Against the increasing likelihood of further constraints affecting Asia from the global economy, Computerworld Malaysia presents in random order some of the Malaysian industry practitioners and vendors' views on 2013, and recommendations and expectations about the country's various ICT sectors in the year ahead.
This second part, which follows on from part one, features spokespersons from PIKOM (The National ICT Industry Association of Malaysia), HP, APC by Schneider Electric, Fortinet, Microsoft, NetApp, NorthgateArinso, Dell, SAS, Sophos, Sourcefire, Symantec, VMware, Avaya, Cisco, SAP, and Rakuten Online Shopping.
An edited version of this 'virtual roundtable', together with images of all spokespersons has been published in the January/February 2013 print edition of Computerworld Malaysia, available to the magazine's subscribers only.
Photo - Woon Tai Hai, Chairman of PIKOM
The launches by various vendors put a positive spin on an otherwise challenging year especially for the ICT retail sector. With the new Samsung Galaxy Note II, Microsoft Windows 8 and Apple iPhone 5 saw renewed impetus and optimism for the year. The global economic uncertainty heralded the year with challenges in Eurozone and the USA. China was also not spared where its huge appetite for raw materials saw a slowdown. This caused shivers in the rest of the world as corporations and individuals tightened their spending belts. However, towards the end of 2012 there is a glimmer of hope as things are not as bleak as once thought.
Our projection for the year still holds. We estimate 9-10 percent growth in 2012 and based on early indications, the industry should hit its target. I am confident we reach the RM55 billion (US$18.08 billion) revenue mark.
Big data and Cloud computing have been preached extensively throughout the year by technology gurus, that this is the way for enterprises to follow if they want cost savings, ease of scaling and to understand their customers' needs more intimately for effective targeting. However, despite the clear benefits that can be realised and the availability of the increasing broadband capability to make it possible, adoption of cloud is marred by one of the biggest concerns i.e. security. Many corporations today are still not putting their sensitive data on clouds unless it is a private cloud. There is still a long way to go before large enterprises will adopt cloud in entirety. Big Data on the other hand is different as more organisations will invest in data extraction, analysis and reporting infrastructure. Main challenge will still be in deciphering unstructured data easily. I expect both cloud and analytics to gain further foothold especially with private cloud addressing some of the security concerns.
While the global news has very much been on the macro economic perspective, close to home there were headlines of our own. In 2012 alone saw three laws that will have a direct impact on the ICT industry; Section 114A of the Evidence Act, Personal Data Protection Act and the Board of Computing Professionals Bill. While each had its role, these new regulations brought ICT to the forefront.
Each of them are in their own phase of consultation, adoption and implementation and PIKOM has taken the lead role in raising the industry's view to the government. I am well pleased that the government has taken heed of our views and engaged PIKOM on a regular basis in 2012. I would like to see more such interactions in 2013.
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