Photo - Adrian De Luca, Chief Technology Officer, Hitachi Data Systems Asia Pacific
Five key IT trends emerging in this region that will impact the use of technology among organisations are:
1. Big data analytics move beyond the proof-of-concept phase
2. The cloud-broker model will gain traction in the Asia Pacific region.
3. Concerns over data security will reach a tipping point.
4. The Asia Pacific region will witness an explosion of unstructured data from mobile communications.
5. Competition between different countries and regions to become the digital hub of Asia will enter a critical stage in 2014.
Big data, cloud, and data encryption are some of the hottest global IT trends. As a region, Asia Pacific has its own unique economic and infrastructure conditions. We believe these wider technology trends will combine with local business drivers to shape the IT and storage landscape in this region in 2014.
1. Big data analytics will go beyond proof of concept:
Enterprises will have to find ways to uncover value from within their existing data stores and deploy scalable infrastructures to extract meaningful outcomes from big data projects.
In the recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Asia Pacific Big Data Survey, sponsored by HDS, more than 70 percent of organisations in the region believe big data adoption will improve their profitability, productivity, and innovation. However, many organisations find that their existing information systems hinder the effective gathering of data for analysis as the information is stored and managed in separate business systems, information silos, formats, and media. The big data challenge comes in two forms: technology and organisation. In 2014, companies will try to address both.
2. The cloud-broker model will gain traction:
Organisations will transform their IT departments from technology implementers to business innovators. Enterprises with high-demand IT infrastructure and application services will start exploring the cloud-broker model, preferring to work with providers who act as vendor-neutral third-party cloud services brokerages.
When it comes time to refresh technology, the focus will be on applications and business outcomes rather than the infrastructure itself. Enterprises will start turning to their system integrators, internal IT organisations, or third-party service providers to play the role of cloud-service broker.
3. Concerns over data security will reach a tipping point:
Across Asia Pacific, new legislation is being introduced to protect personal data. Organisations will have to re-examine their security policies and look to solutions such as enterprise file sync and share, data encryption, and auditability to address these issues.
Organisations will increase their emphasis on mobile and edge security, and will implement stricter security and data management practices. They will have to use modern technologies to manage and automate these processes; otherwise the cost of compliance could be very high.
4. Unstructured data from mobile communications will see explosive growth:
Telecom operators in Asia Pacific will need to deploy sophisticated data management solutions to address needs for both content delivery and data analysis. Those that do will gain a competitive advantage in the long term.
The rollout of 4G and the affordability of smartphones have tremendous implications for the growth of mobile data in the region. To manage the growing volume of digital content services to consumers, telecom operators will need to develop a scalable, high-performance and reliable IT infrastructure architecture that incorporates flash-based storage and intelligent content delivery networks to meet these high-bandwidth requirements.
5. Competition to become the digital hub of Asia will enter a critical stage:
The data centre industry will continue to grow as countries in the region compete to become the digital hub of Asia. Service providers will invest in state-of-the-art facilities and advanced infrastructure to differentiate their services.
Slow Big Data adoption
The survey mentioned above, titled The Hype and the Hope: The Road to Big Data Adoption in Asia Pacific, was conducted with more 500 business executives in Asia Pacific. Results show that Asia Pacific firms have had limited success so far in implementing big data practices. While a third say they are well advanced, more than half say they have made only limited progress. Some 80 percent of front-line employees said that they believe improved access to data is critical, with only 19 percent able to access the data they need.