The Forrester team of Asia Pacific (AP) analysts has just published its 2013 IT industry predictions. Below is a sneak peek at some key regional trends I wanted to highlight.

2013 will be a transformative year for IT adoption in AP, as multiple IT trends converge to drive industry disruptions and help spur renewed growth in IT spending. Forrester expects IT spending in AP to rebound in 2013, with regionwide growth of 4% — rising to 8% when the large but slow-growing Japan market is excluded. While India IT spending growth will remain sluggish, the 2012 economic slowdown in China will be short-lived as government stimulus policies take effect in 2013. The Australia, New Zealand, and ASEAN markets will all remain resilient, with Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines leading the way in IT spending growth.

Below are some other key predictions shaping the Asia Pacific IT industry in 2013:

  • End user computing strategies will be limited to mobile device management (MDM). AP organizations are feeling the pressure to deliver applications and services across multiple devices, including traditional desktops/laptops, smartphones, and tablets. But lack of skills will hinder bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) policies, which will remain limited to MDM, including basic device control and security/identity management.
  • Analytics is a top CIO priority, but value delivery will remain elusive. Forrester data confirms that BI-related spending will increase over the next 12 months in all AP markets within the region. However, most AP organizations will struggle to reconcile big data projects with existing IT, as conflicts and overlaps with existing data warehouse, business intelligence, and analytics capabilities will dilute implementation success. Similarly, the ability to integrate big data insights directly into applications will remain a specialist domain and will not gain widespread adoption in 2013. 
  • Regulatory concerns will drive cloud data center investments. Global and local service providers, telcos, and other cloud providers will continue aggressively investing in regional data center capabilities throughout 2013 as demand for virtual private cloud services supported via onshore cloud infrastructure and services grows. Data sovereignty laws still vary widely across the region, but compliance with regulatory requirements will remain top of mind among AP CIOs planning cloud strategies. G-cloud initiatives will also drive cloud infrastructure spending, particularly in emerging markets like China and India, where governments are driving cloud initiatives to boost economic activity and deliver public services efficiently at lower costs.
  • The PC and its dependents will continue to crumble as mobility and access to cloud-based services expand. As streams of quarterly earnings statements throughout 2012 demonstrate, traditional IT industry leaders must accelerate their transition away from PC-dependent business models or risk extinction. We expect Windows 8 adoption to accelerate in 2013, ensuring that Microsoft remains master of the PC market — but it will still only be a contender in tablets, and a distant third in smartphones through 2014. Further device and OS fragmentation throughout 2013 will drive additional industry disruptions, as content and cloud providers follow Google and Amazon’s lead to launch (and subsidize) more devices that act as channels to empower their communities.

Keep an eye out for a full series of Asia Pacific country-level prediction blogs being published this week. As always, let us know what you think.