Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, March 19, 2018

IoT Data Security Solutions Demand Gains Momentum

Internet of Things (IoT) technology deployments have increased across the globe, as more CIOs and CTOs explore new commercial applications. However, many organizations continue to seek IoT solutions that include comprehensive data protection capabilities.

Security continues to be a major concern for IT professionals when deploying IoT projects within their organizations, according to the latest worldwide market study by 451 Research.

When asked to rank which technologies or processes their organizations considered for current or planned IoT initiatives, 55 percent of respondents ranked IoT security as their top priority.

IoT Security Market Development

As 451 Research data consistently shows, security is a headwind that must be overcome. Survey respondents have consistently rated IoT security as their highest priority – but why?

"The nature of IoT deployments make them particularly difficult to secure against cyber threats," said Brian Partridge, vice president at 451 Research. “As industrial equipment is increasingly connected to the Internet for data collection and analysis, enterprises open themselves to the sophisticated world of security intrusions."

IoT projects often straddle OT and IT domains, which have struggled independently to secure against internal and external threats. When these domains come together driven by IoT, the overall attack surface can increase exponentially.

According to 451 Research analysts, some business leaders have stayed on the sidelines of IoT because they believe the risks are still too high against potential returns, but for those that do initiate IoT projects, security is still a top priority.

Beyond extolling IoT security as the top requirement in their IoT deployments, enterprises value security capabilities as the top reason for choosing a commercial IoT platform, with 58 percent of survey respondents ranking it as the top attribute in choosing a vendor partner.

Furthermore, in an IoT Workloads survey in 2017, enterprises ranked the IoT attack vectors that most concerned them. At the top of this list were poor authentication of IoT endpoints such as sensors and network modules (64.3 percent), unsecured enterprise IoT applications (63 percent) and vulnerabilities in how end users access their IoT devices and applications.

Outlook for IoT Security Products and Services

So where’s the opportunity for IoT providers? According to Brian Partridge, "The silver lining in all of this is that IoT security breaches have raised overall awareness of the issues and consequences when ‘things’ go wrong."

It’s also raised the bar for suppliers who are increasingly fighting for deals based on their security credibility. There's still a need for trusted vendors and services providers that can bring IoT security together holistically for their customers.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mobility Solutions Market will Reach $1.7 Trillion in 2021

Worldwide spending on mobility solutions is forecast to grow 3.2 percent year over year in 2018, reaching more than $1.6 trillion, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

This growth is expected to continue through 2021 with investment on mobility-related hardware, software, and services surpassing $1.7 trillion as the market achieves a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8 percent.

"The new mobility use cases and technology adoption in enterprises is driving growth in all three facets of the market, from devices to software and services," said Phil Hochmuth, program director at IDC.

Mobility Solutions Market Development

Mobility services will be the largest technology category throughout the 2016-2021 forecast period, accounting for nearly 60 percent of overall mobility spending and surpassing $1 trillion in 2021. The category is dominated by mobile connectivity services, which will deliver more than 90 percent of all mobility services spending.

However, enterprise mobility services, which are focused on the planning, implementation, operation, and maintenance and support of mobile strategies, applications, and devices or the final consumption of services through a mobile device, will see notable spending growth with a five-year CAGR of 15 percent.

Hardware will be the second largest technology category with spending forecast to reach nearly $675 billion in 2021. Smartphones will account for roughly 75 percent of all hardware spending throughout the forecast as consumers upgrade and refresh their mobile phones and enterprises equip their workforce with handheld devices that can run mobile apps and communicate in real time.

While notebooks will see modest spending growth (1.5 percent CAGR) throughout the forecast, tablets are expected to experience a decline (-1.9 percent CAGR).

Despite being the smallest technology category, software will see strong spending growth (14.7 percent CAGR) over the five-year forecast. Mobile enterprise applications will be the largest segment of mobile software spending, growing to $7.1 billion in 2021.

Businesses will also increase their development efforts with mobile application development platforms experiencing a five-year CAGR of 19.5 percent. However, all four software segments, including mobile enterprise security and enterprise mobility management, are forecast to deliver double-digit five-year CAGRs.

Outlook for Mobile Industry Segment Growth

The industry that will see the largest spending on mobility solutions in 2018 (nearly $45 billion) is professional services, followed by banking ($43 billion), discrete manufacturing ($38 billion), and retail ($32 billion).

In all four cases, a majority of the spending will go to mobile connectivity services and devices, primarily smartphones and notebook PCs. Enterprise mobility services will also be a significant spending category as these industries implement and execute their mobile strategies.

The banking and discrete manufacturing industries will each invest more than $1 billion in mobile enterprise applications and mobile application development platforms (combined) in 2018.

According to the IDC assessment, the professional services industry will experience the fastest spending growth over the forecast period (7 percent CAGR), followed by the telecommunications and utilities industries (each with a 6.9 percent CAGR).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Digital Banking Users will Reach 2 Billion Worldwide

The retail banking sector continues to pursue digital transformation projects. Mobile devices are key to their strategy, as banks move to a ‘mobile first’ approach. It's a global trend supported by the scale of a declining financial services workforce, and the number of physical branches.

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, over 2 billion users will access retail banking services via smartphones, media tablets, PCs and smartwatches in 2018 -- that's up by 10 percent year-over-year.

Digital Banking Market Development

The new research found that accelerated adoption in key emerging markets -- such as India and China -- means that mobile banking users now represent 50 percent of the global banked population. Juniper expects that the number of global mobile banking users will now overtake online users in 2018 -- 2 years earlier than previously anticipated.

2017 saw banks worldwide engaging in both technology investments and new tech offerings, although the extent of these activities varied considerably.

Juniper analyzed leading tier-1 banks to evaluate their 'digital transformation readiness' scores and highlight their respective positioning within the digital innovation roadmap.

According to the Juniper assessment, the leading group of banks include: Banco Santander, Bank of America, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citi, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, RBS, Societe Generale, UniCredit and Wells Fargo.

These banks once again scored highly, offering a wide range of digital banking portfolios and investing in the rapid development of technology and customer enablement.

"They were found to be in the mature phase of digital transformation, approaching the final stages of objectives as defined in their current roadmap. These players also lead in customer training and employee development programs, with regards to digital technology," said Nitin Bhas, head of research at Juniper Research.

Outlook for Global Digital Banking Growth

As these banks continue towards digital transformation, technology offerings are also becoming increasingly advanced. For example, chatbot offerings deliver a greater differentiation from a normal app experience, particularly where customer service is concerned.

Juniper estimates customer service cost savings achieved through the deployment of conversational chatbot platforms will reach $4.5 billion by 2022.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Worldwide Server Market Revenue Recap for 4Q17

Cloud service providers continue to drive computing server investment. Meanwhile, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market increased 26.4 percent year-over-year to $20.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17), according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The server market continues to gain momentum, as traction for newer Purley- and EPYC-based offerings grows. While demand from cloud service providers has propped up overall market performance, other areas of the server market continue to show growth now as well.

Global Server Market Development

According to the IDC assessment, worldwide server shipments increased 10.8 percent year-over-year to 2.84 million units in 4Q17.

Volume server revenue increased by 21.9 percent to $15.8 billion, while midrange server revenue grew 48.5 percent to $1.9 billion.

High-end systems grew 41.1 percent to $2.9 billion, driven by IBM's z14 launch in the last quarter of 2017. However, IDC expects continued long-term secular declines in high-end system revenue, with short periods of growth related to major platform refreshes.

"Hyperscalers remained a central driver of volume demand in the fourth quarter with leaders such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google continuing their data center expansions and updates," said Sanjay Medvitz, senior research analyst at IDC.

ODMs continue to be the primary beneficiaries from hyperscale server demand. Some OEMs are also finding growth in this area, but the competitive dynamic of this market has also driven many OEMs such as HPE to focus on the enterprise.

Two key points to consider regarding new growth: IBM captured the third market position at 13 percent share with revenue growing 50.3 percent year-over-year to $2.7 billion. The ODM Direct group of vendors grew revenue by 48.1 percent to $4.2 billion.

Outlook for Geographic Growth Trends

On a geographic basis, Canada was the fastest growing region in 4Q17 with 69.7 percent year-over-year growth. The United States grew 29.6 percent, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew 17.4 percent, and Latin America declined 5 percent.

Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan and China) grew 38.2 percent, China grew 33.8 percent, and Japan grew 4.3 percent. The outlook for market growth in 2018 is equally encouraging.

That being said, there's another key trend that's noteworthy. Demand for x86 servers increased 24.7 percent in 4Q17 with $17.5 billion in revenues. However, non-x86 servers also grew by 36.4 percent year-over-year to $3.2 billion.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Smart City Investments will Reach $135 Billion in 2021

Around the globe, metropolitan and suburban municipalities continue to explore digital transformation projects. Emerging technology spending for Smart City applications is forecast to reach $80 billion in 2018, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC has provided a detailed look at the technology investments associated with a range of Smart City priorities and use cases. As these initiatives gain traction, IDC expects spending to accelerate over the 2016-2021 forecast period, growing to $135 billion in 2021.

Smart City Market Development

"Smart Cities have recently evolved from a collection of discrete flagship projects to a sizeable market opportunity that will drive significant technology investments in 2018 and beyond," said Serena Da Rold, program manager at IDC.

IDC believes that strategic priorities  will drive digital transformation across cities of all sizes, but the analyst's research demonstrates there can be significant differences in the focus of investments across regions.

Smart Cities attain digital transformation in an urban ecosystem to meet environmental, financial, and social outcomes. A Smart City is developed when multiple initiatives are coordinated to leverage investments, use common IT platforms to decrease service time or costs and share data across systems.

Smart City programs enabled by emerging technologies are accelerated in the city ecosystem to deliver innovative solutions. The strategic priorities that will see the most investment in 2018 are intelligent transportation, data-driven public safety, and resilient energy.

Intelligent traffic and transit and fixed visual surveillance are the two significant use cases, in terms of worldwide spending, followed by smart outdoor lighting and environmental monitoring.

While these use cases attract considerable investments in most geographies, the focus shifts across different regions. Intelligent traffic and transit will be the top priority in investment terms in the United States, Japan, and Western Europe.

Fixed visual surveillance will be the leading use case in China and the second largest in the United States, while environmental monitoring will be relatively more important in Japan.

Outlook for Smart City Regional Growth

On a geographic basis, the United States will be the largest market for Smart City technologies with spending forecast to reach $22 billion in 2018. China will be a close second with 2018 spending expected to be nearly $21 billion.

The two countries will share a similar growth trajectory with five-year compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 19 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively. The regions that will see the fastest spending growth are Latin America (28.7 percent CAGR) and Canada (22.5 percent CAGR).

Friday, March 02, 2018

Alternative Online Payment Technology Gains Momentum

Across the globe, eRetail is now the mainstream -- with well over half of all adults making purchases for products and services online, increasingly from their mobile devices.

Meanwhile, traditional bricks and mortar retailers have had to incorporate digital channels into their offerings. Unfortunately for the retailer, there are numerous steps during the online shopping experience where the shopper may abandon their journey to payment.

Online Payments Market Development

The value of spending on remote payments for digital and physical goods will surpass $3.3 trillion this year -- that's up 10 percent on the 2017 total of $3 trillion, according to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research.

The new research findings uncovered that alternative payment mechanisms would comprise an ever increasing proportion of online spending.

PayPal already accounts for 20 percent of mobile and online physical goods transactions made outside China, while the success of Alipay and Weixin Pay within China means that these two players combined now account for 45 percent of global payment volumes.

It also claimed that there was a significant opportunity for more nascent options, such as the various OEM-Pay solutions and carrier billing, recently adopted by Amazon in Japan for physical goods purchases.

The market study findings also highlighted the major pain points for merchants and their customers. It argued that European merchants needed to be aware of the implications of PSD2 on card-on-file, meaning they would need to be ‘white-listed’ by consumers for payment details to be stored.

Indeed, it claimed Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) obligations could potentially adversely impact on conversion rates by increasing friction at checkout.

Meanwhile, the research noted that retailers were struggling to resolve issues around customer identification within the broader commerce framework.

Outlook for Online Payment Applications

"Payment processors and other key stakeholders need to work closely with merchants to ensure they can recognize individual consumers, regardless of device and whether they are purchasing online or offline, to deliver the optimal experience across the retail lifecycle," said Dr Windsor Holden, head of forecasting & consultancy at Juniper Research.

Furthermore, the research stressed that not only should merchants localize supported payment mechanisms, but also the entire payment flow. Therefore Juniper analysts recommended they work with payment processors to test optimal flows for target markets.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Collaborative Robotics Revenue will Reach $1.23 Billion

While we continue to see reports about the growing fear of job loss due to robotics in the workplace, more industry analyst reports shed light on the apparent upside opportunities for vendors. ABI Research identified 'collaborative robotics' as one of the fastest growing market segments.

Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs) are driving the increased demand for these collaborative robots, as 'cobots' provide solutions that allow for a more flexible kind of manufacturing that makes no assumptions as to volume levels or types of products being manufactured.

Robotics Technology Market Development

From 2016 to 2025, the global revenue of collaborative robotics shipments is set to reach a compound average growth rate of 49.8 percent -- that's compared to 12.1 percent for Industrial robots and 23.2 percent for commercial robotics.

The term ‘collaborative’ refers to human scale robotic systems that can share a workspace with humans, interact with humans while also moving independently from them, and can physically contact their co-workers safely.

This opens the value of robotics -- including strength, precision, and repeatability -- to a series of tasks that previously their bulk prohibited.

The collaborative robotics market is still young, with global revenues reaching about $292 million in 2017. However, by 2025, that figure is set to exceed $1.23 billion in global revenue, and hundreds of thousands of shipments.

This is being driven by demand for manufacturing solutions that don’t include large-scale investment in fixed automation or larger robotic arms. These include tasks like machine-tending, quality control, and light assembly.

The manufacturing sector is the current mainstay of collaborative robotics. According to the ABI assessment, SMBs within the manufacturing sector will be responsible for the explosive cobot growth going forward.

"Up until recently, a large percentage of SMB’s, particularly manufacturers, have missed out on many of the benefits of robotic industrial automation such as increased productivity, quality, and overall competitiveness," said Rian Whitton, research analyst at ABI Research. "Rapid change is underway."

Fuelled by growing demand, established industrial robotics companies and several new vendors are providing products and services specifically designed to satisfy the needs and support the culture of SMB’s – a sizable and underserved market.

SMBs require flexible automation solutions that can easily and quickly be adapted to meet shifting demands. They need systems that can be programmed easily and quickly and can support multiple types of automation tasks. Collaborative robots fit the bill for SMBs.

Outlook for Robotic Applications Growth

Geographically, by far the largest market for collaborative robotics will be the Asia-Pacific region, with a projected 68 percent market share of shipments by 2025. Europe and North America will host 30 percent of shipments in the same year.

"Industrial robotics has been a critical component of advanced manufacturing for many decades, but with collaborative robotics, automation and cooperation between man and machine will move out of production onto the factory floor and into the warehouse," concludes Whitton.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Early-Adopter Lessons Learned

Artificial intelligence (AI) projects are slowly gaining momentum, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner. That said, just four percent of CIO respondents have already implemented AI technologies, while 46 percent have started to work on deployment plans.

"Despite huge levels of interest in AI technologies, current implementations remain at quite low levels," said Whit Andrews, vice president at Gartner. "However, there is potential for strong growth as CIOs begin piloting AI programs through a combination of buy, build and outsource efforts."

Artificial Intelligence Market Development

As with most emerging technologies, the early adopters are facing many obstacles to the progress of AI within their organizations. Gartner analysts have identified the following four lessons-learned that have emerged from these early AI projects.

"Don’t fall into the trap of primarily seeking hard outcomes, such as direct financial gains, with AI projects," said Mr. Andrews. "In general, it’s best to start AI projects with a small scope and aim for 'soft' outcomes, such as process improvements, customer satisfaction or financial benchmarking."

Expect AI projects to produce, at best, lessons that will help with subsequent, larger experiments, pilots and implementations. In some organizations, a financial target will be a requirement to start the project.

Big technological advances are often historically associated with a reduction in staff head count. While reducing labor costs is attractive to business executives, it is likely to create resistance from those whose jobs appear to be at risk.

In pursuing this way of thinking, organizations can miss out on real opportunities to use the technology effectively. Gartner predicts that by 2020, around 20 percent of organizations will dedicate workers to monitoring and guiding neural networks.

Most organizations aren't well-prepared for implementing AI projects. They lack internal skills in data science and plan to rely on external providers to fill the knowledge gap. Fifty-three percent of organizations in the CIO survey rated their own ability to mine and exploit data as "limited".

As a result, Gartner predicts that through 2022, 85 percent of AI projects will likely deliver erroneous outcomes -- due to bias in data, algorithms or the teams responsible for managing them.

Outlook for New AI Applications

According to the Gartner assessment, AI projects will often involve software or systems from external service providers. It’s important that some insight into how decisions are reached is built into any service agreement.

Although it may not always be possible to explain all the details of an advanced analytical model -- such as a deep neural network -- it’s also important to at least offer some kind of visualization of the potential choices.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Upside Opportunity for Blockchain Professional Services

Demand for blockchain solutions are accelerating across the globe. Given the maturity of the technology and the need for specialized skills and experience, the majority of blockchain spending in the near-term will be on business and technology services.

According to the latest global study by International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on blockchain services growing from $1.8 billion in 2018 to $8.1 billion in 2021 -- achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80 percent.

Blockchain Market Development

Distributed ledgers technology (DLT) allows new transactions to be added to an existing chain of transactions using a secure, digital or cryptographic signature. To develop, build, deploy, and maintain these distributed ledgers and smart contracts, enterprises are turning to professional services firms, systems integrators, and application developers.

"IDC believes the short-term blockchain services opportunity is small but strategically important, as developers, vendors, and their customers work out the standards and protocols and promote blockchain capabilities as a 'trust and scale' alternative to traditional database, ETL, and OLTP applications," said Michael Versace, research director at IDC.

Over the long-term horizon, blockchain services -- including business consulting, IT consulting, custom development, and managed services -- have the potential to become foundational to a new generation of enterprise IT infrastructure, resulting in a growing demand for consultants and developers.

As blockchain begins to find its way into corporate strategies and business processes, a variety of business and IT consulting, development, platform, outsourcing, and educational services will be needed. According to the IDC assessment, these fall into three market segments, as follows.

Project-oriented services consist of business consulting services that define enterprise strategy and readiness, identify high-value applications and profit pools, and metrics for value creation using blockchain technologies; IT consulting services that advise on platform selection, data and system architecture, application performance, capacity and business continuity planning; system integration for the planning, design, implementation and management of blockchain solutions; and custom application development to design, build and test new blockchain applications.

Outsourced services consist of business process outsourcing for the execution of key business activities, business processes, or entire business functions by an external (third party) services provider or outsourcer; and other outsourced services such as hosted application management, blockchain infrastructure outsourcing, and hosted infrastructure services.

Support services which consist of support and training services including hardware and software deployment and support services, content development, training processes to support enterprise, partner, or end-user adoption of blockchain networks and technologies.

Outlook for Blockchain Developer Demand

"IDC expects to see dramatic growth in the blockchain developer marketplace over the next several years," noted Versace. "By 2021, the number of consultants and developers in blockchain services will have grown tenfold from current estimates."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Technology, Media and Telecom Trends Q1-Q4 2017

Last year may be remembered for many years to come, for a variety of reasons, including significant market transactions. Mergermarket, an Acuris company, has released its global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) roundup report of the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) sector for the whole year.

In 2017, global dealmaking in the TMT sector saw 3,389 deals worth a combined $498.2 billion. Although total deal value fell 26.3 percent compared to the $ 676.3 billion tallied in 2016, a new Mergermarket record by deal count was set, increasing by 233 transactions over 2016 (3,156 deals) to reach an all-time high.

Technology Sector Market Development

The latest market trends highlight the increasing influence of technology in just about everything. In fact, senior executives in various industries have been under pressure to incorporate digital transformation projects, in order to survive and prosper in the evolving global marketplace.

This has already forced company consolidations in long-standing industries such as Consumer; Pharma, Medical & Biotech; and of course Media. Half of all deal activity in TMT was driven by M&A in the Computer Software sub-sector alone, which accounted for 1,739 transactions (worth $128.8 billion) – 2.8 times that of eCommerce, which saw the second-highest deal count with 629 transactions (worth $85.1 billion).

Software was one of the few sectors where deal count actually rose in 2017. By deal value, software was responsible for 25.7 percent of total TMT deal value. But there were no software deals in 2017 anywhere in the globe that reached mega-deal (>$10 billion) status.

Private equity activity within the software sector also set a new record. While disclosed deal values for software buyouts ended with an aggregate $38.8 billion -- a 16.4 percent decrease from 2016 -- 2017 was still the third-highest value on record, with deal count hitting a peak of 438 transactions. That's 123 more than in 2016, which had previously held the record.

Global Media Sector Highlights

Media M&A had already been a volatile sector as a whole -- including entertainment, advertising, publishing, and broadcast -- struggled over the past few years to deal with the massive onslaught of changes brought on by technology advances. Moreover, the sector now finds itself grappling with the effects of several industry governance reform movements.

Global figures for the sector recorded $131.2 billion, a decrease of 28.9 percent compared to the $184.4 billion in 2016, though deal count was up by eight transactions to 568 over the same period. The U.S. market accounted for the bulk of the share of global media dealmaking, comprising 78.9 percent of total deal value within the sector, and just under 30 percent of total deal count.

At the same time, this was 22.4 percent below total value in the U.S. in 2016 ($133.3 billion) and 17 fewer deals. In fact, the media sector deal value fell across the globe, by 52.5 percent in Europe to $13.6 billion in 2017, by 26 percent in Asia-Pacific (APAC) to $13.4 billion, and by 85.3 percent in the rest of the world to $600 million.

By deal count, however, activity rose in Europe and APAC, by 22 transactions over 2016 to 228 total in Europe and by six to 135 total in APAC.

TMT Market Outlook for 2018

According to the Mergermarket assessment, the structural changes taking place across industries that were influenced by technology sector advances are likely to continue shaping the global commercial landscape for dealmaking well into 2018.

While deal values may continue to fall, deal count in sectors, such as technology, are set to rise further. The sector will likely add more pressure to other traditional sectors to consolidate and battle over high-value targets, despite political and regulatory uncertainty.

Tax reform in the U.S. market, which resulted in a sizable cut to the corporate rate, is also widely anticipated to spur more M&A transactions as companies look to invest more on potential new deals.

However, with interest rate hikes projected for 2018, this could also restrain deal values, driving them downward. Meanwhile, the overall TMT deal count momentum is unlikely to be affected, as it continues on the path of ongoing growth.