A 2009 prediction of IT trends in Malaysia reflected the same sentiments that SMEs are looking to move towards an operational expenditure (OPEX) model and reduce their capital operations (CAPEX) model. This is against the backdrop of prediction that IT spend in Malaysia is expected to increase by 1% despite the current economic downturn. This prediction is a result of an expected demand by businesses to use IT innovation to improve the business by outsourcing several operations to achieve reduce operating cost.
SMB worldwide spend on remote managed services grew about 9.2 percent in 2009 to reach about US$3.6 Billion and SMBs from Asia Pacific excluding Japan is expected to grow by 12.2 percent, leading as US is only expected to grow 8.5 percent, followed by EMEA at 6.5%.
Outsourced services like cloud computing is also expected to see demand from SMEs as such services do require in-house team to manage and deploy the solution. This is especially true with SMEs interested to use IT to improve business efficiencies and profitability but not own it as they are constantly constrained by budget. 5o% of CIOs in Asia Pacific highlighted that cost cutting was a primary driver to adopt cloud computing for the organization.
On that note around SaaS or Managed Services there will always be two camps of thought, those that will want to maintain tight control of their data storage, and those businesses that will embrace Cloud opportunities to reduce internal overheads. In the near future few businesses will rely completely on SaaS applications and the same is true today in the case of storage with some elements remaining local, whilst some is outsourced.
Within the data center, smarter hardware and software will reduce power consumption and space requirements and we will see de-duplication move from the secondary systems (backup & archive) to front end storage. This will transition de-duplication capabilities into the file server space and may eventually reach low end applications, rendering the need for additional disk space moot but asking many more questions about de-dupe management between vendors.
With applications and servers being virtualized, we are not only witnessing the promised increase in utilization & flexibility but also a huge leap in complexity terms of managing servers & storage. You can no longer point to a single server and indentify its primary role. As storage becomes more distributed, the ‘find it, and fix it’ mentality has rapidly vanished. Add the demands of compliance and e-discovery, and we are starting to see the application of data management software, as supplied by CommVault, being deployed by those building the Cloud to be offered as part of an overall service. So whilst not used directly by a Cloud user, storage management can be used to help Cloud providers deliver on the demands for fully audited, granular search. Search technology itself will morph with ever smarter systems to find that nugget you really want instead of the 2 million you don’t; search will be massive in the coming years.
Hardware vendors will continue to claim they are software companies, but still try and ensure their platform is as widely adopted as possible, and software vendors will continue to talk of openness and independence. The winners in this market will therefore be those vendors who deal in the data center space but can also fit in with the growing Cloud service oriented market. SMB and midsize markets will continue for a good while yet, but there’s also huge new opportunity to leverage the economies of scale provided by the SaaS/MSP market; mid-sized and smaller organizations will obtain tools and capabilities at a fraction of the cost than acquiring them outright. This all happened years ago in another sector; who has a generator at home these days?