According to the latest report of the European IT Observatory (EITO), these are heady times for Central and Eastern European (CEE) firms hoping to tap the power of mobility, cloud applications, Big Data, the Internet of Things and social media. Specifically, EITO looked at what is driving ICT trends in the region this year.
Each company has to assess those fields on their own merit but there is no doubt that a fundamental IT transition is underway. And looking regionally, CEE businesses are approaching ICT developments on their own terms.
For example, while mobility is now considered a must by many companies in western Europe, only one-third of CEE firms have a mobile strategy in place. Mobility is seen primarily as a security, device management (MDM) and enterprise management (MEM) topic. Meaning organisations willing to fully embrace mobile can get a leg up on their competitors by increasing collaboration amongst a geographically spread workforce, boosting productivity and improving operational flexibility.
Cloud solutions on the rise
Cloud computing also has potential to grow in the CEE region. In the past, many firms have been reluctant to store critical information in external data centres. Software as a service (SaaS) currently dominates spending on cloud services, but that is likely to change, as more Central and Eastern European companies discover the benefits of virtualised applications. And public cloud services are expected to expand significantly in the region.
“Cloud services spending will continue to grow in CEE for the foreseeable future and will remain among the most dynamic segments of the regional ICT market,” according to the EITO report.
There is also a particular regional flavour as to how companies look at Big Data: The focus remains on analysing large chunks of structured information rather than tapping the potential of unstructured data sources. But that, too, is changing. Several CEE firms are now implementing longer-term strategies for Big Data. Key here is having a trusted vendor or provider with a solid track record – otherwise new technologies may end up as an underutilized expense.
There is also plenty of room for expanding social media and social selling in the region. Though many CEE companies now have a social media strategy, the key challenge is often to improve knowledge sharing within the organisation rather than relationship building with and targeted consultation for potential customers and partners.
The potential of IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT), on the other hand, is really taking off in Central and Eastern Europe. Though still early in the process for many firms, networking consumer and industrial objects is likely to offer “considerable potential for the foreseeable future,” according to EITO. In 2015, the IoT market in the region recorded double-digit growth, providing lucrative revenue opportunities across the entire ecosystem. There are, however, potential security risks, making an educated choice of a partner for IoT applications all the more important.
Deutsche Telekom is naturally committed to remaining at the forefront of information and communications technology. And with our extensive regional experience and pan-CEE network, we are optimally positioned to help your business take advantage of these and other important trends.
Check out the full “ICT Market Report 2015/16” here: