Particularly for the world’s emerging markets, 2011 promises to be an exciting year. As the economies of the Middle East, Africa, Brazil and Asia evolve, we expect to see advances in commercial practices and supporting legal infrastructure, especially as they relate to matters in the IPT space.
Here are our top ten predictions in this regard for 2011:
1. OUTSOURCING, OUTSOURCING AND MORE OUTSOURCING – in the private and public sectors, entities will undertake major outsourcing initiatives in an effort to drive down costs and shore up access to resources. As businesses in Asia complete information technology outsourcings successfully, some will start to consider the benefits of business process outsourcing as well.
2. ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE – poorly executed outsourcing arrangements, forced through during financially tough times and now in collapse, will come to light. These revelations will lead organizations to put stronger and more comprehensive governance frameworks in place for future deals.
3. INVEST, PROTECT AND COMMERCIALIZE – as more businesses come to appreciate the monetary value of intellectual property, there will be a greater focus on the development and protection of corporate IP portfolios, particularly when it comes to corporate brands and content.
4. EXPANSION OF OUTBOUND FRANCHISING – as businesses in Asia successfully mature, we will see a steady growth in the number of local businesses looking to franchise overseas.
5. GREENER TECHNOLOGY – more companies and government entities will begin increasing their use of green technologies – if not to save the environment then to reduce power bills. We predict that many jurisdictions will start introducing legislation, similar to that elsewhere in the world, to support a greener approach to IT.
6. THE IMPACT OF DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY – as regional markets become more open and competitive, telecommunications operators will need to work harder to maximize revenues. Disruptive technologies (including VoIP and the cloud) will continue pressuring operator revenue streams, encouraging operators to look for new VAS opportunities for revenue growth.
7. WALLED GARDEN GROWTH – digital content will continue its ascendancy as a major IP asset to be exploited. The development of new apps and spread of walled gardens – also called paywalls, allowing carriers and providers to restrict access to their content – will shape the way content is distributed.
8. MORE WAYS TO PAY – mobile payments (or m-payments) will become a more established means of paying for goods and services as enabling technologies are introduced into mobile devices and at points of sale.
9. STILL UP IN THE CLOUDS – cloud-based services provided as part of wider outsourcing transactions will see continued growth. However, the same concerns relating to data and shared platforms will remain, requiring careful consideration by businesses hoping to take advantage of the benefits offered by cloud-based services.
10. IT’S ALL ABOUT STRATEGY – finally, rather than chasing quick-win, bottom-line cost savings, businesses will look more to deals that answer transformational, strategic goals. The big picture, long-term view will regain importance.
For further information on IP and Technology matters in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, please contact Matt Glynn, partner and DLA Piper’s head of IPT for these regions.