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Friday, November 27, 2015

Multi-Cloud Solutions Can Reduce Computing Costs

The shift to public cloud computing continues to disrupt the traditional enterprise IT market, as more CIOs adopt the services that deliver numerous benefits gained from a managed low-cost hyperscale infrastructure.

In the latest quarterly update to the Cloud Price Index (CPI), 451 Research details the savings that public cloud buyers can achieve, by shopping around for the lowest-cost services for each part of their Web application.

Instead of using a single cloud service provider to deliver an application, buyers who combine services -- such as compute and storage -- from multiple providers can realize substantial savings.

Their analysis reveals that if cloud service buyers mix and match services and make long-term commitments to their providers, they can reduce their overall operational cost, starting at 58 percent for a small application.

Furthermore, for a large Web server application, the savings could be as much as 74 percent -- which, over three years, equates to a total cost saving of $23,000 per Web application.

The Cloud Price Index is made up of a basket of goods. It's a specification of the services required to operate a typical Web server application -- including compute, storage, databases, management, etc.

This latest CPI service is currently available in North America, and will be launched in Europe, Asia and Latin America in early 2016. The 451 Research analysis will also be extended to cover private clouds in 2016.

“The CPI shows it is possible to achieve substantial savings by using multiple providers. However, we believe the complexity of dealing with various providers offsets any advantage at this time," said Dr. Owen Rogers, research director at 451 Research.

Technically, there is no reason why applications can’t be spread across multiple clouds. That being said, the challenges include the latency between data centers, and managing the different provider APIs, invoicing, documentation, and support functions.

"Through this analysis, we believe we have identified a tremendous opportunity for providers to bring a retail-model discipline to cloud service selection and creation," Rogers added.

For example, public cloud service providers could offer decision engines to help enterprises choose the best-value mix of services to suit their needs, and then integrate and manage these services as a managed offering.

To determine the lowest-price mix of services, 451 Research surveyed 26 public cloud service providers, representing 85 percent of the U.S. market. For each service within its basket of goods, analysts chose the cheapest cloud provider and added costs of bandwidth, using data collected in October 2015.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Micro-Finance Users will Reach 283 Million by 2020

Micro-credit, insurance, and simple saving accounts are already making a very positive impact on millions of the world's poor, while also creating new opportunities for innovative mobile network service providers in emerging markets.

Both micro-finance providers, and mobile carriers, are driving a surge in financial inclusion for the un-banked populace in developing nations, through the provision of sophisticated mobile finance services, according to the latest market study by Juniper Research.

Juniper now estimates that micro-finance user numbers in developing regions -- including Africa & India -- will triple from 94 million in 2015 to 283 million by 2020.

They found that mobile savings accounts -- such as Safaricom’s M-Shwari and Tigo Tanzania -- had already gained mass adoption in their respective markets, with the mobile network operators benefiting both from reduced churn and from the opportunity to upsell additional content such as micro-insurance and loans.

Indeed, the research study findings point out that the introduction of such services can have a transformative effect on both individual livelihoods and on local communities.

It cited the example of ACRE Africa which offers agricultural micro insurance, protecting farmers’ livelihoods in regions prone to natural disaster.

Other mobile network service providers offer insurance as an incentive to purchase airtime top-up, such as Pakistan’s Easypaisa which offers free life insurance to anyone who opens a prepaid mobile account with an average monthly balance of $20.

"For the first time, the un-banked can afford protection against natural disasters, such as crop failure and illness, essentially offering a means by which to recoup their losses. Before the introduction of micro-insurance, a farmer suffering crop failure may well have lost his livelihood," said Lauren Foye, analyst at Juniper Research.

Other key findings from the study include:
  • Consumer expenditure on mobile loan services will increase by 600 percent, reaching $2.4 billion in 2020.
  • MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) are able to leverage individuals’ mobile payment patterns and mobile social network histories to facilitate credit scoring for loans.
  • With the closure of M-PESA linked insurance service ‘Linda Jamii’ announced, it is clear that some segments continue to face significant challenges.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Public Cloud Computing Market will Reach $133B in 2018

Today, cloud computing is an essential enabler of forward-looking digital transformation projects that empower organizations across the globe. When combined with DevOps methodologies, these IT capabilities are helping developers rapidly build the infrastructure for new disruptive business models.

Over half of the enterprise IT market respondents to a recent survey report using public cloud services for their projects, according to the latest worldwide market study by Technology Business Research (TBR).

Findings from the comprehensive global study indicate that vendors offering built-in integrations for cloud and on-premises applications are best positioned to capture new customers.

Moreover, the study uncovered that hybrid IT, brokerage services and geographic expansion will support and sustain ongoing public cloud computing adoption, during 2016 and beyond.

"The public cloud market is getting a boost from broader IT trends such as hybrid IT, brokerage and global demand," said Jillian Freeman, senior analyst at TBR.

Besides, TBR believes that as this next wave of enterprise cloud adoption moves toward more large digital transformations from the C-Suite, professional services, integration and management are needed to address growing demand.

Public Cloud Market Development Trends

The growing ecosystem of vendors that are gathering around public cloud offerings also helps to fulfill vertical industry and geographic requirements, by extending cloud capabilities to include the most requested customization.

Interoperability and business process improvements are strategic areas of evolution among enterprise customers, and TBR estimates the public cloud market is poised to reach $133 billion by 2018.

The study findings also indicate that IT security, data ownership and consumer privacy remain barriers for some public cloud customers. But as vendors improve their capabilities, public cloud adoption will continue to increase as these issues are addressed.

The resulting TBR report highlights long-term opportunities for public cloud, the anticipated rates of cloud adoption and spending trends that will influence integration across customer IT environments.

TBR surveyed 2,850 cloud purchasing decision makers in large enterprises across North America, EMEA and APAC regions to explore the overall cloud market, identify the key players that will lead in public cloud and portray IT customer spending trends.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Upside Growth for U.S. OTT Video Streaming Market

The American video entertainment realm has continued to evolve during 2015. Market development in the traditional pay-TV sector has been particularly difficult. However, there are still some significant upside opportunities.

Baby Boomers comprise nearly a third of U.S. adult broadband users and are significantly more likely than other segments to subscribe to traditional pay-TV services.

According to the latest TDG Research study and data-driven analysis of this vital but oft-overlooked consumer segment, this makes them excellent candidates for the high-revenue sales of operator value-added services.

As TDG first noted earlier this year, the race-to-the-bottom that currently defines pay-TV operator strategy -- that is, the targeting of Millennials with low-cost bundles -- has deflects marketing resources away from efforts to grow ARPU among other subscribers.

"Unlike Millennials, Broadband Boomers are quite loyal to their current operators and have very deep pockets," says Nick Beyer, analyst at TDG.

TDG believes that Boomers are typically less tech-savvy than younger consumers, but they are increasingly connected. The question, then, is how can pay-TV operators better tap into the specific needs of this market segment.

TDG study findings indicate that 57 percent of Broadband Boomers have a net-connected TV set. Moreover, time spent viewing streaming video on a TV set is increasing among this segment.

Among smart TV users, 59 percent of Boomers report an increase in TV streaming over the last year. The same holds true for all streaming devices used by this market segment.

According to the TDG assessment, that's potentially good news for over-the-top (OTT) TV service providers, who have plenty of growth headroom among this segment.

Furthermore, the adoption of Netflix among this segment is currently 36 percent, which means that close to 40 percent of those Boomers with connected TVs have yet to subscribe to a streaming OTT video service.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Progressive Digital Marketing as a Catalyst for Change

Informed management consultants and industry analysts agree, the digital transformation journey begins with the adoption of digital marketing practices that enable companies to evolve beyond obsolete advertising-centric thinking.

Today's progressive marketers have embraced change. They've learned new skills and pushed past the fears that were once holding them back. Now, digital marketing is an imperative, and digital commerce is also a top priority, according to the latest market study by Gartner, Inc.

The recent Gartner survey also found that marketing budgets increased by 10 percent in 2015, with 61 percent of respondents saying they expect budgets to increase once again in 2016.

"There is little doubt that digital marketing is now mainstream," said Yvonne Genovese, group vice president at Gartner. "Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines."

Gartner believes that as more enterprise customers opt for digitally led experiences across most industries, digital marketing stops being a discrete discipline and instead becomes the key context for all marketing.

Moreover, 10 percent of marketers say they've already moved beyond digital marketing techniques and are expanding marketing's role to create new digitally-led business models. The blurring of the physical and digital worlds represents opportunities for marketers to apply customer insights to create and test new business models.

Digital commerce is surging, according to the Gartner assessment, capturing 11 percent of the digital marketing budget (that's up from 8 percent in 2014) as marketers become more accountable for driving results.

Marketing and selling were once viewed as two distinct disciplines. Now, digital strategies can merge these two business processes into a single, continuous activity from initial awareness, through engagement, conversion, transaction and repeat purchase.

Fearless Digital Marketers will Lead Change

There are two main factors driving a digital commerce agenda: the need to point to tangible results from marketing investments, and the recognition that companies need more than a commerce platform to sell. They need a concerted effort across corporate domains and product silos.

In the past, digital commerce operations were often disconnected from marketing activity. Today, they're two parts of a single, integrated discipline -- where marketers weave together content marketing, brand storytelling and advanced data analytics that are applied to achieve digital commerce objectives.

That being said, marketing is expected to drive profitable growth through the acquisition, retention and expansion of valuable customer relationships. As these expectations expand, so does the potential influence and responsibility of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

The most successful CMOs will be progressive, forward-thinking catalysts of organizational change. They must be fully cognizant of what it really means to be a digital marketing practitioner. They will lead by example. They will also protect the few change-agents from the gang of legacy organization antibodies that will try to undermine and eliminate any plan to disrupt the traditional marketing status-quo.

Friday, November 20, 2015

IoT Apps will Flourish in Commercial Vehicle Fleets

During 2016, commercial vehicle applications of sensor technology will drive more use cases for the Internet of Things (IoT). As market demand grows, vendor merger and acquisition activity will continue, as a catalyst to combine the most compelling technology and services foundation for ongoing market development.

The number of active Fleet Management (FM) systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets within Europe was 4.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.1 percent, this number is expected to reach 8.90 million by 2019, according to the latest market study by Berg Insight.

The vendor activity over the last twelve to eighteen months has been remarkable. A group of international aftermarket solution providers have now emerged as leaders in the European fleet management market.

TomTom Telematics was the fastest growing vendor in 2014 and has climbed to the number one spot in Europe, ahead of Masternaut. TomTom has about 450,000 vehicles under management in Europe and Masternaut is estimated to have an active installed base of 350,000 units -- mainly in France and the UK.

Microlise, Digicore and Trimble have also joined the market leader group of fleet management providers in Europe having more than 100,000 active devices in the field.

Transics is number one in the heavy trucks segment with an estimated 85,000 active units installed. Also, the Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) manufacturers are growing their subscriber bases considerably in Europe, thanks to standard line fitment of fleet management solutions.

Dynafleet by Volvo, FleetBoard by Daimler and Scania Fleet Management are the most successful with active subscriber bases of 70,000 units, 72,000 units and 88,000 units respectively as of the end of 2014.

The consolidation trend in this market continued in 2015. "Nine major mergers and acquisitions have taken place in the past year among the vendors of fleet management systems in Europe," said Johan Fagerberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight.

TomTom acquired Fleetlogic in the Netherlands in December 2014 adding another 27,000 subscribers to its installed base. Fleetmatics acquired Ornicar in February 2015 – a local FM solution provider in France adding around 15,000 vehicle subscriptions.

In March 2015, a decision was made to merge the two Danaher Corporation owned companies Navman Wireless and Teletrac. Later in April, Orange Business Services acquired OCEAN.

Novatel Wireless announced a bid to acquire Digicore in June in a deal worth $ 87 million. In the same month, Viasat acquired a controlling interest in Cefin Systems. Goldman Sachs and GRO Capital announced the acquisition of Trackunit from the founders of the company in July. And, Thermo King acquired Celtrak in October.

The latest transaction was completed in November, when Fleetmatics acquired Visirun in Italy adding 28,000 subscriptions and 3,000 clients. Berg Insight anticipates that the market consolidation of the still overcrowded fleet management industry will continue in 2016.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Enterprise IT Security Demand Creates $8.6B Upside

In hindsight, the reported ongoing IT security breaches during 2015 have paved the way for a significant cyber security solutions marketplace in 2016 and beyond. Savvy IT leaders have already started to address the need for real-time policy updates, ongoing employee training and an evolving systems architecture.

Data trends show that the global cyber threat and Vulnerability Management (VM) market is expected to grow from $5.3 billion in 2015 to $8.6 billion in 2020, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

This study was launched to uncover the commercial implications of newly discovered ICT security vulnerabilities, while also assessing current solutions to the known people, process and technology-related challenges that most CIOs must address with proactive enterprise security measures.

"Each day, organizations are deluged with warnings about newly discovered security vulnerabilities," says Monolina Sen, senior analyst at ABI Research. "While well-known security flaws, such as Heartbleed, affected industries globally, lesser-known vulnerabilities have just as much impact on critical systems in a particular enterprise."

ABI reports that the increasing use of next generation technologies -- such as mobile applications, internet of things, cloud computing and big data -- are bound to introduce the potential for new types of vulnerabilities.

According to the market study, software as a service (SaaS) providers have the highest number of vulnerabilities on average, followed by the financial services industry. The ABI assessment identified two key factors that led to the growing demand for cyber threat and VM solutions.

Impact of Design Flaws and Weaknesses: These affect a software vendor's reputation, as well as an IT systems and enterprise networking supplier's bottom line, as frequent OS updates and application patches represent a major financial burden.

Government and Industry Regulation Mandates: Groups such as HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability), HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health), PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) mandate rigorous VM practices.

ABI believes that VM is key to attaining risk management goals. It provides policy and compliance context, and it mines the network for vulnerability information, remediation opportunities, and ultimately, provides a comprehensive view of enterprise risk.

The VM market covers a wide area of solutions that function as the backbone of the security organization. The ideal VM solution would include capabilities for asset management, vulnerability assessment, configuration management, patch management, remediation, reporting and monitoring.

ABI says that it would also integrate well with third-party technologies. Leading vendors providing VM solutions include Tenable Network Security, Qualys, Core Security, IBM, Rapid7, AlienVault, Tripwire, Skybox Security, HP Enterprise, Intel Security, EMC, Symantec and Secunia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crowdfunding will Ignite Tech Start-Up Growth in 2016

Are you ready for the next wave of technology innovations to create opportunities in the new year, or are you concerned about the potential for a digital disruption to upset your current business model? Who knows what the future will bring? Industry analysts, that's who.

Juniper Research has shared a list of their predictions for the top technology trends in 2016. I'll also publish the highlights of other industry analyst predictions between now and the end of 2015. Stay tuned...

2016 – The Year Virtual Reality Gets Real

Juniper has identified 2016 as the watershed year for virtual reality (VR) headsets, both in terms of product launches and user adoption.

Oculus, Sony, and HTC are among the leading technology industry players expected to launch new VR products over the next 12 months.

The recent attention to and investment into virtual reality is helping to revitalize the industry and with major brand commercial launches imminent, Juniper says there is huge upside potential for rapid market expansion.

As a result, Juniper expects significant VR uptake over the next 5 years, as consumers benefit from a combination of improved VR technology allied to immersive applications, as well as reduced prices.

Consequently, they believe that the technology is now poised to transform the entertainment industry -- including gaming and video, over the coming years.

Meanwhile, there's the potential for VR technology to quickly expand into other markets, such as commercial applications within the industrial and healthcare sectors. Only time will tell where demand will be the greatest.

Top Ten Technology Predictions for 2016

The full list of our top ten tech predictions follow below.

  1. Virtual Reality - a watershed year
  2. Consumer robotics becomes a reality
  3. Wearables go to work
  4. The race for 5G begins
  5. Many devices, one platform
  6. Blockchain technology embraced by financial institutions
  7. Hybrid console and cloud gaming gathers pace
  8. eSports delivers significant new revenues for the games market
  9. New security models emerge
  10. Crowdfunding ignites start-up growth

If you want to learn more about these technology predictions for 2016, a free report detailing their latest market study findings is available to download, from the Juniper Research website.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

U.S. Smartphone Apps Likely to Lead Mobile Disruption

Mobile network service providers are concerned by the dominant position that Facebook and Google maintain on the majority of American smartphones. Why are they anxious? Instant messaging was the Trojan Horse software app that has enabled both companies to position their future expansion into traditional telecom service offerings, such as voice and video communication.

During 2016, both Facebook and Google will expand their app-enabled capabilities, thereby further eroding the network operator's role in value-added mobile services. Meanwhile, comScore released data on key trends within the U.S. smartphone industry for September 2015.

Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 43.6 percent OEM market share in America, while Google Android led as the number one smartphone platform with 52.3 percent platform market share.

Facebook ranked as the top individual smartphone application. Google has six apps in the top 15 list this quarter. Software apps are likely to lead the ongoing U.S. mobile market disruption trends.

Smartphone OEM Market Share

192.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (77.4 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in September. Apple ranked as the top OEM with 43.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers.

Samsung ranked second with 27.6 percent market share, followed by LG with 9.4 percent (up 1.1 percentage points from June), Motorola with 4.8 percent and HTC with 3.3 percent.

Smartphone Platform Market Share

Android ranked as the top smartphone platform in September with 52.3 percent market share (up 0.7 percentage points from June), followed by Apple with 43.6 percent, Microsoft with 2.9 percent, BlackBerry with 1.2 percent and Symbian with 0.1 percent.

Top Smartphone Applications

Facebook ranked as the top smartphone app, reaching 76.2 percent of the app audience, followed by YouTube (61 percent), Facebook Messenger (60.9 percent) and Google Play (52.2 percent).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Enterprise SDN Spend to Reach $10 Billion by 2019

As more multinational companies plan for their digital transformation, most are assessing their communication network capabilities. Meanwhile, the enterprise software-defined networking (SDN) market is maturing, and increasing adoption indicates that it's gaining momentum.

SDN early-adopters are completing proof-of-concept trials and shifting to production deployments, which will transition into mainstream market adoption between now and 2020, according to the latest worldwide market study by Technology Business Research (TBR).

"SDN will become a substantial contributor to the overall network infrastructure market," said Krista Macomber, data center analyst at TBR.

Production deployments have started within large-scale enterprise environments, and will spread as international standards bodies finalize their work and SDN vendors expand into new use cases.

According to the TBR assessment, previously a small number of large vendors dominated networking standards, but openness and collaboration around SDN innovation has included a variety of companies -- including start-ups that have developed new technologies.

With the support of industry alliances, such as the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), and participation from vendors of open-source technologies, SDN now includes security and mission-critical application availability.

Deployment considerations will increasingly include business benefits as enterprises validate the reliability and performance of SDN architectures. Besides, a primary advantage of SDN is the promise of lower-cost infrastructure, by combining savings from open source hardware.

TBR believes that customers recognize the potential of software-defined architectures in solving pressing traditional IT pain points, such as management complexity and workload inflexibility.

However, some barriers to adoption remain -- including internal IT organization resistance to change and industry immaturity. For vendors, proving the performance and reliability of solutions is a critical first step in their market development.

The rise of SDN architectures is altering the vendor landscape. As hardware becomes a commodity, software-centric vendors and vendors of industry-standard hardware may be able to take market share from the traditional enterprise networking industry incumbents.

As software-centric vendors enable customers to reduce expensive and complex hardware installations, they will stress the value of SDN optimization for overlay capabilities and also to improve the performance of IT workloads.