As business confidence in the Asia Pacific region continues improving through 2011, the market for enterprise communications and collaboration services sees great potential. Business organizations expect to grow into the double digits, and will require services that will help bolster this growth. However, firms are advised to have clear investment plans and avoid unnecessary spending and increased exposure to risks.

According to a survey conducted during the recently-held Avaya (news, site) Connect Asia Pacific Partner Conference in Macau, 97% of respondents expect business growth in 2011 for their respective markets. This is on top of the already-significant growth in the region for 2010, particularly in the communications and collaboration industry.

Attended by more than 200 participants from Avaya’s distributor network in the Asia Pacific region, the conference included participants from 15 countries and territories, each contributing their industry expectations for 2011.

According to the survey, the respondents predicted financial services and insurance industries to be the biggest areas of growth in enterprise communication spending. Meanwhile, the IT, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors are also seen to heavily invest in enterprise collaboration.

Communication Solutions for Better Customer Relations and Enhanced Productivity

As business grows, so does the need for better customer service. 35% of respondents to the Avaya survey say that investment focus for 2011 will involve new solutions that will improve customer service in their respective client businesses. Meanwhile, 27% expect to invest in enterprise communication services to help improve productivity.

Avaya Asia Pacific president Francios Lancon says that these results are in line with Avaya’s own business expectations in the coming year. "Overall, these results demonstrate a very close alignment between Avaya’s areas of innovation focus, our channel partners’ predictions for growth and our mutual customers’ investment priorities for 2011," Lancon says.

Increased IT Spending in 2011

As earlier reported, businesses in the Asia Pacific region plan to increase IT spending in 2011. This includes upgrading of hardware, improving of business processes, outsourcing and compliance. Among the expenditures that organizations foresee to spend on, telecommunications take about 14% of corporate budget increases.

With these bullish expectations however, the business environment is expected to become more competitive. This means businesses need more diligence in their risk assessments, which will include plans for investing in IT and communications.

Businesses should focus on investing in products and services that will promote productivity and efficiency in their operations, according to Claus Mortensen of IDC Asia/Pacific. "The days of 'throwing money' at IT are clearly a thing of the past and CIOs will increasingly need a clear business case for any future investments they make," he says.

Enterprises have started changing their usage patterns for IT related products and services. The trend is leading toward investments that reduce exposure to risks, as well as improve business process efficiency. While predictions for industry growth are optimistic, this would, of course, be dependent on how 2011 pans out for both developed and emerging economies in the APAC region.