The Jakarta Post
Technology-related companies in Indonesia have been busy in the past month releasing their top technology predictions for businesses this year, each slightly skewed to their own services, but overlapping in at least three forecasts: cloud technology, edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI).
Among the companies, International Data Corporation (IDC) stands out because its 2019 FutureScape Survey, based on an interview of 100 business executives in Indonesia, is arguably the most tailored to the country.
The IDC survey shows that 50 percent of Indonesian enterprises wanted to become as technologically immersed as tech companies such as Traveloka and Tokopedia by investing IT into business operations beyond sales, including in accounting, internal communications and customer services.
As a result, IDC predicts IT spending in Indonesia may grow from US$32.7 billion this year to $78 billion in 2022, which would see 61 percent of GDP being digitalized.
IDC ASEAN managing director Sudev Bangah noted however 68 percent of local companies abandoned their digital transformation plans after hitting an impasse and thus, it was critical for tech companies to work closely with partners to secure future IT purchases.
"Selfishly, it’s for the tech companies’ own good," he told reporters and tech company representatives at the survey’s launch ceremony in Jakarta.
IDC conducted a quick-poll during the launch when the majority of participants, comprising representatives from tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Palo Alto Networks, voted overwhelmingly for the rise of hybrid and multi-cloud technology as the most likely trend for this year.
The quick-poll results coincided with IDC data showing that at least 40 percent of local companies planned to use such cloud technology by 2022 and that the big four cloud providers (Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and Google) will control around 60 percent of the cloud market by 2024.
Hybrid and multi-cloud’s advantage over public cloud is added security through the distribution of data in multiple servers but it is particularly popular in Indonesia because Government Regulation No. 82/2012 on the management of electronic transactions and systems mandates that companies keep data centers within the country.
Netapp, a business-to-business cloud service company, also included cloud, edge computing and AI in its list of top-four tech trends – the fourth being cloud-based containers such as Kubernetes and Docker, which help companies cut down application-development costs.
But regardless of the trending technology, Netapp stressed in its press statement that all four technologies would be stored on either hybrid or multi-cloud platforms because these were more cost and time effective. “Businesses can wait one or two months to get the hardware to build their own data centers whereas they could get the same service in minutes through a cloud service provider,” said Netapp technical consultant Ahmad Ubaidillah in Jakarta.
Ettienne Reinecke, chief technology officer at IT services firm Dimension Data added cloud-based cybersecurity providers with open application program interfaces (APIs) would also rise in popularity this year because they provide greater technological flexibility when responding to new security threats.
Following cloud technology, IDC’s guests were second-most optimistic over leveraging AI to converse with customers, whether through voice command such as Google Home or chatbots such as those created by Kata.ai.
IDC predicts that 10 percent of Indonesian enterprises will use such conversational technology by 2022, 10 percent of all security threats will be handled by AI by 2024 and 10 percent of all apps will have AI by 2024.
Reinecke is particularly optimistic about the latter statistic saying that AI-enabled apps that customize themselves to their users would also rise in popularity this year because they could improve productivity.
IDC and Reinecke’s AI-related predictions are supported by a Forrester Consulting survey released last year that found 65 percent of Indonesian companies already used AI – the highest percentage in Asia Pacific.
Accenture managing director Mohammed Sirajuddeen, a business consultant, concurred with IDC on the importance of AI-based voice command in capturing customers.
“Voice is going to play a very, very big role in how consumers search for products,” he said adding that 50 percent of online searches will be done via voice command by 2020.
After AI-enabled voice command, Sirajuddeen’s second top tech prediction was the wider use of edge computing to create seamless customer experiences while his third was using technology to merge online and offline environments.
He gave an edge computing example of the Ocean Medallion tracking device for Princess Cruise customers that tracks the position and personal information of customers to automate, among others, their check-in, room entrance, offers, purchases and payments.
Sirajuddeen’s prediction coincides with IDC’s prediction that 10 percent of each local company’s endpoint devices will perform edge computing by 2022.
“Manufacturing industry will benefit the most from edge computing with better control over the factory line,” said Netapp country manager Ana Sopia.