What do you think will be the top three IT management issues for the Asia Pacific in 2009 and why?
1. IT management, especially those in the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) world, will face increased pressure from CFOs with respect to procurement and modernisation plans that will be delayed due to shrinking budgets.
2. Recruitment will be curtailed and management will need to look at redeployment of current staff and address questions on the value of outsourced services. IT management will be expected to maximise efficiency through infrastructure re-evaluation and process improvements.
3. There will be continued emphasis on the rationalisation of vendors, software licence audits, consolidation of departmental application environments and at the same time the need to deliver better services.
What do you believe will be the top three key technologies to dominate Asia Pacific IT in 2009?
1. Storage-data: this is increasing at alarming rates and the need to capture both structured and unstructured data will increase.
2. Business analytics: moving beyond simple reporting with lagging indicators to solutions across the enterprise that utilise sophisticated analytics to enhance fact-based decision capabilities for competitive advantage.
3. Security: this remains a high priority and the traffic through the Internet and new trends in communication such as Web 2.0 needs will require continuous upgrades and procurement to secure the transactions and increase governance with suppliers and customers.
What do you believe will be the biggest surprises/upsets for Asia's IT industry this year?
1. As corporations become more competitive and the need for analysing, measuring and predicting trends increases, there will be a market shortage of skilled candidates to fill these roles within their organisations.
2. The deferment of 'nice to have' applications and need for modernisation will be put on the back burner until confidence returns to the BFSI and retail sectors in the region. The projects will not necessarily be cancelled, but will come under pricing pressure and board interference on normal procurement cycles.
What specific country trends (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong) do you expect for IT in the coming year? What is SAS' country-by-country perspective?
SAS is extremely positive with regard to the current market conditions, especially that Asia Pacific still has fairly aggressive growth indicators. These are lower than previously indicated. However, the emerging countries are still vibrant and will continue to show growth across key industries such as BFSI, manufacturing and telecom.
SAS is very well-placed to meet the incremental needs for companies to solve their competitive and compliance requirements through a strong suite of industry solutions underpinned by applications that have business analytics at their core. As we see mergers and acquisitions, new entrants, data explosion and pressures on pricing and churn at the customer level increase, our current customers are expanding their software needs to ensure that they have an enterprise view of data and that they can be proactive in their markets.
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