IDC eyes workplace computing spending boom

IDC eyes workplace computing spending boom

Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will become new capabilities for business computing devices in workplaces for millennial workers, says a leading technology research firm.

Mr Thaneth says Lenovo has designed computers with longer lasting batteries.

IDC Corporation forecast by 2020, technology spending on social, cloud, big data, 3D printing, AI, robotics, AR and VR will stimulate businesses' digital transformation in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, reaching US$600 billion.

"Millennial workers [those born after 1980] will play more of a role in firms, representing 50% of total employees in Asia-Pacific by 2020," said Jarit Sidhu, country head of IDC Thailand.

"Thailand is getting close to this level now as it has around 15 million millennial workers."

Over next 4-5 years, Gen Z workers (born from 1995 to 2000) will also enter the workplace. Technologies serving this group of workers will allow more flexible work times and mobility, he said.

IDC research commissioned by Lenovo forecasts five trends to affect Asia-Pacific during 2019 and 2020.

The first trend is Device as a Service (DaaS). This fad will cause a rapid change in procurement of devices in the business sector, leading to device rental with monthly fees rather than purchase.

IDC expects 20% of 1,000 firms surveyed in the region will go for the DaaS model, which will cover hardware leasing, maintenance and replacement, as well as value-added services.

By 2019, two-thirds of Windows 10 devices, both computers and tablets, will use features that help firms manage multiple devices on a single console, called unified endpoint management.

The third trend is cognitive and AI capability will assist employees in making decisions.

IDC forecast 40% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by cognitive and AI by 2020. Mr Jarit said a good example is voice-based capabilities such as voice-to-text translation used in meetings or projects.

The fourth trend is open innovation that encourages employees to create spin-offs or startups through collaboration with big corporations.

This trend is likely to grow immensely in Thailand next year, he said. IDC predicts around 1,000 firms in the region will use open innovation to allocate expertise to their new projects in 2020.

"This model is projected to improve the success rate of new product introduction by 50%," said Mr Jarit.

Finally, by 2020, more than 20% of workers will leverage AR at a desktop or on mobile to manipulate digital information and interact with real-world objects.

Thaneth Angkasirisan, general manager of Indochina for Lenovo, said computer makers like Lenovo have designed products to serve such future workspaces.

Features Lenovo has focused on are longer lasting batteries, rapid charging and durability with thin and light shapes.

Mr Jarit said although space per office might be shrinking, spending on business computing devices will keep on growing in single digits the next few years as the business sector needs to provide multiple devices for their employees.

IDC projects the local business notebook market this year will grow by 12% from 2016, posting sales of 230,000 units.

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