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IT Priorities 2018: South Korea to spend more on big data and IoT

South Korean companies are expected to spend more in emerging technologies as well as move more workloads to the cloud in the coming year

Faced with digital disruption by more nimble startups, South Korean companies, especially banks and retailers, are now catching up after years of under-investment.

More of them are now looking at emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) to improve business processes and customer service.

According to TechTarget’s IT Priorities 2018 survey, the top three technology initiatives that South Korean firms plan to spend on in the coming year are big data and business analytics (48%), IoT (24%) and AI (22%). Overall IT spending is also expected to grow, with nearly 57% of South Korean respondents expecting to spend more in next year.

The plans by South Korean firms to harness big data, IoT and AI initiatives in 2018 comes on the heels of recent moves by the Moon Jae-in government to nurture the country’s talent in emerging technology segments.

In the private sector, companies such as Korea Telecom and Nokia Networks have also set up the country’s first IoT lab, while Samsung and SK Telecom are implementing a nationwide low-power wide area network based on the LoRaWAN specification.

The drive by both public and private sectors to support IoT developments in the country is timely – half of South Korean respondents in the survey plan to create customer-facing IoT products or services, while three in five want to use IoT connectivity to enhance an existing product or service.

And with IoT devices expected to generate heaps of data, the respondents are also considering data management systems (33%) to stay on top of the data deluge.

Shoring up datacentre capabilities

Not surprisingly, South Korean firms are looking at shoring up their datacentre capabilities to support their technology initiatives in the coming year. These include server virtualisation (56%), hyper-converged infrastructure (38%) and tapping on public cloud infrastructure (50%) to augment on-premise IT assets.

The move towards the cloud is telling in South Korea, with a majority (62%) of respondents expecting to increase spending on cloud services. In fact, half of the respondents said they would cut spending on on-premise servers.

Nearly 60% also intend to turn to platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings as their deployment model in a bid to harness the agility and flexibility of cloud services. At the same time, they are looking at adopting agile development methods and implementing application programming interfaces (APIs) in their software development initiatives.

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On the storage front, South Korean respondents polled in the survey indicated interest in implementing storage virtualisation (28%), as well as storage for virtual environments (33%). Backup for virtual servers is also high on the agenda, with nearly 40% of respondents including it as one of their backup storage initiatives.

In the cyber security realm where South Korea has been a victim of attacks by nation-state actors, two-thirds of South Korean respondents said their organisations will spend more on security analytics and web security. About a third of respondents expect to see more effort being put into user security training.

The annual survey polled nearly 2,000 IT professionals such as CIOs and IT managers across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, including Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. In South Korea, 81 respondents across industries such as financial services, education and telecommunications took part in the survey.

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