It might have been the 'victim of hype', but an industry researcher predicts wireless solutions will be one of the biggest enterprise trends since the Internet revolution.
Such are the preliminary responses to a regional study, by Gartner Consulting (a division of Gartner), of 950 interviewees, examining the trends, drivers and investment plans of the wireless data market.
The current wireless data space has no clear market leaders, Gartner said, but growing interest in wireless applications and services will form the "next big paradigm shift" in enterprise IT spending patterns.
Initial findings from Gartner's 'solution-focused' study - which will start in earnest in early July -- found while CIOs in the Asia-Pacific do not rate wireless in their top five investments, it is among their high priorities.
Commenting on the early findings, Gartner research director Robin Simpson said: "The number of incoming [research] requests show us that wireless is hot again in the Asia-Pacific regionand that technologies are being adopted in consumer devices and within businesses."
Other preliminary results from the research show that organisations view wireless solutions as instrumental to business improvement initatives. Enterprises recognise that wireless is not a disruptive technology but can easily be fused with the way a company does business, the study shows, and that wireless is boosting internal efficiency in terms of staff and business partners interactions.
Yet while enterprise demand for wireless technology is rising, no IT or telco vendors stand out as having developed a product or service "compelling" enough for businesses, according to Simpson.
"No carrier has come up with a business model or services capable of generating sustained profits," he said.
Simpson said a lack of credible wireless technology in the market indicates there is a "clear need for data on what wireless technology users actually want and more importantly, will pay to use."
Meanwhile, Gartner warned the wireless sector -- IT&T vendors, systems integrators, telecomms equipment markers, and carriers -- of the need to carefully manage the risk in a "uncertain market".
Gartner said these stakeholders risk losing out if they invest either too much or too little in a cautious user market. "Over-investment is costly as the market may be slow to grow, and may still have over-inflated expectations.
"Under-investment is risky because this is a market in which a lack of positioning can significantly confine future profits if the market grows at even a moderate pace."
The study will focus on 10 countries and 10 industry sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.
Gartner expects the degree of market maturity and development to vary "significantly" by country, industry and by size of company.