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IDG Connect, (UK) - The Global IT Series, Part 2: Asia

Perhaps the words ‘Asian IT' make you think of Slumdog Millionaire style Indian call centres? Possibly they make you think of gadget-wielding Japanese teenagers? Or maybe they bring to mind the Chinese government clampdown on big international vendors? Whatever springs to your mind the truth is ‘Asian IT' is as diverse as the continent itself...

The internet, along with mobile connectivity is the conduit for IT developments. This forms the backbone of modern communication, and like everywhere else in the world, the speed and quality of the web has a huge impact on the state of IT. Today, Asia leads the way for broadband with 212.6 million users expected by the end of December. China has a larger number of netcitizens than the entire population of the US. And recent research shows that 48 of the top 100 fastest connected cities around the world are in Japan, with a total of 60 located in Asia. Mobile phone statistics also show that Japan stands at the forefront of 3G, with over 95% penetration and 85% of users accessing the internet through their mobile phones.

Asia however, really reveals its personality in its attitude to social media. This, like many popular IT trends, presents a microcosm of social and cultural differences worldwide. Asians love creating and sharing content. They can't get enough of it: over 50% of Koreans have a blog (or create other social content); the same is true of 40% of Chinese and 35% of Japanese - compared to barely 20% of North Americans. In fact, own research proves that Indians are incredibly engaged with blogs, and unlike any other country we've profiled, use them to help inform their investment decisions in the very early phases of the IT buying process.

Variation and diversity are characterised by a spirit of adaptation. This is extremely clear in China, where numerous government restrictions make the use of familiar IT systems like Facebook and Twitter an impossibility. As a consequence local modifications have rapidly sprung up, which address the unique needs of the market. IT is fast changing and ever evolving. Trends emerge quickly and swiftly transform the market. At present, off the shelf cloud solution, Salesforce.com has the highest growth in Asia Pacific. Yet cloud computing services have been slower to market than in other parts of the world. No doubt this situation will change as Asia progresses through the second decade of the twenty-first century...

One thing is clear. This is a large disparate continent. From Kazakhstan to Mongolia; from Pakistan to Cambodia, countries across Asia face a unique set of challenges. There are numerous possibilities in China, Japan and India; endless variations in Iran, Thailand and Singapore. Imagine the scope of Asian IT in 2011.

IDG Connect's series on Asia is set to continue throughout the Summer:

  • 22nd June - Optimisation and efficiency in Singapore, Steve Nunez, Singapore
  • 13th July - ERP implementation, Rajneesh Srivastava, India
  • 12th August - Challenges in wireless Security India, Gopi Kn, India

Based in Asia? What do you think the biggest challenges for your unique region will be over the next 18 months? Please comment below - or if you would like to submit a blog post simply email the editor.

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