need to focus on.

2. Mobility

This coming year, more and more businesses are bringing their operations on-the-go. Mobility will be a key component of enterprise services and applications, as mobile devices become part of mainstream business tools.

3. Customer Centricity

Businesses will start simplifying their approach to developing products and services, which will translate to reduced expenditures in customer service. This "less for less" approach will have users undertaking a self-service approach under an easy-to-use customer care environment.

4. Business Intelligence

CIOs will focus more on business analytics and how these can help make decisions and predict trends based on market data.

5. Client Virtualization

Security remains a top concern among Asia Pacific enterprises. While many see a shift to mobile devices and cloud computing imminent, there is a need to ensure that data will remain secure. Client virtualization can help give this assurance, and reduce the risk of data theft or loss through mobile devices. Moreover, client virtualization will enable access from more portable devices like tablets and mobile phones.

6. Private Cloud Computing

Given the concerns expressed regarding the security and reliability of public cloud networks, Asia Pacific businesses will see an increased adoption of private cloud initiatives. This will enable scalable approaches to application use, as well as enhanced mobility, without the risk of private data being exposed to the public.

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7. Catalog-based IT

With the economic recovery, more businesses are expected to increase utilization of ICT resources, and will require faster provisioning of resources. With this in mind, IDC says service providers should be able to allocate resources dynamically and give instantaneous support for ad-hoc requirements.

8. Business-as-a-Service

There will be a steady growth of business process outsourcing particularly in Asia-Pacific companies from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. Organizations will be increasingly offering their services in the form of business processes rather than technology replacements.

9. Telecom Providers' Advantage

Telecommunications providers have an advantage in provisioning for on-premise private cloud solutions, as these own the network facilities. IDC points out that while most businesses will prefer private cloud solutions, a good number will opt for a hybrid approach, with both private and public cloud computing activities, and this is where telecom firms will shine.

10. Cloud Computing for Operations

Network equipment providers will provide their offerings as cloud services rather than on-premise products. This means that business rivals, particularly in the telco market, might have to share their technologies and data in the same physical space. 2011 sees telcos turning to the cloud for their operations. Such shared services will pave the way for virtually-separated cloud architectures.

IDC Asia/Pacific sees these trends continuing in the medium-term, starting 2011 and possibly extending through the next three to five years. Given the dominance of cloud-based approaches to doing businesses, organizations will see benefits like cost-saving, efficiency, mobility and scalability. IDC likewise predicts a year of solid growth, with China, Vietnam, India and the Philippines taking the greatest rise in IT spending.