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Friday, October 12, 2018

How Blockchain Revenue will Reach $10.6 Billion in 2023

More CIOs and CTOs are looking for digital transformation and smart technology solutions to their line of business leader innovation requirements. Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies are already making an impact outside of the finance and insurance space from which they emerged.

Promising new use cases are being trialed in a number of digitally transforming sectors -- notably supply chain management, retail and consumer, arts and entertainment, and public services.

Blockchain Applications Market Development

ABI Research now forecasts over $10.6 billion in software and services revenue for all combined blockchain related markets globally by 2023.

"The success of blockchain in fintech has prompted significant investment in deploying the underlying infrastructure for application development and testing in other industries. Tech giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, SAP, HPE, and Oracle, among others, are pushing Blockchain-as-as-Service for first movers, often enabling integration with their existing enterprise software and cloud services," said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research.

A number of high-profile proofs-of-concept and pilots with leading multinational organizations are driving both interest and increased investment in blockchain technology.

Most notably, use cases for tackling endemic problems in the global supply chain are proving particularly popular among early-adopters. Blockchain technology is being leveraged to resolve complex issues around transparency, efficiency, and cost.

Successful pilots run by the likes of Walmart and Maersk in tracking and monitoring products on a global scale are emerging into commercialized platforms that will be market-ready in the next few months.

According to the ABI assessment, the successful transition of these test cases to commercialization in such a global industry will in turn drive efforts to deploy blockchain to address barriers and risks in other sectors too -- especially within adjacent industrial markets.

Outlook for Blockchain Market Upside

The blockchain technology start-up scene is dynamically rising to the challenge, with the brunt of activity concentrated in North America, Europe, and selected Asia-Pacific countries.

Some highly innovative companies tackling the supply chain space include Blockfreight, Modum, OriginTrail, Skuchain, Sweetbridge, SyncFab, and T-Mining. These latest findings are from ABI Research’s blockchain market dataset and related market study reports.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Personal Computer Market Recovery Predicted in 2019

Across the globe, the demand for personal computers (PCs) has declined significantly over the last couple of years, as both consumers and businesses invest in other devices. According to one industry analyst, that historically bleak view may be coming to an end.

The worldwide PC market will likely experience a slight recovery in 2019, with shipments of desktops, notebooks and two-in-ones set for 0.3 percent growth -- that's after seven years of ongoing declines.

Personal Computer Market Development

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will be a key driver as vendors turn to the market in the face of falling demand within Europe and China. PC shipments to APAC will overtake those to Western Europe by 2021.

"Microsoft Windows 10 refresh will continue to be the main driver of commercial demand for PCs in 2019," said Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys. "This will be buoyed by strong economic performance and business spend in the United States, the largest PC market in the world, as well as a continued global push to upgrade on the back of heightened IT security concerns."

Furthermore, component supply constraints that have recently plagued the industry could improve. Intel has admitted that tight supply of 14-nanometer processors will delay many x86 PC shipments this year, while DRAM shortages will start to ease toward the end of 2018.

According to the Canalys assessment, the PC distribution channel has benefited substantially this year from Windows 10 refresh in the commercial space, both in terms of product sales but also through professional services opportunities around the complex Windows migration process.

Canalys believes that this scenario should continue into the first half of 2019.


The reality is, however, that this upside potential will not last forever. After some commercial growth this year, maintaining the same level in future will get much harder, particularly toward the end of 2019.

The most successful channel partners will focus on generating higher-value revenue streams around PCs, such as application consulting and managed desktop and subscription services for security.

This could lead to a potentially more profitable business opportunity for numerous vendors that have suffered many challenges during the PC market decline.

A Canalys survey of channel partners highlights some optimism, with 44 percent of APAC-based respondents expecting to see PC shipment growth in 2019, compared with 36 percent of EMEA-based respondents.

Asia Pacific will gain importance for the global PC vendors in all categories. The region's developed markets -- such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea -- also offer growth in emerging segments such as gaming PCs and affordable Chromebooks.

Outlook for a PC Market Recovery

The service industries in the emerging markets of India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand will continue to deliver growth for PCs. The start-up culture in these markets has brought small and medium businesses (SMBs) to the fore, with PC vendors offering OPEX-based models that help control costs.

Due to the sheer number of such businesses, and their multi-faceted computing requirements -- which range from PCs to servers to cloud computing -- the importance of a capable channel partner cannot be understated.

Monday, October 08, 2018

In-Store Retail Technology Innovation Gains Momentum

The retail industry has undergone a revolution as a result of eCommerce and its associated technologies. To a large degree, this transformation has negatively impacted physical stores that have tried to compete with less expensive and more convenient online retailers.

Meanwhile, many of the major traditional retailers have expanded their online offerings but frequently struggled to compete against the leading pure-play eCommerce innovators.

eCommerce Market Development

However, there have been several recent technological developments that are both re-imagining the in-store retail experience -- as a service -- and re-tooling it to offer similar features to eCommerce.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, retail spending at new frictionless payment stores -- such as Amazon Go -- will increase from an estimated $253 million in 2018 to over $45 billion by 2023.

Juniper analysts forecast that most of these consumer transactions to be within convenience and general stores, with an average transaction value of around $30 per visit throughout the forecast period.

The new study also found that self-scanning apps, an alternative to ‘Just Walk Out’ technologies, will be used by over 32 million shoppers by 2023 -- driving higher consumer engagement.


While Wi-Fi will continue to remain the biggest engagement point for in-store customers, Juniper expects smart checkout software apps to act as gateways to technologies like Bluetooth beacons and mobile augmented reality.

Furthermore, the development of virtualized beacons, where an antenna array simulates the presence of multiple beacons within a retail store, will increase revenues for beacon manufacturers.

These virtualized beacon revenues will grow at an average annual rate of 49 percent, reaching over $1.5 billion by 2023. As a result, physical beacon shipments will grow at 21.5 percent per year.

The research found customer service capabilities as a key area for in-store innovation, with retailers experimenting with automated handling of customer service inquiries.

Outlook for Retail Technology Applications

According to the Juniper assessment, voice assistants (chatbots) and in-store robots will support this in 2023, with robots generating over $20 million in revenue for their manufacturers.

"Many of these technologies can bring multiple benefits to retailers," said James Moar, senior analyst at Juniper Research. "For example, robots and RFID can be used in both customer service and inventory management, making both elements of in-store retail more efficient."

Friday, October 05, 2018

Cloud IT Infrastructure Revenue will Reach $62.2 Billion

According to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products for cloud IT -- including public and private cloud -- grew 48.4 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18), reaching $15.4 billion.

IDC also raised its forecast for total spending (vendor recognized revenue plus channel revenue) on cloud IT infrastructure in 2018 to $62.2 billion with year-over-year growth of 31.1 percent.

Cloud Infrastructure Market Development

Quarterly spending on public cloud IT infrastructure has more than doubled in the past three years to $10.9 billion in 2Q18 -- growing 58.9 percent year-over-year.

By end of the year, public cloud will account for the majority, 68.2 percent, of the expected annual cloud IT infrastructure spending, growing at an annual rate of 36.9 percent.

In 2Q18, spending on private cloud infrastructure reached $4.6 billion, an annual increase of 28.2 percent. IDC estimates that for the full year 2018, private cloud will represent 14.8 percent of total IT infrastructure spending -- growing 20.3 percent year-over-year.

The combined public and private cloud revenues accounted for 48.5 percent of the total worldwide IT infrastructure spending in 2Q18 -- that's up from 43.5 percent a year ago and will account for 46.6 percent of the total worldwide IT infrastructure spending for the full year.


Spending in all technology segments in cloud IT environments is forecast to grow by double digits in 2018. Compute platforms will be the fastest growing at 46.6 percent, while spending on Ethernet switches and storage platforms will grow 18 percent and 19.2 percent year-over-year in 2018, respectively.

According to the IDC assessment, investments in all three technologies will increase across all cloud computing deployment models -- public cloud, private cloud off-premises, and private cloud on-premises.

The traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment grew 21.1 percent from a year ago, a rate of growth comparable to 1Q18 and exceptional for this market segment, which is expected to decline in the coming years.

At $16.4 billion in 2Q18 it still accounted for the majority, 51.5 percent, of total worldwide IT infrastructure spending. For the full year, worldwide spending on traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure is expected to grow by 10.3 percent as the market goes through a technology refresh cycle, which will wind down by 2019.

By 2022, IDC expects that traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure will only represent 44 percent of total worldwide IT infrastructure spending -- that's down from 51.5 percent in 2018. This share loss and the growing share of cloud environments in overall spending on IT infrastructure is common across all regions.

"As share of cloud environments in the overall spending on IT infrastructure continues to climb and approaches 50 percent, it is evident that cloud is now the norm. One of the tasks for enterprises now is not only to decide on what cloud resources to use but, actually, how to manage multiple cloud resources," said Natalya Yezhkova, research director at IDC.

All regions grew their cloud IT Infrastructure revenue by double digits in 2Q18. Asia-Pacific (APeJ) grew revenue the fastest, by 78.5 percent year-over-year. Within APeJ, China's cloud IT revenue almost doubled year-over-year, growing at 96.4 percent, while the rest of Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan and China) grew 50.4 percent.

Other regions among the fastest growing in 2Q18 included Latin America (47.4 percent), USA (44.9 percent), and Japan (35.8 percent).

Outlook for Cloud Infrastructure Growth

Long-term, IDC expects spending on cloud IT infrastructure to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2 percent, reaching $82.9 billion in 2022, and accounting for 56 percent of total IT infrastructure spend.

Public cloud data centers will account for 66 percent of this amount, growing at an 11.3 percent CAGR. Spending on private cloud infrastructure will grow at a CAGR of 12 percent.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Converged Systems Enable IT Transformation Initiatives

Some IT organizations prefer infrastructure solutions that offer simplified cloud deployment models for their digital transformation projects. According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 9.9 percent year-over-year to $3.5 billion during the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18).

"Data center infrastructure convergence remains an important investment driver for companies around the world," said Sebastian Lagana, research manager at IDC. "HCI solutions helped to drive second-quarter market expansion thanks, in part, to their ability to reduce infrastructure complexity, promote consolidation, and allow IT teams to support an organization's business objectives."

Converged Systems Market Development

IDC's converged systems market view offers three segments: 1) certified reference systems & integrated infrastructure, 2) integrated platforms, and 3) hyperconverged systems.

The certified reference systems and integrated infrastructure market generated $1.3 billion in revenue during the second quarter, which was a year-over-year decline of 13.9 percent and represented 38.1 percent of total converged systems revenue.

Integrated platforms sales declined 12.5 percent year over year during the second quarter, generating revenues of $729.4 million. This amounted to 20.7 percent of the total converged systems market revenue.

Revenue from hyperconverged systems sales grew 78.1 percent year-over-year during the second quarter of 2018, generating $1.5 billion worth of sales. This amounted to 41.2 percent of the total converged systems market.

IDC offers two ways to rank technology suppliers within the hyperconverged systems market: by the brand of the hyperconverged solution or by the owner of the software providing the core hyperconverged capabilities.


Converged Systems Market Segmentation

As it relates to the branded view of the hyperconverged systems market, Dell Inc. was the largest supplier with $418.7 million in revenue and a 28.8 percent share. Nutanix generated $275.3 million in branded revenue with the second largest share of 18.9 percent.

Cisco and HPE were statistically tied for the quarter, with $77.7 million and $72.0 million in revenue, or 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent in market share, respectively.

From the software ownership view of the market, systems running Nutanix's hyperconverged software represented $497.7 million in total second-quarter vendor revenue or 34.2 percent of the total market.

Systems running VMware's hyperconverged software represented $495.8 million in second quarter vendor revenue or 34.1 percent of the total market. Both amounts represent all software and hardware revenue, regardless of how it was ultimately branded.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Regtech Revenue will Reach $115 Billion in 2023

With growing interest in the Fintech market, other related markets are being analyzed to see if technology can revolutionize business processes. One area which has been disrupted by technology is regulatory compliance, primarily within the financial services industry.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was the first body in the world to recognize and support the growth of Regtech in 2015. However, prior to this, companies were already seeking to leverage technology to help with their increased regulatory burdens.

Regtech is defined by the FCA as a subset of Fintech that focuses on technologies that may facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements more efficiently and effectively than existing capabilities.

Regtech Applications Market Development

The appeal of Regtech is that financial institutions can utilize new and disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data analytics, biometrics, blockchain or chatbots to reduce their overall spending on compliance by unlocking more efficient practices.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, spending on Regtech platforms will exceed $115 billion by 2023 -- that's up from an estimated $18 billion in 2018. Moreover, increased regulatory pressures -- such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) implementation -- are driving businesses towards Regtech to meet greater compliance challenges.

According to the research, any heavily regulated business sector not prioritizing Regtech adoption would risk damaging government imposed fines from failing to keep pace with regulatory changes.


The study also highlighted that the sharp increase in Regtech spending (an average of 45 percent per year between 2018 and 2023) was far higher than that for compliance spend as a whole (17 percent), reflecting the rapid migration of spend to Regtech from traditional methods.

The research found that Know Your Customer (KYC) checks for anti-money laundering are ripe for disruption by AI systems, due to the inefficiency of traditional, paper-based systems.

Juniper forecasts that across banking and property sales, annual gross cost savings from AI introduction for KYC will exceed $700 million by 2023 -- that's a nine-fold increase over 2018.

"AI-powered ID solutions are uniquely suited to reducing the resources needed to verify identity. By integrating the correct KYC tools into cloud-based systems, financial institutions can dramatically reduce their compliance burden," said Nick Maynard, analyst at Juniper Research.

Outlook for Regtech Applications Development

Juniper analyzed various technologies in the Regtech sector based on metrics including anticipated timescale of impact, cost barriers and willingness to adopt new approaches and concluded that cloud computing is currently the most disruptive force in compliance.

The transition to cloud-based compliance is a crucial precursor to other Regtech approaches, such as AI or Big Data. Unless businesses effectively plan the correct cloud deployments, they will struggle to utilize the advanced technologies required to meet future compliance challenges.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Interactive Security Apps Drive Smart Home Growth

The evolution of the smart and connected home has created new revenue growth opportunities for consumer electronics vendors and telecom service providers. According to the latest worldwide market study by Berg Insight, the number of smart homes in North America and Europe reached 45 million in 2017.

The most advanced smart home market is still North America, having an installed base of 22.3 million smart homes at the end of 2017. This represents a market penetration of 15.9 percent.

Smart Home Market Development

Between 2016 and 2017, the smart home market grew by 40.7 percent year-on-year. Furthermore, the strong market growth in North America is expected to continue during the next five years.

By 2022, Berg Insight forecasts that more than 63 million homes in North America will be smart -- that's estimated to be 44 percent of all homes in the region.

That being said, the European market is still behind the North American market, in terms of penetration. There were a total of 22.5 million smart homes in Europe at the end of 2017.

The installed base in the European region is forecasted to grow to 84 million homes at the end of 2022 -- that represents a market penetration of 35 percent.

The most popular products for the overall smart home market include smart thermostats, smart light bulbs, smart security cameras, smart air conditioners, smart door locks, smart plugs and smart speakers.

According to the Berg assessment, several well-known vendors are offering these products -- including Nest, Signify, Belkin, D-Link, Assa Abloy, Haier, Sonos, Amazon and Google.

On the North American market, interactive security systems have emerged as the most common type of smart home systems, representing 42 percent of all whole-home systems in the region at the end of 2017. The largest home security providers include ADT, Vivint and Comcast.

In Europe, traditional home automation systems and Do-It-Yourself solutions are more common as whole-home systems. Moreover, eQ-3, Deutsche Telekom and Verisure are estimated to be the largest vendors of whole-home systems in the European region.

Smart speakers with built-in voice assistants have had a major impact on the overall smart home industry in 2017 and 2018. Amazon and Google are the major vendors of such devices, having a combined market share of over 90 percent.

Outlook for Smart Home Application Growth

Driven by the pervasive voice assistant trends, many of the smart home device and system vendors have made their products compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in the past year.

"Consumers want convenience and a lot of people buy smart home products in order to facilitate their daily lives," said Martin B├Ąckman, research analyst at Berg Insight. "A major reason why voice-controlled speakers have become so popular is that they simplify the control of smart home devices and enable people to adjust lighting, temperature, multimedia and more from a unified interface."

Monday, September 24, 2018

Enterprise AI and Machine Learning Solutions in Action

A relatively small group of savvy executives have strategies in place to harness new business process automation technologies and thereby advance their digital transformation agenda. Meanwhile, a much larger group is closely following the market leaders, to explore their lessons-learned from pilot projects.

According to the latest worldwide market study by 451 Research, new survey results suggest most organizations are adopting or considering artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) due to its commercial growth benefits, rather than the potential to cut jobs.

Despite being somewhat new, there's adoption momentum for the technology.

Machine Learning Market Development

Almost 50 percent of their survey respondents have deployed or plan to deploy machine learning in their organizations within the next 12 months. Therefore, this paints a more optimistic picture of machine learning adoption than is often portrayed by other industry analysts.

"Out of many possible benefits we presented to our survey respondents, 49 percent cited gaining competitive advantage as the most significant benefit they have received from the technology," said Nick Patience, vice president at 451 Research.

Improving the customer experience came a close second, cited by 44 percent of respondents. Despite all the hype around mass job losses, lowering costs was cited by only a quarter of the survey respondents.

He added, "We think this demonstrates that AI and machine learning is an omni-purpose technology that can bring numerous benefits to organizations, beyond just lowering costs through increased automation."


That being said, there are still some major obstacles that inhibit progress. When asked "what is your organization’s most significant barrier to using machine learning?" most cited a shortage of skilled resources as the top barrier (36 percent).

According to the 451 Research assessment, skilled talent for machine learning projects usually means proven data science skills and experience. And a lack of those capabilities is reinforced further by the finding that data access and preparation is the second biggest barrier cited by survey respondents.

However, 451 Research expects the lack of skills and experience to gradually decline as a barrier when AI tools become easier to use, and the population of users who can leverage machine learning expands.

Outlook for AI and ML Application Growth

Organizations will need to ensure their machine learning deployment brings the business benefits that matter most to their stakeholders. To learn more about the commercial impact that AI and machine learning might have on your organization, consider researching the application of 'quick-start solutions' that enable rapid testing and deployment.

Moreover, some forward-thinking vendors are already addressing the bigger challenges that face enterprise developers and data scientists. To help CIOs and CTOs scale projects, smart vendors offer high-performance server platforms and integrated software that will enable organizations to extract better results from their available data and accelerate the reporting of actionable insights.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Blockchain New Research and Development Trends

Many business leaders have a much better understanding of blockchain technology than just a couple of years ago. There's been a surge in R&D, both internally and in partnership with third parties, and a recognition that blockchain has the potential to be deployed in a variety of commercial use cases.

As the number of blockchain research projects increased, awareness among the pilot participants and elsewhere in their industries gained momentum. Now other companies are beginning to consider whether they, too, should seek to gain a competitive advantage from a proof-of-concept deployment.

Blockchain Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, 65 percent of survey respondent enterprises with over 10,000 employees are considering or actively engaged in blockchain deployment. This marks a significant rise from 2017 when the corresponding figure was 54 percent.

Moreover, nearly a quarter of companies considering deploying blockchain had moved beyond proof-of-concept into trials and commercial rollouts, with dramatic diversification in use cases over the past year.

Only 15 percent of proposed deployments were now related to payments -- compared with 34 percent last year -- with significant interest in opportunities across diverse fields including logistics, authentication and smart contracts.

The study findings also identified savings and cost reductions across a range of verticals in areas such as compliance and fraud reduction, including a forecast of more than $100 billion by 2030 in food exports.

The survey results revealed that nearly half of companies were considering using Ethereum as their blockchain; reflecting the fact that its token standardization has enabled the creation of an ecosystem of Distributed Applications (dApps) to be built on its chain.

Furthermore, all the responding companies which had already invested over $100,000 in blockchain indicated they would be spending at least this amount again on the technology over the next 12 months.

According to the Juniper assessment, this demonstrated initial C-suite feedback had been largely positive in most cases, sufficiently so for executives deciding to move to the next stage of integration. That said, three-quarters of respondents expect some disruption to internal or external systems.

Outlook for Blockchain Applications

"The findings illustrate the need for companies to engage in a prolonged period of parallel running new systems alongside the old, to resolve any issues that might arise," said James Moar, senior analyst at Juniper Research. Regardless, we should anticipate more blockchain application development in the future.

The survey participants also acknowledged IBM as the leading vendor for blockchain project planning and deployment, with the tech giant ranked first by 65 percent of respondents -- that's nearly 10 times more than the second-place vendor, Microsoft (7 percent).

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Why Public Utilities Invest in Cybersecurity Solutions

Upgrading electrical grids and water infrastructure around the world with new capabilities -- such as network communications, remote and automated management of elements in the field, and new utility management functionalities -- continues to gain momentum.

However, smart infrastructure demand means increased dependence on new technology and communications connectivity, which greatly introduces IT security risks.

Smart Utility Market Development

The new infrastructure can expand the number of threat vectors, rendering smart utilities vulnerable to cyber attacks. Maintaining resilient electrical power generation and transmission -- as well as water distribution and treatment -- are key to protecting the public utility environment.

Therefore, effective cybersecurity must be a function of hardware, software, data, and networks.

The modernization of utility infrastructures is enabling increased efficiencies and reliability through digitization, connectivity, and IT-based approaches. Smart cyber assets are transforming public utilities, allowing them to deploy and leverage a new generation of functionality and customer services.

However, smart utilities are also highly vulnerable to cyber threats, and IT security is a primary concern, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

Digital security is often unimplemented during utility modernization due to cost, resource, and time constraints. This is exasperated by issues with adapting cybersecurity to OT environments and an overall lack of knowledge and expertise in bridging these divides.

Furthermore, public sector efforts have declined since 2012-2013, when both the United States and European Union markets were actively driving national cybersecurity strategies.

The current U.S. government dropped cybersecurity from its list of priorities, and the European Commission is struggling to get its NIS Directive deployed and obtain the funding for ENISA to fulfill its mandate.

"It seems that the United States and the European Union have forgotten that cybersecurity needs to be a continuous effort, not a one-time announcement to tick all the boxes,” said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research.

Both electric power and water utilities have reported advanced persistent threats which exploit flaws in industrial control systems. More critically, the typical cyber threats -- such as ransomware and DDoS attacks -- are increasingly affecting utility infrastructure cyber-assets, both on the back and front-end.

While power and water infrastructure stakeholders will spend over $8 billion globally on cyber-securing utility infrastructures in 2018, only a small portion of that will be dedicated to operational technologies and smart systems.

Outlook for Smart Utilities Investment

Grid modernization efforts are an ideal time to start designing and integrating digital security and provide an opportunity for adapting existing mechanisms and processes -- from industrial control systems to smart meters.

"Utility organizations should remain firm in their commitment to cybersecurity, despite the backseat public support. Fortunately, from a private sector perspective, a growing vendor ecosystem is emerging to hopefully address these key issues," Menting concludes.