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As cloud computing gathers momentum, forecasters are expecting Taiwan’s ICT industry to be influenced, depending on the sector, size and speciality of the company. Cloud computing seems to be at the forefront of this year’s COMPUTEX Taipei. It is expected the ICT shake-up in the cloud revolution will leave nothing unchanged, according to Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC).


The first thunder is being heard as the more streamlined cloud terminal devices force traditional IT makers to either reposition under the cloud banner or seek new markets. Cloud's growing clout even threatens to stifle growth across the traditional PC and notebook markets, especially for PCs, DRAM, Displays and CD-ROMs. These concerns face hurdles to upgrade by adapting such cloud-friendly strategies as virtualisation and server consolidation.


The cloud revolution will pick up momentum as cloud-using smart phones and tablet PCs become everyday essentials. Manufacturers of smart handheld devices will continue to explore new markets by offering cloud computing platforms. While, large-scale Taiwan IT service providers will have the chance to promote private cloud services and capture the burgeoning market of cloud service by developing their own products.


Breakdown on the Cloud

Taiwan companies have consolidated resources of their foreign partners, leveraging their core competencies from system integration and data centers to server and mobile devices, in a bid to make their grand foray into the cloud computing market.


The Categories of Cloud Business Models

The cloud computing market falls into three models: IT services for cloud, cloud services and IT services for cloud clients.


1)  IT services for cloud refer to a business model where companies build public or private clouds for governments and enterprises by offering information technologies, with service coverage including hardware and software solutions as well as consulting and advisory services.


 2) The Cloud service model is further divided into three types: SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).


 3) IT services for cloud clients refer to a business model where IT companies provide software and hardware products and technologies for terminal devices to access cloud services, such as operating systems, user interface, middle-ware, and applications.


Shipment Value of the Taiwan Cloud Computing Industry

As the cloud computing market grows, there has been a steady increase in Taiwan industry's overall shipment value while the number and scale of Taiwan ICT  cloud-dedicated companies have also soared. There are now scores of dedicated Taiwan companies actively developing and marketing smart-phones, tablet PCs, servers, network communication devices, data centers, and facilitating system integration and software development.


With the continuous development in the cloud service market and the increasing popularity of smart handheld devices, the overall shipment value of the cloud computing industry is expected to achieve steady progress. It is projected by 2014 the overall shipment value will reach US$17.5 billion from US$4.3 billion billion in 2009; a 32.5% CAGR.


The Integration of Computing, Storage & Networking

 Cloud is about to overturn the traditional breakdown of enterprise computing servers that segmented storage devices and Internet frameworks into separate pigeon holes in the IT infrastructure. That is about to be history as public and private cloud virtualization integrates all computing, storage and networking into a single on-demand computing resource.  


To adapt to the market trends, global ICT manufacturers such as IBM, HP, Cisco, Oracle, EMC, Dell, Fujitsu and Hitachi are busy shaping strategic alliances through mergers and acquisitions in computing, storage, and networking. And, as the clouds build the boundaries between the IT divides are expected to become blurred and less defined. Meanwhile, many Taiwan companies while meshing with the global trend, will inevitably be involved in these mergers and acquisitions.


Growing Convergence of Info Services & Telecoms Services

 Cloud computing will further integrate information services and telecommunication services while digital convergence is integrating major networks of computers, telecommunications, and TV channels. In the future, large software and service providers will be able to start cloud service businesses after gaining the capacity to build their own operational data centers.  


In the not-too distant future, small and medium-size software providers who lack resources to operate such data centers will likely team up with telecoms operators to operate in the public cloud market. To grasp the many cloud computing opportunities, telecoms operators may start to enter the IT service market by providing standard IT services or simplified software applications. But they will face the daunting task of meeting the unique needs of individual customers.


------ MIC

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