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Mobile innovations, Internet of Things are among leading Asia-Pacific trends next year

Dec 15. 2014
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Mobile - especially m-commerce and m-payments - the cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT) will dominate the IT market next year, says International Data Corp.
IoT, m-commerce and m-payments will accelerate mobile innovations in Asia-Pacific over the course of the next 12 months, according to the market research and analysis company.
IDC expects the Asia-Pacific mobility market to continue experiencing strong growth in 2015 as mobile takes centre stage for business growth in both the consumer and enterprise markets, said Ian Song, research manager for Enterprise Mobility, IDC Asia/Pacific.
The latest research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst its regional and country analysts have identified five trends that IDC believes will impact on the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) mobility market, he said.
First is mobile commerce, which will thrive in APEJ, accounting for more than 50 per cent of traffic across several markets.
With smart-phone adoption exploding across the region and strong signs of tablet growth, the addressable market has grown tremendously, leading to the emerging era of m-commerce. 
Asia’s diversity means individual, emerging markets like India and Indonesia are already experiencing higher proportions of Internet traffic over mobile devices than traditional PC browsers.
IDC’s “New Media Market” model projects m-commerce to grow in the APEJ region from US$16.6 billion (Bt544 billion) last year to nearly $67 billion in 2018.
Second is that Asia will see the rise of numerous mobile-wallet formats, all enabled by the humble QR code. 
IDC believes using the QR code is the simplest solution to closing the loop and driving fulfilment at the point of sale. The QR code will help enable the numerous mobile-wallet categories that are emerging. 
The biggest of these are wallets offered by the likes of WeChat and Alipay in China, and paytm and Freecharge in India. Markets like India with EMV chip- and PIN-based systems are also seeing the rising development of in-app wallet options. 
The third trend is that containers are the new mobile device management as Asia-Pacific companies begin to shift their mobility focuses from device management to application and content management. 
The trend in 2015 in the enterprise mobility space will be the rise of containers and app wrapping for isolating enterprise data on personally owned devices. 
Fourth is that mobile enterprise applications platform (MEAP) solutions will struggle for growth, with customers buying ready-made apps from large vendors and independent software vendors.
Next year, MEAP will continue to struggle in the Asia-Pacific, as customers in the region increase purchase of off-the-shelf mobile business apps from existing vendors. 
MEAP’s struggle in the region is due to a multitude of factors, notably buying versus building apps, and developer and platform preference, according to IDC.
Last but not least, wearables will enter the enterprise. Basic wearables, which include fitness bands and clips that cannot load third-party software, will find a lucrative new market in enterprise customers. 
Employee tracking, integration into corporate wellness programmes, and the creation of new business models that leverage basic wearables – especially fitness bands – to enhance the customer experience, will see significant adoption in 2015, IDC forecasts. 
Integration, middleware trends
Analysis and consultancy firm Ovum, meanwhile, has identified a number of key trends in integration and middleware that will have the biggest impact on businesses next year.
Saurabh Sharma, senior analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, said digital transformation would drive a shift toward agile mobile-application integration, which means digital businesses require approaches that simplify the development of mobile apps suitable for a range of devices and integration with back-end applications and data sources. 
Enterprises will increasingly use mobile backend-as-a-service and integration capabilities provided by MEAP/mobile application development platforms to deliver a compelling mobile user experience and improve developer productivity.
Moreover, integration platform as a service (iPaaS) and application program interface (API) management will move up the agenda for key integration initiatives.
iPaaS will continue to evolve as an integration approach capable of meeting a wide range of integration needs, including on-premise, cloud, B2B (business-to-business) and mobile-application integration, he said. 
Next year will see stand-alone API management solutions cannibalising the market for traditional service-oriented architecture governance platforms, and API management for mobile enablement, software-defined networking, and IoT will be a key IT imperative.
It will see a significant rise in the adoption of cloud-based B2B integration services, and the complex interplay of data security, governance, and compliance requirements will drive uptake of comprehensive managed file transfer solutions, he added.
Cloud-based IoT platforms will continue to gain traction and play a key role in the first wave of IoT adoption by enterprises. However, a lack of common (vendor and platform-agnostic) connectivity standards will hinder wider IoT adoption, especially from the perspective of enterprise IoT initiatives of reasonable scale.
Sharma said that enterprises needed to undertake integration-infrastructure modernisation in order to effectively exploit the quartet of digitalistion, mobility, cloud, and IoT for driving business growth.
There will be less inertia to a shift toward agile approaches to integration and/or cloud-based integration services, and this will translate into a growing market opportunity for both established and specialised integration vendors, the senior analyst added.

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