Gartner hedges bets on Asia-Pacific software market

The Asia-Pacific software market could develop in four different ways, says research company Gartner in its first research report on the market.

The reason for this is that the biggest influence on the industry’s future will be where innovation goes: it could take place in the Asian countries or within international conglomerates. Mode of delivery — whether products are delivered physically or via the web — is also a major factor.

If present day conditions continue over the next ten years, innovation will mostly take place within international organizations. These will progressively take over smaller, local companies. If delivery is product-oriented, Asian countries will end up being both the customers and takeover prey of the multinationals and there will be little customization for local needs. Gartner calls this scenario “IT imperialism”.

With international companies dominating, but packaging and delivery being done via online services, Gartner believe localization will still be difficult as the shape of software will continue to be influenced by the major markets. In addition, failure of a crucial resource, such as the internet or of power supply in the country from which the software originates, could have worldwide consequences. Gartner imagines a headline: “Rolling blackouts in California affect pizza shops in Thailand”. It calls this the “” scenario.

If service-style delivery predominates but local industries become more innovative, we could see a shift in the balance of software power towards Asia, says Gartner. In this scenario, there would be a massive growth in Asian computing and small providers to these markets, such as New Zealand and Australia, would thrive in an international environment with few trade barriers. Garner calls this the “global software village” scenario.

The fourth scenario sees the Asia-Pacific countries innovating themselves and delivery still being focused on products.This could lead to “Asian equivalents of SAP, Oracle and even Microsoft”, Gartner says. Gartner’s imaginary newspaper headline here is: “India institutes green card program for US citizens”.

Gartner described the four scenarios as part of its presentation at the Application Development, Integration and Web Services (ADIWS) Summit, held in Sydney recently.