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.”