Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Virtual Reality Apps are Gaining Momentum in B2B

Expect to see more announcements about business video applications for new emerging technologies, throughout the remainder of 2017 and beyond. This growth will span across numerous industries.

Virtual Reality (VR) is often viewed through the lens of consumer-driven gaming, but in a recent B2B technology survey of 455 U.S.-based companies across nine vertical markets, ABI Research finds that while only 4 percent of respondents have VR in operation, 85 percent are at least in the stages of early investigation.

In fact, of the thirteen technologies highlighted in the survey, VR fell roughly in the middle of the pack, ahead of other innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and indoor location.

Virtual Reality Market Development

"Despite VR being a new technology, with some setbacks already evident, the survey yielded some surprisingly positive results for VR in enterprise and commercials spaces," said Michael Inouye, principal analyst at ABI Research.

According to the ABI Research assessment, the B2B market will take longer to develop than the consumer space, but its expansion -- at least in the U.S. market -- could occur at a faster rate than had been previously estimated.

The findings show that the verticals with the most VR activity or interest, are healthcare, retail, automotive or transportation, and consumer packaged goods.

Training, testing, and marketing are all early target functions for VR along with vertical specific applications like treatments or therapies for anxiety conditions in medicine or virtual showrooms in retail.

Sam Rosen, managing director at ABI Research, concluded "For any application that benefits from deeply immersive experiences, VR is often a natural fit. We're starting to see some early experimentation where VR will expand its horizons."

Outlook for VR Headset Applications

The combination of a VR headset with a camera pass-through for merged reality experience in particular, will open it up to a much wider range of applications.

ABI still expects the consumer segment of the VR market to hold the largest revenue share over the next five years, but eventually the B2B opportunity will overtake the consumer space -- especially if VR and related technologies do become the next compute platform.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Key Digital Transformation Trends for the Next Decade

Three significant business technology trends will enable business leaders to thrive over the next five to ten years. Artificial intelligence (AI), transparently immersive experiences and new digital platforms will provide the foundation that enables organizations to connect with new business ecosystems.

"Enterprise architects who are focused on technology innovation must evaluate these high-level trends and the featured technologies, as well as the potential impact on their businesses," said Mike J. Walker, research director at Gartner.

In addition to the commercial impact, these trends provide an upside opportunity for enterprise architecture experts to help their senior business leaders respond to digital transformation opportunities by creating actionable plans that guide IT investment decisions.

Digital Transformation Market Development

Artificial intelligence technologies will be the most disruptive trend over the next decade, due to radical computational power, access to vast amounts of data, and advances in deep neural networks. That will enable organizations with AI to harness data, adapt to new situations and solve problems.

Savvy CIOs and CTOs should consider the following technologies: Deep Learning, Deep Reinforcement Learning, Artificial General Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, Cognitive Computing, Commercial UAVs (Drones), Conversational User Interfaces, Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management, Machine Learning, Smart Dust, Smart Robots and Smart Workspace.

According to the Gartner assessment, technology will continue to become more human-centric and introduce transparency between people, businesses and things. This relationship will become much more adaptive, contextual and fluid within the workplace.

Digital technologies to be considered include: 4D Printing, Augmented Reality (AR), Computer-Brain Interface, Connected Home, Human Augmentation, Nanotube Electronics, Virtual Reality (VR) and Volumetric Displays.

Emerging technologies require revolutionizing the enabling foundations that provide the volume of data needed, advanced compute power, and ubiquity-enabling ecosystems. The shift from IT infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms creates the foundations for entirely new digital business models.

Key platform-enabling technologies to track include: 5G, Digital Twin, Edge Computing, Blockchain, IoT Platform, Neuromorphic Hardware, Quantum Computing, Serverless PaaS and Software-Defined Security.

Outlook for Digital Transformation Growth

In summary, these digital technologies make new IT realities possible by providing the underlining platforms that will fuel the future. Gartner believes that technologies such as quantum computing and blockchain are poised to create the most transformative and dramatic impacts in the next five to 10 years.

"These mega-trends illustrate that the more organizations are able to make technology an integral part of employee, partner and customer experiences, the more they will be able to connect their ecosystems to platforms in new and dynamic ways," said Mr. Walker.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Online Payment Fraud Detection and Prevention Apps

The relative ease, convenience and reach facilitated by online channels for businesses has led to the development of a broad set of digital services. The accessibility of the Internet and the ability to commit fraud remotely creates an appetizing prospect for criminals.

Meanwhile, the potential attack surface for miscreants is enormous; some 94 billion transactions were made for remote goods purchases in 2016, which is only a fraction of the total eCommerce landscape.

A new market study from Juniper Research has found that spending on online fraud detection and prevention (FDP) solutions will reach $9.3 billion by 2022 -- that's an increase of 22 percent over this year’s anticipated spend.

FDP Market Development

The research found that perceptions of high software costs, combined with relatively low awareness of effective solutions in the eCommerce space, were slowing service adoption. Nevertheless, it predicted that several factors would prove instrumental in driving the market forward.

According to the latest global market study by Juniper Research, the growing threat of insecure IoT (Internet of Things) devices would be key in driving FDP spend.

The evolution of IoT botnets from DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) weapons aimed at fraud automation tools has influenced this trend, owing to a requirement for better customer verification tools.


Meanwhile, Juniper predicted the launch of 3DS 2.0 (3-D Secure 2.0) would have a similar impact. It claimed 3DS 2.0 would both reduce fraud and result in fewer basket abandonment, if merchants invested in authentication solutions as part of their FDP strategy.

Finally, it cited the upcoming PSD2 (revised payment services directive) and the move to open banking APIs in Europe, North America and Asia as a further driver.

"APIs expose a set of business logic rules, which by their nature are susceptible to abuse," said Steffen Sorrell, senior analyst at Juniper Research. "This will drive banks and service providers to greater emphasis on protecting those APIs."

Outlook for FDP Applications Growth

Juniper predicted that emerging markets, such as Latin America, Indian Subcontinent and Africa & Middle East would become key targets for banking and payments fraud.

Collectively, these regions will account for only 4 percent of global FDP spend in 2022. The research findings noted that stronger regulation to protect consumers as well as better consumer education in safer online practices were key issues to address.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Exploring Augmented and Virtual Reality Use Cases

Worldwide revenues for the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market are forecast to increase by more than 100 percent over each of the next four years, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Total spending on augmented and virtual reality products and services is expected to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion 2021, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 113.2 percent along the way.

AR and VR Market Development

The United States will be the region with the largest AR/VR spending total in 2017 ($3.2 billion), followed by Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) ($3.0 billion) and Western Europe ($2.0 billion). But then APeJ jumps ahead of the U.S. in total spending for two years before its growth rate starts to slow in 2019.

The U.S. then pushes back into the top position in 2020 driven by accelerating growth in the latter years of the forecast. Meanwhile, Western Europe is expected to overtake APeJ for the number two position in 2021.

The regions that will experience the fastest growth over the 2016-2021 forecast period are Canada (145.2 percent CAGR), Central and Eastern Europe (133.5 percent CAGR), Western Europe (121.2 percent CAGR) and the United States (120.5 percent CAGR).

Within the regions, the industry segments driving AR/VR spending start from roughly the same place, but then evolve quite differently over time. The consumer segment will be the largest source of AR/VR revenues in each region in 2017. In the United States and Western Europe, the next largest segments are discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing.

In contrast, the next largest segments in APeJ in 2017 are retail and education. Over the course of the forecast, the consumer segment in the U.S. will be overtaken by process manufacturing, government, discrete manufacturing, retail, construction, transportation, and professional services.

In APeJ, the consumer segment will remain the largest area of spending throughout the forecast, followed by education, retail, transportation, and healthcare in 2021. Consumer spending will also lead the way in Western Europe, with discrete manufacturing, retail, and process manufacturing showing strong growth by the end of the forecast.

"The consumer, retail, and manufacturing segments will be the early leaders in AR & VR investment and adoption. However, as we see in the regions, other segments like government, transportation, and education will utilize the transformative capabilities of these technologies," said Marcus Torchia, research director at IDC. "With use cases that span both AR & VR environments, we see a significant opportunity for companies to re-cast how users interact in business processes and everyday tasks."

Outlook for New AR and VR Apps

The industry use cases that will attract the largest AR/VR investments are also expected to evolve over the five-year forecast. In 2017, the largest industry use cases will be retail showcasing ($442 million), on-site assembly and safety ($362 million), and process manufacturing training ($309 million).

By the end of the forecast, the largest industry use cases in terms will be industrial maintenance ($5.2 billion) and public infrastructure maintenance ($3.6 billion), followed by retail showcasing ($3.2 billion). In contrast, the consumer segment will be dominated by AR and VR games throughout the forecast, with total spending reaching $9.5 billion in 2021.

The use cases that will see the fastest growth over the forecast period are lab & field (166.2 percent CAGR), therapy and physical rehabilitation (152.0 percent CAGR), and public infrastructure maintenance (138.4 percent CAGR).

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Sharing Economy will Reach $40.2 Billion by 2022

While traditionally sharing has been an activity between friends and family, the sharing of items as a business model is not in fact a new concept. Previously, we have seen the rise and fall of the loaning of some physical items (i.e. movies on DVD).

However, with the introduction of new digital formats, alongside the rapid expansion of the online ecosystem, the sharing of not just physical goods, but also skills and talent, has grown exponentially. Today, the Sharing Economy includes numerous and varied service offerings and business models.

Sharing Economy Market Development

A new market study from Juniper Research has found that the sharing economy is now primed to experience substantial growth, as players in more established sectors -- such as transport and residential or commercial space -- press their first mover advantage.

The market study findings have resulted in a forecast that the sharing economy will reach $40.2 billion in 2022, in terms of platform provider revenues -- that's up from $18.6 billion in 2017.

Since Juniper’s previous research, some of the biggest names in the sharing economy -- including Uber and Lyft -- have seen much greater financial returns from driver operations than expected.

The research noted that the proportion taken by these platforms is now around 30 percent per journey, as providers capitalize on an established driver network.

In addition, uptake of many leading sharing services has increased considerably, with listings on shared space provider Airbnb growing from 2 million at the end of 2015, to 3 million this year.

According to the Juniper assessment, the residential or commercial space and transport sectors will continue to dominate the sharing industry.

However, the research found that there is increased pressure on companies such as TaskRabbit in the shared services sector, as more flexible start-ups and listing sites gain traction and, ultimately, market share.

The research identified corporate space as the next high-growth sector in the sharing economy; an area which has developed rapidly and somewhat under the radar.

Outlook for High-Growth Business Models

"The sharing of corporate space via platforms such as WeWork and PivotDesk is the next growth area of the sharing economy, with entire floors of office blocks kitted out and primed for office sharing," said Lauren Foye, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

Substantial investment is also underway, with Softbank investing $3 billion in WeWork in February 2017, anticipating sustained growth in the flexible rental of high-spec, modern office properties.

Consequently, Juniper found that the rapidly emerging sector will deliver substantial returns of over $10 billion by 2022.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Technology, Media and Telecom 2017 M&A Deal Update

U.S. West Coast technology companies are expected to remain the driving targets for M&A transactions in the TMT sector. Bidders are likely to come from American firms across the country, plus from Europe, Asia, and Canada.

Though a return to huge mega-mergers are not anticipated this year, given the continued uncertainty in the political environment, software companies are still heavily sought-after assets, with deal volume expected to gain new momentum.

Moreover, growing concern about cyberattacks led to an increase in interest for cybersecurity companies, with the potential for more M&A in the security technology sector. Concerns over state sponsored internet-based hacking have motivated governments across the globe to develop digital defense strategies.

Furthermore, corporate data attacks via ransomware have caused a great deal of anxiety in the information technology arena. That being said, digital transformation innovations will likely continue to disrupt markets and reinvent numerous business sectors throughout the year.

Ongoing innovation within the manufacturing, robotics and artificial intelligence industries are also likely to transform several additional commercial sectors, such as construction and defense.

Technology, Media and Telecom Market Assessment

Mergermarket (now part of Acuris) has released its global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) roundup report for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Sector for the first half (H1) of 2017.

Key findings from the study include:

The first half of 2017 could best be described as a departure from business as usual, with the emergence of a new world order as defined by Brexit and the Trump presidency.

These structural changes across the globe have begun to break down and reshape not only traditional political identities, but also long-standing industries, to a growing degree brought on by the prevalence of technology in our daily lives.

As advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous vehicles, among other areas, become increasingly undeniable realities, giving rise to economic anxiety for some, the world of tomorrow now seems closer than ever.

According to the findings from their latest market assessment, some of this has already made itself evident in the TMT dealmaking environment.

In the first half of the year, despite a solid economy with low inflation, low unemployment, and plenty of highly-anticipated innovations underway, the TMT sector recorded 1,482 M&A transactions globally worth a total of $175.9 billion.

That's a 20.9 percent value drop with 84 fewer deals compared to H1 2016 ($222.3 billion, 1,566 deals), leading TMT to rank as the fourth sector globally by value.

By deal count, however, TMT saw the second highest number of deals after Energy, Mining & Utilities, boosted by the Computer Software sub-sector. Of total M&A activity globally, Software recorded 747 deals worth a total of $62.6 billion, and was responsible for 50.4 percent of TMT’s overall deal count in H1 2017 while accounting for 35.6 percent of the sector’s total value.

With its burgeoning imprint on such long-standing sectors as Financial Services, Industrials, and Medical, the number of Software deals is only expected to increase.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

IT Operations Management Embraces Open Source

Open source software adoption continues to disrupt the traditional IT markets, as enterprise CIOs and CTOs seek ways to evolve by working with progressive vendors and service providers who have a proven track record of Open Innovation.

The growth of digital business transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to drive large investment in IT operations management (ITOM) through 2020, according to the latest global market study by Gartner. A primary driver for organizations moving to ITOM open-source software (OSS) is lower cost of ownership.

OSS ITOM Market Development

While acceptance of OSS ITOM is increasing, traditional closed-source ITOM software still has the biggest budget allocation today. Moreover, complexity and governance issues that face users of OSS ITOM tools cannot be ignored.

"In fact, these issues open up opportunities for ITOM vendors. Even vendors that are late to market with ITOM functionality can compete in this area," said Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner.

Gartner believes many enterprises will turn to managed ITOM or ITOM as a service (ITOMaaS) enabled by open-source technologies and provided by a third party. With OSS, vendors can provide more cost-effective and readily available ITOM functions in a scaled manner through the cloud.

Through 2020, public cloud and managed services are expected to be leveraged more often for ITOM tools, which will drive growth of the subscription business model for both cloud and on-premises ITOM.

However, on-premises deployments will still be the most common delivery method. This imposes multiple challenges to incumbent ITOM vendors. First, those vendors that do not offer a cloud delivery model will face continuous cannibalization from ITOM vendors that can deliver ITOM through both cloud and on-premises.

Second, platform vendors are providing some native ITOM functionalities on their public clouds. Customers that are running workloads solely on these platforms may prefer these native features. There are also hybrid requirements for ITOM tools that can seamlessly manage both cloud and on-premises environments.

Future of Cloud Services and OSS for ITOM

Customer demand has driven traditional software vendors to transform and adapt to the changing technology and competitive landscapes. Competitive pressure from cloud (SaaS offerings) and commercial OSS (offerings with a free license plus paid support) is forcing ITOM providers to move toward subscription-based business models for both cloud and on-premises deployments.

The influx of new, smaller ITOM vendors focused on one or two major tool categories will continue to cause disruption for large traditional suite vendors. Given this situation, traditional vendors will need to react by changing how their products fit together.

More importantly, according to the Gartner assessment, traditional vendors need to change how their solutions are sold as customers exert significant pressure to shift to offering cloud-based services.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Software and Services Drive New IT Spending at SMBs

Digital transformation projects have fueled the IT budgets of all business types. Total IT spending by small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) will approach $568 billion in 2017, and exceed $676 billion by 2021, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

With a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5 percent, spending by businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees on IT hardware, software, and services, including business services, is expected to be slightly stronger than IDC's previous forecast.

SMB IT Market Development

"SMB IT spending growth continues to track about two percentage points higher than GDP growth across regions. But beneath that slowly rising tide are faster moving currents that reflect the changing ways SMBs are acquiring and deploying technology," said Ray Boggs, vice president at IDC.

SMBs will spread their IT investments about equally across the three major categories -- hardware, software, and IT services -- with these categories accounting for more than 85 percent of total SMB technology spending worldwide.

While hardware purchases currently represent the largest share, IDC expects software and IT services spending to surpass hardware spending in 2019. The smallest of the major categories -- business services -- will see the greatest spending growth of the four technology categories at 7.1 percent CAGR, followed closely by software at 6.9 percent CAGR.

Hardware spending will be led by purchases of PCs and peripherals, which accounted for almost half of SMB hardware spending in 2016 (49.6 percent) a share that will decline throughout the forecast period to 43.3 percent. SMB services spending is divided between IT services and business services.

While SMB spending on IT services will be more than twice that of business services throughout the forecast period, business services' share is growing, with spending growth roughly twice that of IT services (7.1 percent vs. 3.7 percent CAGR).

According to the IDC assessment, medium-sized businesses (100-499 employees) will be the largest market throughout the 2016-2021 forecast, with 38 percent of worldwide SMB IT products and services revenues coming from this group of companies.

The remaining revenues will be generated equally by large businesses (500-999 employees) and small businesses/small offices (1-99 employees). Medium and large firms will also experience the strongest spending growth with CAGRs of 4.6 percent and 4.5 percent respectively, slightly above small business spending growth of 4.4 percent.

Outlook for Regional Growth Trends

On a geographic basis, the United States represents the largest market with SMB IT spending expected to total $171.3 billion in 2017. North America in total will account for about one third of worldwide SMB IT spending throughout the forecast period.

Western Europe and Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) are the second and third largest regions for SMB IT spending, with Asia-Pacific growing faster than the overall market. The region with the fastest growth over the five-year forecast will be Latin America (6.3 percent CAGR), although the U.S. and Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) will not be far behind.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Public Cloud Services Revenue will Reach $266 Billion

The shift of IT workloads to hybrid cloud computing continues to grow, fueled in part by the rise of digital transformation projects. Worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is forecast to reach $266 billion in 2021, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Although spending growth will likely slow during 2016-2021, the market is still expected to achieve a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21 percent. Moreover, public cloud services spending will reach $128 billion in 2017 -- that's an increase of 25.4 percent over 2016.

Public Cloud Market Development

The United States will be the largest market for public cloud services accounting for more than 60 percent of worldwide revenues throughout the forecast, and total spending of $163 billion in 2021.

Western Europe and Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) will be the second and third largest regions with 2021 spending levels of $52 billion and $25 billion, respectively. APeJ and Latin America will experience the fastest spending growth over the forecast period with CAGRs of 26.7 percent and 26.2 percent, respectively.

However, according to the IDC assessment, six of the eight regions are forecast to experience CAGRs greater than 20 percent over the next five years.

"In Western Europe, the public cloud market is going to more than double in the 2016-2021 time frame led by strong spending growth in Germany, which is also the largest national market, Italy, and Sweden," said Angela Vacca, senior research manager at IDC.

The U.S. industries that will see the fastest growth in public cloud services spending are professional services (21.5 percent CAGR), media (21 percent CAGR), retail, and telecom (each with a CAGR of 20.9 percent).

The U.S. industries that will spend the most on public cloud services are discrete manufacturing, professional services, and banking. Together, these three industries will account for nearly one third of all public cloud services spending in the United States in 2021.

In Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, banking, professional services, and telecom will deliver more than a third of the region's public cloud services spending in 2021 while the industries with the fastest spending growth will be professional services, personal and consumer services, and process manufacturing.

Software as a Service (SaaS) will remain the dominant cloud computing type, capturing two thirds of all public cloud spending in 2017 and nearly 60 percent in 2021.  Spending on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) will grow at much faster rates than SaaS with five-year CAGRs of 30 percent and 29.7 percent, respectively.

Outlook for Enterprise Adoption Growth

In terms of company size, more than half of all public cloud spending will come from very large businesses (those with more than 1,000 employees) while medium-sized businesses (100-499 employees) will deliver about 20 percent of spending throughout the forecast.

Large businesses (500-999 employees) will see the fastest growth with a five-year CAGR of 22.8 percent. While purchase priorities vary somewhat depending on company size, the leading product categories include CRM and ERM applications in addition to server and storage hardware.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Disruption in the Worldwide Mobile Roaming Sector

Telecom network operator revenues from international mobile roaming are expected to experience an 11 percent decline in 2017, as service providers introduce ‘Roam Like at Home’ packages in key markets -- including Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

‘Roam Like at Home’ enables mobile users to utilize their monthly voice, data, and messaging allowance while roaming on other service provider networks, without incurring additional charges.

Implications for Mobile Service Providers

Juniper Research forecasts that the annual revenues, worth an estimated $54 billion in 2016, will decline to $48 billion in 2017 as revenues generated from increased usage in many markets fail to offset those lost by lower roaming charges in the EU countries.

"This decline in global revenues is due to a 33 percent fall in European roaming revenues, following the EU regulation to end roaming surcharges," said Nitin Bhas, head of research at Juniper Research.

While they expect roaming tariffs outside Europe to continue to be unregulated and to be significantly higher, operator focus will need to shift to innovative bundles and tailored pricing to preserve or grow revenues from travelers and immigrant workers.


The research found that mobile network operator revenues will likely begin to recover in 2018, following a significant increase in active roamers and data usage.

Following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, it is possible that UK mobile network operators may try to make up for the loss by increasing domestic service prices, especially since their margins have been falling at the rate of 1-2 percent over the last 5 years.

Alternatively, these mobile network operators could adopt 'Rest of the World' tariffs for mobile roamers in the UK.

Outlook for Mobile Roaming Revenues

Under such a scenario, the average roaming spend per active mobile roamer would double by the end of 2022 due to higher costs, reaching $150 per annum, compared to our current estimates of $75.

The Juniper Research study findings uncovered that while this is a possibility, it is highly unlikely given historical customer backlash to such events and further government regulatory interventions.