Data from a small survey is pointing to grow trends in four areas, with AR/VR/metaverse opportunities still being unleveraged
In a July – Oct 2022 online survey in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region involving 300 technology ecosystem partners with 1,000 seats and below, data showed that 94% of respondents viewed increased IT ecosystem engagement as an important growth strategy, with over 75% expecting to sell more professional and managed services by 2025 as a result.
In betting on continued transformation through increased collaborations and service expansions, respondents were also planning to enhance their cloud capabilities, to meet demands for X-as-a-Service options.
However, despite aggregate analyst and financial research forecasting a US$800bn global metaverse market , just 12% of respondents were planning to offer augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) solutions in the next 24 months.
Other key findings
Gleaning from the data, the survey report forecasts the following trends in the next 24 to 36 months
Expansion of professional and managed IT services:
Servers and storage, endpoint devices, and security are areas expected to drive the most revenue for APJ IT businesses:
- 44% of partners in the survey indicated that these offerings were among their top three revenue drivers
- Security was the most profitable technology for 24% of partners in the survey, followed by servers and storage for 18% of relevant respondents, who were investing in talent, technologies, and partnerships to capture opportunities
High-growth technology investments:
Expansion of cloud offerings portfolios in the next two years were focused on AI and ML; mobility and edge; Device-as-a-Service and digital transformation (DX).
Also, while hardware resell continued to be a business to APJ respondents, many were placing their bets on professional services and managed IT services: partners in the survey continued to be optimistic about hardware resell, with only 28% believing the category will decrease in the next three years.
The As-a-service consumption model catches on:
In line with the expansion of professional and managed IT services, and the shift to consumption-based OpEx models, partners in the survey had plans to enhance or develop cloud capabilities:
- 53% wanted As-a-Service consumption options
- 47% currently offered such consumption options
- 45% planned to offer such consumption options within 24 months
An opportunity gap in Augmented/Virtual Reality:
Data showed that respondents were not leveraging early metaverse opportunities:
- 12% of APJ partners in the survey planned to offer AR/VR/metaverse solutions within the next 24 months
- 3% were currently offering such solutions
Turning of challenges into business opportunities via ESG solutions
The importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) expertise or certification to business was expected by respondents to grow from 11% to 30% within the next three years due to competition and margin pressure, talent recruitment and retention, external actors, and rapid technological and regulatory changes.
According to Jaideep Malhotra, President (Asia Pacific & Japan), Tech Data, which commissioned the survey: “Today, as a result of businesses increasingly being connected to the global technology ecosystem, what we are witnessing is a state of rapid and steadfast digital transformation.”