The 3rd Platform and the future of emerging Asean
By Jim Sailor June 24, 2014
- A combination of smart devices, social, cloud and big data analytics
- In next 5yrs, most IT investment growth will involve such technologies
ASEAN countries, businesses, and consumers are increasingly embracing the future of technology and hoping to ride the wave of innovation toward wealth and prosperity.
In recent years, these emerging markets have experienced rapid technological development and have started the migration from traditional ICT ecosystems to the next phase of the ICT revolution – the ‘third platform.’
How this transformation is managed over the next few years will greatly impact Asean’s people and economies.
The 3rd platform is the engine of growth
The Third Platform is characterised by a proliferation of always-connected smart mobile devices, coupled with the widespread usage of social networking, and layered over a cloud-based server infrastructure supporting important new workloads such as big data analytics.
This phase in technology’s evolution is transforming the world much faster than the first platform (mainframe) or second platform (client/ server/ PCs) ever did.
This has tremendous implications for the IT industry in Asean as the markets are at various stages of the structural shift toward the Third Platform.
Over the next five years, a majority of the growth in IT investments will involve Third Platform technologies. Architectures, communication processes, and IT contracts will change and organisations' awareness of Third Platform capabilities and potential will increase dramatically.
This change has been ongoing for the past few years and as with any change, there will be challenges as well as opportunities.
How each country in emerging Asean deals with these will shape their competitiveness in 2014 and beyond.
Predicted to cross the US$10-billion mark for IT spending in 2014, there is keen anticipation as to how the Malaysian IT ecosystem will continue to evolve and grow.
Without transformation anchored on the Third Platform, the risk of the nation being ‘flooded’ with less than optimised technology remains high and it is on that same note that efforts to leverage cloud, big data, mobility, and social remains active. To date, the consumption of services on the Third Platform has a rather limited scope that can usually be defined as ad hoc.
IDC believes that the second half of 2014 will not only be a period where organisations better leverage on the Third Platform for growth but also a time when both large enterprises and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) adopt elements of the platform as a means to survive in a new landscape with technology as an anchor.
IDC is of the opinion that opportunities for growth in the local market will be high as the disruptive nature of the Third Platform will reshape the market creating different push and pull factors for adoption.
Indonesia is continuing to chart double-digit growth in the IT market, with a projected 12.5% year-on-year increase, achieving US$16.8 billion by the end of 2014.
The continuous growth is attributed to the continuous transformation of Indonesia into an ‘ICT-based’ nation as consumers continue to spend on IT related hardware such as mobile devices and computers, and businesses expand their horizons by exploring the transformative value of ICT.
Enterprises are expected to explore infusing the major Third Platform technologies as the deluge of technology causes Indonesia to hit an inflection point of IT adoption.
Indonesia's on-going push towards heightened foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country is causing an inadvertent spill-over impact that is pushing local businesses to utilise ICT as a basic necessity of their business. As the economy continues to chart a GDP (gross domestic product) growth of above 5%, the building blocks and fundamentals of ICT are being established.
However, many of these transformative values are applicable mostly to the large enterprises as IDC estimates that the SME segment will continue to flounder as buying behaviour and attitude to ICT will not change dramatically.
While the SME segment will be cornered into the need to adopt ICT services by strategic overseas partners or large conglomerates, IDC anticipates the majority of this segment will remain unchanged as vendor strategies penetrating into this segment continue to be flawed, as particular Indonesian SME nuances and attitudes are not acknowledged.
In 2014, ICT spending growth in the kingdom will grow by 6.2% year-on-year, decelerating from the 9.8% growth registered in 2013.
Current political tensions are adversely affecting ICT spending, with government-related ICT spending – taking up at least 40% of total in the past years – slowing down in several categories.
Government spending has not completely gone away however, with some large ministry-level initiatives still being completed. There are noteworthy projects in cloud computing, business process automation, and network infrastructure.
Other factors contributing to the slowdown: Rising household debt, weakening corporate and consumer sentiment, and the emergence of disruptive technologies that change IT strategies of Thai enterprises.
Fortunately, new drivers have emerged to drive enterprise investments in ICT. These include business continuity initiatives that have led to robust investments in data centres, infrastructure resiliency, and IT security.
The push towards third sites is a strong area of investment among banks, for example. The manufacturing sector continues to invest in resilient IT infrastructure as manufacturing and logistics operations expand in several industrial zones outside of Bangkok.
Furthermore, the emergence of Thailand as a hub for the Asean Economic Community (AEC), particularly for Myanmar and Laos, is also gaining momentum, making the kingdom a focal point for regional ICT investments.
Next Page: Looking at Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar