Cloud computing, mobile applications,smart phones and tablets will all play an important role in driving Thailand’s information and communications technology industry in 2011. But executives of the industry emphasize the growing challenges of security in the new age of mobility and devices of all kinds, when asked to share their visions for the year ahead.
The managing director and general manager of HP Enterprise Business for Hewlett-Packard (Thailand), Beng Teck Liang, said the adoption of mobile and cloud computing was making everything “connected and immediate”. Customers and people generally expected responses in seconds,if not instantly, instead of weeks and days.Recent research conducted on behalf of HP reveals that the role of IT in Asia Pacific is shifting from chiefly being the administrator of an enterprise to becoming one and the same with the enterprise.
Eighty per cent of senior business and government executives believe that to better serve customers and citizens they must rapidly adapt their enterprises to meet changes in consumer expectations. Seventy-three per cent believe that technology is the key to business and government innovation;76 per cent indicate that in order to be successful, technology needs to be embedded in the business or government service. Beng said there were new technologies that would support consumer expectations of businesses and government, including Instant-On Enterprise, Application Transformation and Converged Infrastructure. Others include enterprise security and information optimization.
In many enterprises, rigid infrastructure along with both physical and virtual sprawl has inhibited enterprise agility, he said. Instant-On Enterprise delivers differentiated competitive advantage, serving customers, employees, partners and citizens with whatever they want and need, instantly.He said Hewlett-Packard believed in transforming applications and processes that were designed for another era. Application Transformation helps enterprises to gain control over aging applications and inflexible processes that challenge innovation and agility by governing their responsiveness and pace of change. Beng said organizations and governments were embracing new and increasingly open ways of connecting with customers and citizens, through mobile applications, social networking and cloud services, and security was becoming a greater challenge. Enterprise security is necessary to protect assets without constricting the flow of information between enterprises or governments and their customers or citizens.
A recent independent report found that consumerisation is the new technology trend that brings most concern to security executives, Beng said. Nearly half (46 per cent) of respondent enterprises cited concerns about smart phones, and 38 per cent were concerned about Web 2.0 technologies. Beng said Information Optimization was aimed at helping businesses and government agencies facing challenges associated with rapidly expanding data. Growing legal and compliance requirements are being placed on IT, while budgets to manage that are often flat or declining, he said. At the same time, business and government leaders are also demanding timely delivery of better information to aid real-time decision making. According to new HP research, only 18 per cent of senior business and technology executives in Asia Pacific believe that IT provides them with the information they need all of the time. This problem will only get worse, Beng said. In 2005, mankind created 150 exabytes of digital data. In 2010, it was expected to create eight times more than that.
Eight-eight per cent of senior technology and business executives believe that storage assets will grow by at least 20 per cent over the next two years. More than half of the 88 per cent believe that storage assets will grow by more than 30 percent. Reactive legal discovery costs about US$1.8 million (Bt54.1 million) per terabyte of data, Beng said. Meanwhile, computer security firm Symantec’s country manager in Thailand, Pramut Sriwichian, predicted that mobile devices would become a leading source of confidential- data loss in 2011. The use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to meet both business and personal connectivity needs is growing at an unprecedented pace, he said. Market analysis firm IDC estimates that by the end of last year new mobile-device shipments increased by 55 percent and another analyst, Gartner, believes that be the end of 2010, 1.2 billion people were using mobile phones capable of rich Web connectivity. Since the proliferation of these gadgets shows no sign of slowing in the coming year, enterprises will gravitate to new security models to safeguard the sensitive data that will be on and accessible through these devices,
Pramut said. At the same time, employees are becoming increasingly mobile and are “working-on-the-go”, so enterprises will have to address the associated challenges by adopting new models, such as security in the cloud, for suitable solutions that will work seamlessly across multiple platforms and devices. IT managers can be expected to be forced by business necessity to implement more granular and refined web security policies, as well, Pramut said. Increasingly, the same mobile devices are being used for personal and business use. This creates complex security and management challenges for three key groups: IT organizations, consumers and communication-service providers.
For IT organizations, consumers are driving the innovation of mobile devices and bringing them into their enterprises: evidence of the ongoing consumerisation of IT. This is especially true as organisations cut costs and require employees to use their personal devices for business.
However, many enterprises lack an all-embracing solution covering numerous mobile operating systems that can keep enterprise data and application access safe while allowing the use of personal devices. For consumers, their “IT-isation” means they have more technology in their homes for everyday use, but no dedicated IT staff to manage all those devices. Pramut said communication service providers would see decreasing subscriber satisfaction, resulting in customer turnover and increased costs associated with out-of-control mobile bandwidth increases, network misuse,malware proliferation and spam.He said carriers needed a single solution to manage customer preferences and security across all types of services, including voice, e-mail, SMS, MMS, Web, IM and P2P.
Such solutions should be installed while devices continued to become more sophisticated and while just a handful of mobile platforms cornered the market. Pramut said that according to companiesandmarkets.com, Thailand’s IT market was projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12 per cent over the years from 2010 to 2014. Thailand’s domestic spending on IT products and services was expected to exceed US$5.4 billion last year, and is expected to reach US$8.7billion by 2014.According to Gartner, security will remain one of the fastest-growing areas within the enterprise-software market for the next few years. This positive upward direction, the Thai government’s investment in infrastructure projects and stimulus programs and continued investment from the private sector, lays a solid
foundation for growth in new areas for Thailand. As well, the recent announcement of a data privacy bill and new regulations in Thailand provide the stimulus for government and enterprises to be compliant and continue investing in IT security and infrastructure software,the global analysis firm said. NetApp (Thailand)’s country manager Weera Areeratanasak pointed to dramatic growth this year in data management technology. He said there were forecasts of growth in data exceeding 30 per cent, and business would need to make an effort to put this huge volume of data to more intelligent use. This will drive the need for data-management products and solutions that are more efficient and flexible in their response to individual needs.