Market Analysis

Kamran Ozair (India) - Technology Predictions for Asia in 2011

As we head into 2011 there are many technologies that are changing the way we interact, entertain and do commerce in Asia. First and foremost is the area of mobile where the market has been exploding and will continue to do so in 2011. Mobile handsets in general and smartphones are leading the charge with smartphones sales in India growing 70%Year-on-Year (YoY) in Q3 2010. This will continue to lead high usage of mobile web and SMS technologies for content access as well as mCommerce in Asia.

However, penetration of 3G technologies in Asia has been unevenly distributed. According to a recent Morgan Stanley report; Japan (109 MM) and South Korea ( 38MM) are the leaders in terms of 3G subscriptions. All other countries have fewer than 20MM 3G subscribers. But the growth rate has been phenomenal with China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, all recording growth rates ranging between 32% and 90% YoY. As the broadband wireless infrastructure gets built out over the next couple of years, it will lead to mobile video, rich content and location aware applications on smartphones as well as adoption of tablets with ‘always-on' connectivity and wider adoption of netbooks throughout Asia.

Internet usage continues to be strong in Asia with Asian companies like Tencent (China), Baidu (China), Rakuten (Japan), Alibaba.com (China) and NHN (Korea) being amongst the Top 15 globally traded Internet companies. Given the younger populace in Asia we will see an explosion in social media usage in Asia in 2011 and beyond. In addition to the global presence of Facebook and myspace, local social media sites catering to regional population and their interests will be the main drivers of this trend.

In the Enterprise space, cloud computing will continue to alter the landscape in 2011. With the economic downturn during the past couple of years and the recovery underway in Asia, many enterprises have given a serious look towards the IT efficiencies and ‘pay as you go' model inherent in Cloud computing. This is especially true in the SMB sector which has continued to grow in Asia despite the financial crisis. As per SMB World Asia, roughly 30% of SMBs in Asia have already adopted the cloud computing model and this trend will markedly increase in 2011 with specialized software solutions catering to local needs and being offered via Software-as-a-service model. In addition to SMBs adopting cloud computing, the Government sector in India has been actively looking at the Private cloud model with regional and national level data centers catering to the shared IT needs across state and federal government. Similarly Govt of China has been encouraging local companies to set up server farms in the designated special economic zones and provide cloud computing services for the tremendously growing Chinese market.

Use of open source software has also increased markedly in the Indian Government sector with large projects like UID adopting key open source technologies as part of the solution. The trend is likely to continue in 2011 as comfort with open source technologies and related models continue to mount.

In the consumer space demand for HDTV, advanced/hybrid set top boxes and e-books/e-readers will lead the surge in 2011.With China and India poised to be the fastest growing economies in the world in 2011, Asia will play a tremendous leadership role towards technology adoption and growth in 2011.


Kamran Ozair is Executive Vice President and CTO of MindTree Ltd.


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