The Asia Pacific region is seeing a rise in its IT expenditure in the upcoming year. While CIOs and IT departments are receiving an average of 10% to 15% budget increase, the growth expectations far exceed these resources. Therefore, there is a need to maximize these IT resources in order to support forecasted business growth without much complexity. To this end, analysts foresee the need for so-called “socialytics” and “mobilution,” given the evolving face of Internet use in the region.

Speaking at the Infocomm Industry Forum in Singapore, Sandra Ng, vice president at IDC Asia Pacific (news, site) says businesses will need to consider what she calls socialytics and mobilution so that IT resources can be used efficiently. Companies will need to focus their efforts on using analytics for social applications, such as unified communications (UC), collaborative tools, social media and business intelligence. Meanwhile, there is need to consider how mobile devices and applications are increasingly being used in the enterprise setting.

The Mobile Evolution

The same IDC analysis points to the increasing use of mobile devices for accessing data and collaborating, particularly in this region where access through mobile devices far exceeds traditional Internet access through computers. However, more sophisticated devices were cited, such as smartphones and tablets, like the Apple iPad, which are fast replacing computers as primary means of connecting to the Internet. The shift from web-based access to application-based access was also stressed, with particular focus on how Internet traffic in the region from applications like VoIP, online games and streaming movies, has seen a rapid increase.

By 2015, upwards of 550 million people in the Asia-Pacific region alone will be using mobile devices to get online, which means ubiquitous or everywhere access. This will require a shift in workflow management, given the need for professionals to interact with each other in a mobile setting.

Speakers at the forum said that the Generation Y demographic -- professionals in their late twenties to early thirties -- is now on the rise, with many entering into middle-management positions. This new generation will likely bring in changes in the work processes, which tend to lean toward flexibility and more customer-oriented policies.

Learning Opportunities

Changes in Paradigm

Meanwhile, recent trends will suggest a growing maturity in the way businesses use social mediums. Whereas most businesses previously focused on creating product and service awareness, there is a shift toward conversation and decision support as main reasons why businesses get into social media.

This kind of social analytics will be helpful in determining how IT and marketing departments can best collaborate in terms of maximizing their social media exposure. For instance, the old way of pushing brands through blogs and social networks might come as appealing to a newcomer to social media. However, more experienced practitioners will point toward actively engaging one's audience as a more productive way of utilizing the same resources.

The nuances in the Asia-Pacific market are brought about by both cultural and technological complexities. For instance, corporate culture might have an Asian company shy away from negative discussions about their products, instead of active engagement. On another note, prevalence of high-speed mobile Internet access enables users in the region to access richer content and media while on the move.

For a business, the key will be finding one's competitive advantage by using social analytics in determining the best means of using social and mobile tools for productivity and profit.