The Thailand ICT Market will Gain Further Momentum in 2011 with Greater Economic Optimism and the Adoption of New Technologies, says IDC
In 2011, the Thailand information and communications technology (ICT) market will be shaped by advancements in social media, greater acceptance of smartphones, and increased demands for data services for both fixed and wireless communications, according to the annual International Data Corporation’s (IDC) predictions report for the Thailand ICT market.

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The Thailand ICT Market will Gain Further Momentum in 2011 with Greater Economic Optimism and the Adoption of New Technologies, says IDC

“We believe that rising demands from consumers for mobile devices and personal computing systems will play an important role in driving ICT spending in Thailand this year. Comparing the different verticals, the financial services, telecommunication, and government sectors are likely to be dominant spenders”, says Attaphon Satidkanitkul, Research Manager, IDC Thailand.

He adds, “Due to the increasing popularity of social media, IDC foresees that enterprises in Thailand will be evolving to better leverage the benefits of this new platform to drive their business forward in Thailand.”

The following are IDC’s top 10 ICT predictions for Thailand in 2011. These trends are what IDC believes will have the biggest commercial impact on the Thailand ICT market this year.

1. Thailand’s IT spending to sustain in 2011

IDC predicts that the upward IT spending trend will continue in 2011. Hardware, software and IT services combined are expected to grow 9.3% year-on-year (YoY), allowing the total country IT spending for 2011 to exceed US$6.5 billion.

2. Telecommunication Services spending will show persistent climb

IDC expects the Thailand telecoms services market to maintain a positive growth trend in 2011 expanding 3% YoY. Both fixed and mobile segments will also post 3% YoY growth. In 2011, the mobile services market will encompass 66% share of the overall telecoms services market in Thailand. Mobile voice will continue to be the main source of income for operators, although this segment will only grow 1% YoY, while data will expand by 16%. In 2011, IDC expects multimedia and portable broadband services to have a combined contribution of 70% to the overall mobile data services market in the country.

3. Mininotebooks will feel the pressure from the rise of media tablets

The hype about media tablets has already been causing many consumers to think twice about buying new PCs, especially mininotebooks. The mininotebooks market is hurting not only in demand but also in supply. PC and Smartphone vendors have been launching their versions of the media tablets from late last year to target the same segments that used to be occupied by mininotebooks. However, there is no sign that media tablets will replace mininotebooks in the near future as the capabilities of media tablets, compared to mininotebooks, are still limited despite the ability to offer more superior user experiences. IDC predicts that the adoption of media tablets in Thailand will be especially significant in the beginning of the second quarter of this year.

4. IT Service Providers will refine their Verticalization Strategy

IT service providers will be intensifying their value-added services offerings in 2011. On top of their usual products and solutions, they are likely to offer customized services to better address the diverse needs and requirements of different verticals. IDC believes that service providers will be especially focusing their energies and resources on getting to know the telco, government and education verticals so as to enhance their value proposition for these markets. The strategy will also enable them to make their horizontal products and services more enticing to customers in the verticals. For example, most IT vendors will partner with local system integrators (SIs) or Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) to deliver customized solutions that fit the requirements of local businesses.

5. Businesses on the Cloud expected to materialize

IDC believes that the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing model will be widely adopted in Thailand in 2011. The services are likely to be offered by ITSPs and Internet service providers (ISPs) that have Internet datacenter facilities. These service providers will actively expand and implement strategies to manage and optimize their systems based on cloud technologies to help businesses increase their productivity. Storage, server, security services, as well as some enterprise collaboration platforms represent examples of infrastructure cloud services that are available in the market today.

6. Social Media and the Advantage of Social Analytics—Exploring Analytics Abilities over Social Platform

2010 witnessed some early social media adopters in Thailand from the banking, telecoms and government sectors. By registering their profile on social media sites like Facebook, these industries are taking the initiative to test out new platforms to market their latest offerings, gain feedback and monitor public opinions through online communities. In 2011, we expect business analytics software vendors to introduce tools that provide on-demand social analytic solutions that conduct text mining and “sentiment” analysis of dispersed customer data over social websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, forums, blogs, etc.) for enterprises. The solution can possibly deliver real-time insights such as web-based dashboards and reports. IDC believes that the wider adoption of social platform across enterprises will encourage investments in analytics to complement online community feedback and sentiments.

7. Mobile OS – Application design will span across multiple Mobile Platform

Use of smartphones has become an important part of people’s lifestyle and lately, smartphones have shown massive growth in Thailand. In 2010, the data-centric smartphone market grew close to 100% and in 2011, IDC projects that it will reach about 2 million units, growing by 30% YoY. Nokia’s Symbian, Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry OS are the current market leaders in Thailand, and IDC projects that they will continue to enjoy high growth in 2011. IDC believes that there are ample opportunities for developers creating apps for any of the major platforms, as growth in apps is driven by growth in data-centric smartphones. This just goes to show that it does not really matter whether the platform is open or closed; applications are needed and in high demand in this data-centric world.

8. Rise of Integrated Infrastructure solutions to stir channel development

Solution bundling of systems infrastructure with storage hardware and/or software along with security capabilities is often appealing for medium to large businesses for its “value-added” qualities. IDC believes that new product mixes with strategic pricing will continue to generate momentum in the market specifically from vendors offering systems infrastructure, storage, security and services solutions. Thailand’s systems infrastructure software market grew at 10.1% YoY in 2010 and is expected to expand 13.5% this year. In 2011, the concept of virtualization is likely to draw huge attention for its ability to enhance consolidation and bring flexibility to infrastructure platforms.

9. Consumers will invest more on Licensed Security Software

Despite conservative consumer spending and the extensive availability of pirated software, end users are increasingly paying for licensed security content and threat management (SCTM) or antivirus software. This can be attributed to vendors’ aggressive and unique marketing campaigns to influence the market. For instance, Kaspersky, BitDefender and Norton have joined the race to influence the market to purchase licensed security software through above-the-line media to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. These vendors are also aggressively rolling out sales promotions and making improvements to their after-sales services. IDC expects SCTM spending to grow 13% in 2011 and security at 11.7%.

10. Rising Demand for Mobile Data Services Will Stimulate Operators to Customize Variety of Packages

Demand for mobile data usage has been increasing and will continue to grow this year due to the popularity of smartphones and mobile devices among consumers and business users. In 2011, demand for mobile data usage will be on the rise. This is mainly due to strong demand coming from mobile internet access, instant messaging services, and social networking. This will trigger mobile operators to devise new data packages to meet the different demands of consumers and business users. Volume-based data packages are expected to be more popular as compared to time-based packages due to the popularity of smartphones and mobile devices since users are likely to be “connected” 24/7.

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