IDC: Economic crisis means pockets of opportunities

12 Jan 2009

IDC believes that the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region still presents great opportunities, despite the economic slump.

While it is expected that most businesses will rethink their growth strategies, there will still be pockets of opportunities as APEJ bounces back.

Even while overall IT spending slows, IDC believes that the negative economic force will actually intensify the focus on emerging markets and emerging technologies, as businesses look to cut costs, improve business models, and reach their customers more effectively. IT companies looking for growth in 2009 will need to accelerate their pace of change and align their offerings with the pockets of opportunity that these new marketplaces provide.

The top 10 trends that IDC believes will shape the ICT industry in 2009:

1. Asia-Pacific IT spending growth will be down but not out

Compared to the US and the rest of the world APEJ is still viewed as the bright spot with IT spending expected to reach $196 billion by year-end. IDC predicts the APEJ IT market growth will slow from the previous forecast of 9.5% to a "Ëœpost-crisis' forecast of 5.8%. While a decline in IT spending is expected with some areas of spending pulled back further than others, there will be pockets of opportunities which will remain as the economic pressures accelerates growth in emerging technologies and in emerging markets.

The PC and peripherals markets are expect to be hit the hardest, with consumer spending declining and businesses stretching existing product shelf-lives, whereas the services market, operating on longer contract cycles, should have a better ongoing revenue streams. Public sector spending will increase to offset weakening economies and essential services such as utilities and telecommunications will witness less change to IT expenditure. While projections for economic growth in virtually all countries have been lowered for 2009 and 2010, many APEJ countries boast GDP growth well above the worldwide average of 1.8% for 2009. IDC therefore expects that many APEJ countries' IT markets will continue to grow at greater rates than expected worldwide.

2. Government spending will drive IT value optimization and infrastructure development

IDC expects to see governments coming up with various packages to stimulate economic activity. While not all measures announced include ICT-related expenditure, the net effect is likely to strongly impact on the ICT industry within the respective economies. IDC expects some key government projects to be brought forward as part of the stimulus exercise, in particular, those that involve greater infrastructure components. While the business community expects governments to be the key driver for expenditure, their responsibilities to citizen constituents remain and they are expected to maintain good governance, striving for both cost and value in their projects moving forward.

3. The Cloud will grow despite and because of the economy

The current economic meltdown coincides with the availability of rapidly maturing cloud-based services that are offered by a wide range of vendors. New mode of acquiring and delivering services promises the valuable benefit of low up-front costs combined with usage-based pricing are now available. These benefits alone will ensure that this new model will be considered as a viable alternative to traditional delivery models. As a result, IDC forecasts that the use of cloud-based services will increase in 2009 despite, and because of, the economic conditions.

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