Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, January 18, 2021

New Cloud Edge Computing Innovation Opportunities

Access to centralized cloud servers had led telecom network operators and their enterprise customers to assume that hyperscale public cloud service offerings would potentially enhance the storing and processing of all data being generated.

However, performance issues arising from network latency translate into public cloud services being unsuitable for some data-intensive computing activities, such as analyzing complex data workloads and delivering real-time insights.

Cloud edge computing, a form of distributed computing, where the device that collected the data, or an on-premises gateway, or an off-premises edge node close by, solves many problems associated with wide-area network latency.

Cloud Edge Computing Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the telecom network operator spend on Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) will grow from $2.7 billion in 2020 to reach $8.3 billion in 2025. 

Multi-access edge computing (formerly mobile edge computing) is a network architecture that enables cloud computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the cellular network -- also, potentially any network.

In particular, mobile service providers will invest heavily in upgrading their communication network capacities and IT systems infrastructure to support the increasing data generated by emerging fifth-generation (5G) network apps.

The market study also revealed that by 2025, the number of deployed MEC nodes will reach 2 million globally by 2025 -- that's up from just 230,000 in 2020.


These devices, which take the form of access points, base stations, and routers, will play a vital role in managing the vast quantities of Internet of Things (IoT) data generated by connected vehicles, smart city systems, and other emerging data-intensive services.

The new research findings uncovered that this increase in investment is a result of mobile service providers enhancing key network functions, by moving systems used for processing data from core network locations, to base stations at the edge of their networks.

Juniper analysts anticipate that the capabilities of 5G technologies -- such as high throughput, low latencies, and high device densities -- will necessitate the deployment of MEC nodes in urban areas.

The research also identified 'smart cities' as a key emerging market sector that will benefit from MEC node roll-outs, as operators and planning authorities identify how best to install 5G-compatible edge nodes.

These latest findings suggest that the involved parties explore utilizing existing city structures, such as street lighting and sidewalks, to mitigate issues of space limitation inherent to densely-populated areas.

Outlook for Cloud Edge Computing Applications Growth

The research forecasts over 920 million individuals will benefit from edge-enhanced Internet connectivity by 2025; rising from 100 million individuals in 2020.

Services, such as music streaming, digital TV services, and cloud gaming, will be the biggest beneficiaries of the ultra-low latency provided by network operators’ increasing roll-outs of MEC nodes over the next 5 years.

That said, I'm eager to learn more about how edge computing and 5G networks help to solve enterprise big data analytics challenges, in practice. While I don't doubt that these solutions have merit, I need to see the results from a study of common use cases that have proven to be the most challenging.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Remote Workers Fuel Unified Communications Demand

How agile organizations enable online communication and collaboration for their distributed workforce is top of mind for most senior executives today. More savvy CEOs, across all industries, have rapidly increased investments in IT systems and services that empower employees to work from anywhere.

The global unified communications & collaboration (UC&C) market grew 26.7 percent year-over-year and 6.6 percent quarter-over-quarter to $12.2 billion in the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20), according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

As enterprise leaders moved their teams from the crisis phase to the recovery phase, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide growth of UC&C applications was driven by organizations across all business types and sizes.

Unified Communications Market Development

The IDC study uncovered a special interest in cloud-based solutions for voice, video, messaging, and collaboration for driving initiatives such as digital transformation projects and the emergence of hybrid working models.

According to the IDC assessment, the increased IT vendor revenue, product shipment, and service subscriber numbers within these segments is proof. Rapid growth was pervasive across the board.

As an example, the UC Collaboration market -- including video conferencing software and cloud services -- increased 46.7 percent year-over-year and 5.3 percent over 2Q20 to reach almost $5.8 billion in revenue, with seats increasing 37.8 percent annually.

Additionally, the Hosted Voice and UC public cloud UCaaS market also did well and grew 23.3 percent year-over-year and 8.3 percent sequentially in 3Q 2020 to reach almost $4.3 billion in revenue.

Within enterprise videoconferencing Systems (video endpoints and infrastructure), traditional room-based video systems declined both 2.3 percent year-over-year and 6.9 percent sequentially.

Smaller huddle room video endpoints and video infrastructure equipment both experienced positive growth in the quarter (72.5 percent year-over-year and 16.8 percent over 2Q20) and (39.6 percent year-over-year and 21.6 percent quarter-over-quarter), respectively.

However, revenue for IP Phones declined both 32.9 percent compared to 3Q19 and 11 percent sequentially.

"In 2020, COVID-19 caused many businesses and organizations to re-think their plans for leveraging digital technologies and accelerated interest in and adoption of solutions such as collaboration, videoconferencing, messaging, and UC as a service (UCaaS), among others," said Rich Costello, senior research analyst at IDC.

Throughout 2021, IDC expects the positive upside growth numbers across these key UC&C segments to continue -- perhaps at slightly more modest rates. We'll have to wait and see.

Outlook for Unified Communications Application Growth

From a geographic perspective, the UC&C market again saw positive results across the globe in 3Q20. In North America (U.S. and Canada), UC&C revenue was up 6.3 percent sequentially and 27.7 percent over 3Q19.

Revenue in Asia-Pacific (including Japan) (APJ) was up 7.1 percent over 2Q20 and 27.7 percent year-over-year. EMEA revenue grew 6.6 percent sequentially and 24.2 percent annually, while Latin America revenue increased 7.2 percent quarter-over-quarter and 30.1 percent year-over-year.

Based on these impressive results, I anticipate that the demand for modern cloud-based communication and collaboration services will continue to gain market share from legacy on-premises systems. That said, enterprise networking -- and secure mobile broadband internet access in particular -- will be a key focal point for CIOs and CTO that must ensure that their corporate data and intellectual property is protected on all end-user devices.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Global Pandemic Drives Digital Payment Market Growth

While forward-looking banks and other progressive financial service companies explore ways to develop new eCommerce offerings for online customers, there's still growing momentum within some legacy organizations to pursue an enhancement to traditional in-store payment technologies.

Up to 2.5 million biometric payment cards will be issued in 2021 as the market reaps the benefits of significant ecosystem efforts, tailored specially to help reduce product cost, improve yield, and simplify manufacturing processes, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

Today over 20 biometric payment card pilots are active globally, and the first commercial launch, by BNP Paribas, was announced earlier in 2020. The biometric payment card is a form-factor to help enhance secure authentication, providing a new 'contactless' Point-of-Sale (POS) payment experience.

Digital Payments Market Development

"It’s taken time for the biometric payment card market to take shape because it is the most complex card form-factor ever developed. First-generation biometric payment card solutions can command an Average Selling Price (ASP) anywhere between $20 and $30, significantly higher than today’s $1 to $2 mark for a contact or contactless payment card," said Phil Sealy, research director at ABI Research.

According to the ABI assessment, deployment cost is one of the most significant inhibiting factors keeping the biometric POS payment card form-factor firmly within the piloting and evaluation phase.

This slowly emerging POS market is moving in two developmental directions, away from discrete components and from distributed component architectures toward integrated solutions.

This is being achieved by two primary market developments: 1) a system-on-package approach, integrating some of the componentry onto an ASIC, reducing the total number of components required, 2) a single silicon approach whereby an inlay consists of a single chip and sensor.

According to Sealy, "Next-generation biometric payment card products will likely reduce the cost per unit to within the $13 to $20 range per card, dependent on volumes. Most second-generation products will become available at the back end of 2020 or early 2021."

Despite the many 2020 market positives, the biometric payment card has not proven immune from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many planned pilot projects were predictably deferred by 6 -9 months.

As the legacy debit and credit card issuers shifted spending priorities, they became more conservative with innovation spending and pivoted toward emergency management to combat the pandemic, subsequently shifting their budgets and redirecting their priorities.

Although COVID has impacted the biometric payment cards market, it has also stimulated a significant push toward digital payments, particularly contactless. As a direct result of the pandemic, contactless transaction limits have increased in over 100 countries globally, in a bid to reduce physical interactions at the point of sale and/or physical interaction with communal devices.

The need to limit human interactions in retail stores and an emphasis on hygiene is further accelerating contactless issuance. These higher transaction limits could be considered a significant signal of intent that contactless could ultimately become the de facto in-store POS payment type.

Outlook for Digital Payment Applications Growth

"This lends itself extremely well to innovative card form-factors, such as the biometric payment card, designed to bring Strong Consumer Authentication (SCA) to address the growing presence of Card Present (CP) contactless fraud, but also privacy, thanks to a biometric match-on-card authentication method," Sealy concludes.

I believe that as more fintech start-ups enter the digital payments arena, we'll see the introduction of innovative new service offerings that will further disrupt financial services complacency and the legacy POS payment vendor marketplace.

Most traditional POS vendors are still focused on attempting to prolong the life of their in-store devices and associated financial services partner's transaction processing services. That said, current global retail market trends are clearly not favorable to maintaining the status quo. The future favors online digital payments.

Friday, January 08, 2021

More CIOs Focus on Digital Business Acceleration Talent

Enterprise CEOs are looking to their most senior technology leaders to deliver competitive digital business transformation projects that enable new revenue growth. Furthermore, they crave business technology champions that are skilled in motivating and developing IT talent for their top priorities.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform how CIOs manage, collaborate, and respond to their key stakeholders. Seventy percent of hiring processes for new CIOs rank individual determination and sensitivity as critical characteristics in 2021, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner.

Digital Business Talent Development

"CEOs are looking for executives who are capable of weathering crises," said Daniel Sanchez-Reina, senior research director at Gartner. "They are still unsettled about the future and want determined CIOs who make and implement timely decisions while displaying emotional dexterity to be tactful and supportive."

Gartner says determination refers to the firmness of resoluteness and in turning decisions into actions, and sensitivity is the quality of feeling empathetic toward others’ difficulties and acting accordingly.

Demand for the determination competency among new hires increased 34 percent in 2020 versus 2019, and sensitivity increased 92 percent in 2020 versus 2019. Both CIO competencies are in the top 10 of increasing demand in recruitment processes, which will extend to existing employees too.

A Gartner survey showed that CIOs who look to develop emotional dexterity in the digital era can improve their self-awareness, self-management, and relationships during times of crisis by committing to practicing self-improvement techniques.

Gartner research shows that the vast majority of IT and business leaders say that the most important skills needed in 10 years will be soft skills.

The Gartner survey results showed that above-average CIOs are 30 percent more likely to practice gratitude as a self-development approach, putting them in a better position to deal with the fear and doubt that complex change brings.

"Interestingly, all surveyed CIOs spend an average of 30 minutes daily in learning and development, indicating it is not the quantity, but the quality of time spent on focusing on the right behaviors that are important," said Rob O'Donohue, senior research director at Gartner.

Transparency ranked as the most commonly admired emotional dexterity leadership competency, followed by authentic communications and collaboration.

Above-average-performing CIOs are more likely to develop others through coaching and mentoring than low-performing CIOs (69 percent vs. 48 percent). In a 1:1 setting with their direct reports, high performing CIOs stated that up to 74 percent of their time is spent listening, rather than directing.

Embracing Hybrid Workforce Business Models

"Being aware of the positive impact these behaviors and practices bring is paramount as organizations consider their vaccine strategy and employees return to work," said Mr. O’Donohue. "They’ll be as important, if not more, than the technical skills a typical CIO embodies."

I believe that the shift to a hybrid workforce -- where some employees work from home, while others work at the office location -- will be essential to support the needs and wants of a high-performance IT practitioner team.

Savvy CIOs must provide flexible working models that adapt the organization's culture to the evolving demands of employees that are able to plan and deliver strategic digital transformation initiatives.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Mobile Payments Growth Will Reach $3.1 Trillion in 2025

Where can you find the most value for your hard-earned money? Informed people everywhere seek the best consumer product purchase options via their mobile device and buy what they need with the expectation of reliable and fast delivery.

This trend forces legacy retailers to shift their strategies and increase their digital presence and product availability. Moreover, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the omni-channel retail laggards.

Most retailers feel under pressure to offer streamlined shopping experiences and support omni-channel payments. The line between physical and digital commerce is becoming increasingly blurred. These key trends are truly transformational.

Omnichannel Mobile Payments Market Development

It's now forecast that mCommerce payments will reach $3.1 trillion in 2025 -- that's up from $2.1 trillion in 2020, according to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research.

The analyst found that the pandemic’s massive boost to digital wallet services in the offline arena with OEM Pay has been a key driver of greater mCommerce usage -- accelerating the already rapid transition from offline to online services.

The new market study uncovered that the two single largest eCommerce markets -- China and the U.S. -- will see volume growth in smartphone payments for remote goods of 55 percent and 74 percent respectively, between 2020 and 2025.

In China, eWallet payments are well established, with eCommerce continuing to grow, as availability and prosperity rise. In the U.S. market, OEM Pay wallets and PayPal will be the major beneficiaries of a permanent pandemic-driven shift to online shopping.


Juniper analysts recommend that payment processors prioritize digital payments acceptance for the most popular wallets in target countries at both the online and offline point of sale, or risk missing out on this huge upside opportunity.

Juniper Research anticipates that this uptick in mCommerce transactions will translate into the rapid growth of new payment models, such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) omnichannel retailer solutions.

Deploying BNPL via APIs in checkout processes will mean a significant shift away from traditional fee- and APR-based credit card models of consumer financing for online purchases, particularly amongst millennials less convinced of the benefits of credit card ownership.

According to the Juniper assessment, BNPL also offers significant advantages to retail merchants as a way to increase average basket size, while improving and boosting the user experience for shoppers.

Outlook for Mobile Payments Applications Growth

"It is critical for payment processors to prioritize building technological ecosystems to allow the acceptance of BNPL across all payment methods, or they will be left behind by more digitally-adept providers," said Susannah Hampton, an analyst for Juniper Research.

OEM Pay, where payments are made by a smartphone manufacturer-backed wallet -- such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay -- will see a surge in use with volumes for remote physical and digital goods anticipated to grow globally by 730 percent between 2020 and 2025.

I anticipate that banks and other legacy financial institutions will continue to monitor the OEM fintech sector closely since it's likely to be a primary source of disruption for the traditional debit and credit card industry. Mobile payment apps that include digital wallet features will transform financial services. That's why I'll continue to monitor these trends and report on the latest market research findings.

Friday, January 01, 2021

How IT Leaders Adapt to Digital Growth Demand in 2021

Across the globe, CEOs have learned that achieving digital growth requires an ongoing investment in their digital business transformation projects. Furthermore, legacy assumptions about the ways that enterprises should address business disruptions are no longer valid.

Industry analysts believe superior 'change management' is about being resilient to market disruptions. International Data Corporation (IDC) has launched the Digital Resiliency Investment Index, which provides a view of the progress organizations are making in their investments towards digital resiliency.

The initial Index results show that overall investments in resiliency have increased steadily throughout the year as businesses prioritize or accelerate the adoption of cloud computing, collaboration platforms, and other digital transformation projects.

Digital Growth Resilience Market Development

Modern IT infrastructure and network security have also been a major investment area, driven by the shift to more remote work, a distributed workforce, and accelerated cloud computing adoption in 2020.

"Digital resiliency refers to an organization's ability to rapidly adapt to business disruptions by leveraging digital capabilities to not only restore business operations but also capitalize on the changed conditions," said Stephen Minton, vice president at IDC.

As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has shown, the ability to respond quickly and effectively to unexpected changes in the business environment are critical to an organization's short-term success.

To prepare for future business disruptions, organizations need plans that will enable them to rapidly adapt as opposed to just respond. Investments in digital business capabilities not only enable an organization to adapt to the current crisis but also to capitalize on the changed conditions.


The Digital Resiliency Investment Index is comprised of two factors – digital core investments and digital innovation investments:
  • Digital Core Investments is comprised of spending on the core components of digital resiliency: cloud, security, collaborative support for remote workers, and digital transformation projects. This score should increase over time as organizations shift budget away from traditional and legacy IT spending and toward these core components of digital resiliency.
  • Digital Innovation Investments are measured using a monthly survey of enterprises on their current and anticipated IT investment focus, including how much new or reallocated spending is targeted at digital resiliency and business acceleration versus crisis response measures. This score should also increase over time as organizations shift their spending focus back to building a digital enterprise.

Overall, investments in cloud, collaboration, and security have managed to grow throughout 2020, despite a decline in overall IT spending. In recent, months, the focus on digital resiliency has increased as organizations realize the importance of being prepared for future business disruptions.

As a result, IDC analysts report that digital resiliency spending will eventually accelerate in 2021 as the global economy improves.

On a geographic basis, resiliency investments grew fastest in the Asia-Pacific market, in line with the region's overall response to the pandemic. Investments in the United States improved noticeably in October 2020, which may reflect a combination of short-term and long-term factors.

Meanwhile, Europe's results declined slightly in October as the region returned to crisis response mode with a surge in coronavirus cases and new socio-economic restrictions.

"The next several months may put increased pressure on some organizations to respond to second waves of COVID infections and economic lockdowns, which will be reflected in our monthly surveys," said Minton. "What we have learned is that the organizations which were among the early adopters of cloud, digital, and collaborative technologies were best-positioned for a crisis no one could have predicted."

Outlook for Digital Growth Resilience Innovation

According to the IDC assessment, digital resiliency in the coming 6-12 months will to some extent reflect the speed at which others were able to pivot their business technology investments in 2020, even as overall budgets were constrained by economic uncertainty.

I believe organizations that succeed in today's Global Networked Economy must excel at adapting rapidly to any and all market disruptions. That requires large enterprise CIOs and CTOs to be flexible and realign prior IT investments from corporate headquarters and branch office infrastructure to better support their global distributed workforce.

Remote knowledge workers need reliable digital workspace solutions that enable them to improve their overall job performance, regardless of where they choose to be located. That means the IT organization must become skilled at delivering traditional enterprise workloads across a variety of mobile devices, while also ensuring secure remote access to SaaS applications in the cloud.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Why Industrial Markets Lead 5G Private Network Growth

Commercial wireless communications have evolved rapidly over the last decade. Also, private cellular connectivity differs between enterprise verticals. Exploring the various applications and industry use cases provides an important indication of where infrastructure deployment will occur next.

With fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology maturing, the importance of private networking solutions for the enterprise domain will continue to grow. Looking ahead, the growing demand for private network deployments will be driven primarily by heavy industry verticals.

Industrial manufacturing, energy production (including mining, oil and gas, and logistics) alone will generate private network revenues of $32.38 billion by 2030, representing half of the $64 Billion overall private network revenues, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research.

Private 5G Network Market Development

"These findings show the importance of private networks, particularly for automating mission- or even life-critical use cases, that require the highest possible network reliability and availability and are characterized by a high degree of network integrity to prevent data from leaving the enterprise premises," said Leo Gergs, research analyst at ABI Research.

According to the ABI assessment, enterprises that require network slicing capabilities to separate mission-critical from non-mission-critical use cases within the same physical network will turn to private networks.

Two main factors are causing a surge in private network infrastructure growth. First, there is a huge rise in demand for automation and enterprise digitization. What has started with Industry 4.0 is now exacerbated by the aftermath of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Enterprises in industrial manufacturing, logistics, and oil and gas are now accelerating their digitization plans to reduce their dependency on manual labor availability and increase the resilience of their business operations against sudden disruptions to supply chains.

The second factor is the addition to the demand-side effect. The market for private network deployments will also benefit from a supply-side effect. The freeze of Release 16 gives enterprises the much-needed reassurance of 5G capabilities for enterprise-grade connectivity, which allows chipset and module manufacturers to grow the device ecosystem for compatible hardware.

The maturing device ecosystem, in turn, drives down prices per module and therefore makes the deployment of a private 5G network more cost-efficient, which will spur additional interest from enterprises.

While private network operators such as Ambra, Citymesh, or Edzcom are threatening traditional mobile service provider market share by monetizing managed services other than connectivity, cloud computing hyperscalers are launching their private network offerings in co-creation efforts with local incumbent telco players.

Outlook for Private 5G Network Applications Growth

In addition, software vendors such as Athonet, or Quortus benefit from emerging trends toward network virtualization, which allows them to offer a virtualized core network either through System Integrators or to enterprises directly.

"These breathtaking developments show the amazing pace at which this market is evolving. Against this backdrop, it is important that all players in the enterprise connectivity domain develop a durable business strategy to profit from this rising market," concludes Gergs.

I anticipate that we'll continue to see more edge computing service launches in the coming weeks and months, as enterprise CIOs and CTOs build a business case for new network infrastructure investments -- including on-premises solutions that integrate with public cloud service components.

Friday, December 25, 2020

How to Enable a Global Hybrid Workforce Transformation

CEOs agree, enabling 'remote working' options for their highly skilled talent is now essential to their digital growth goals. For many CHROs, supporting remote work is routine. HR leaders must cater to parts of their workforce that drive key growth initiatives, and deliver new human resource policies that are most beneficial.

A survey of HR leaders has revealed that 90 percent of respondents plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time, even after the COVID-19 pandemic vaccine is widely adopted.

Furthermore, 65 percent of respondents reported that their organization will continue to offer employees flexibility on when and where they choose to work. That's a 'talent retention' imperative for 2021.

Hybrid Work Infrastructure Market Development

As the global distribution of various COVID-19 vaccines begin, HR leaders who responded to a recent Gartner survey predict that about 50 percent of their workforce may want to return to the workplace – at least part-time – once a vaccine is made widely available and proven effective.

"With a COVID-19 vaccine rollout approaching, HR leaders are now faced with an onslaught of questions, including if they can or should require employees to be vaccinated, what the employer’s responsibility is in helping employees and their families get vaccinated, and how the release of vaccines impacts their return-to-the-workplace strategy," said Elisabeth Joyce, vice president at Gartner.

Sixty-two percent of HR leaders surveyed reported that they're planning to continue all safety measures put in place once a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Nearly one-third of respondents noted they would no longer require masks in the workplace, nor enforce social distancing in high-traffic areas.

"Right now, organizations are considering different policies for employees who receive the vaccine and those who do not," said Ms. Joyce. "What is most critical is that HR leaders are making these decisions with the expectation that they may need to course-correct as we learn more."

Several geographic regions around the globe are currently experiencing a COVID-19 pandemic resurgence, requiring employers to take action to maintain the health and safety of their workforce.

Among HR leaders surveyed, 46 percent said their organization has already, or will, shut down offices that had previously been reopened -- also, 37 percent reported extending new benefits to employees, such as childcare assistance and more sick leave.

When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in their area, 60 percent of HR leaders surveyed said they will encourage employees to get vaccinated, but it won't be required as a condition of employment.

Sixty percent of respondents reported they will provide resources to employees on where and how to get vaccinated, and 44 percent said they plan to cover or subsidize the costs of the vaccine for employees.

"While there are concerns around the COVID-19 vaccine, including privacy and data security, ultimately, there are many factors involved in making decisions around an organization’s vaccination strategy, including local government regulations," said Ms. Joyce. "Therefore, it is critical that HR leaders work closely with their legal and compliance partners."

Outlook for Flexible Hybrid Working Innovation

I believe the singular emphasis on in-office safety policies will diminish over time, as more employers acknowledge that many of their most skilled employees have no desire to return to any open office. Moreover, the widely recognized 'digital business skills gap' has created an environment where CHROs can't risk alienating their most essential employees with blanket 'return-to-office' mandates.

That said, I anticipate that remote working demand will remain steady, and job requirements will evolve rapidly as more organizations compete for the shallow pool of talent that's proven to deliver digital growth. One-size-fits-all HR policies are no longer viable in the highly competitive Global Networked Economy. CHROs must find creative ways to customize HR policies to address this big challenge.

Besides, enterprise IT organizations must provision and maintain 'secure network access' for current work-from-home (WFH) employees, and any new hire that may also need to reach software applications within the corporate on-premises data center and/or numerous SaaS providers in the cloud.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Secure Digital Identity Services Gain New Momentum

The concept of a 'digital identity' is now established as a high priority, in an online world that's plagued with cybercriminals and others that profit from fraudulent activities. That said, digital identity is less about presenting a digital persona, and more about sharing verified identifiable data.

A digital version of ‘you’ does have a place in the commercial ecosystems being built today. With the versatility inherent in many modern digital identity systems, life events and portable identities take on new meaning. Besides, there's a significant market opportunity for telecom service providers.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, mobile network operator (MNO) revenue from digital identity will reach $8.1 billion in 2025 -- that's up from just $1.3 billion in 2020.

Secure Digital Identity Market Development

Juniper analysts found that, as the online identity space evolves, MNOs will play an increasingly important role in providing verification of digital identity and universal login based on subscriber identity.

This verification role is particularly important in emerging markets around the globe where traditional banking and financial services penetration is lower.

The study identified that these capabilities would form a critical part of emerging identity networks, with MNOs able to play the role of a guarantor of identity.

The research findings, and Juniper analyst assessment, recommend that technology vendors employ robust Know Your Customer (KYC) checks to ensure the security of online identities.


The new research also found that verification needs further adoption to secure digital identities. Therefore, Juniper recommends leveraging the large availability of smartphones featuring biometric capabilities -- projected at over 5.2 billion in 2025 -- to ensure a secure digital identity environment by authorizing identity use within digital onboarding.

It's assumed that this initial verification will be critical in making a secure online identity available in high-trust environments, such as financial services and banking.

"Bringing biometric verification within digital identity requires robust orchestration capabilities and extensive partnerships, meaning that digital identity vendors must focus on building out their ecosystems," said Nick Maynard, lead analyst at Juniper Research.

Moreover, Juniper uncovered that the rise of open application programming interfaces (APIs) are stimulating the digital identity market, by providing interconnected data and allowing access to different systems.

Outlook for Digital Identity Application Growth

As such, digital identity vendors have more data than ever, but this comes with the challenges of ensuring that all the data is orchestrated correctly and that the transaction is correctly authorized or declined.

The analyst recommends artificial intelligence (AI) as critical to this orchestration but highlighted explainability around decisions as essential for supporting greater digital identity use, particularly in highly regulated markets, such as financial services and banking.

I believe that restrictions introduced to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have created many challenges for enterprise IT teams, particularly in the area of cybersecurity. Organizations that have the majority of their employees working from home must reevaluate their remote network access policies. There is a reason why a 'zero-trust' policy is now pervasive -- digital identity matters.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Whole Cloud Computing Revenue will Reach $1 Trillion

Many organizations across the globe have considered ways to optimize and contain their information technology (IT) investments, due to the current economic environment. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has actually proven to be an accelerator of cloud services adoption, driving the quest for greater results from digital business transformation projects.

Total worldwide spending on cloud computing -- the hardware and software components underpinning cloud services, and the professional and managed services opportunities around cloud -- will surpass $1 trillion in 2024 while sustaining a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.7 percent, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Whole Cloud Computing Market Development

"Cloud in all its permutations – hardware/software/services/ 'everything-as-a-service', as well as public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud and edge computing – will play ever greater, and even dominant, roles across the IT industry for the foreseeable future," said Richard L. Villars, vice president at IDC.

By the end of 2021, based on lessons learned during the global pandemic, most enterprises will put a mechanism in place to accelerate their shift to cloud-centric digital infrastructure and application delivery services -- achieving growth twice as fast as before the pandemic.

The strongest growth in cloud computing revenues will come in the 'as a service' category – public (shared) cloud services and dedicated (private) cloud services. This category, which is also the largest category in terms of overall revenues, is forecast to deliver a five-year CAGR of 21 percent.

According to the IDC assessment, by 2024, the 'as a service' category will account for more than 60 percent of all cloud computing revenues worldwide.

The services category, which includes cloud-related professional services and cloud-related management services, will be the second-largest category in terms of revenue but will experience the slowest growth with an 8.3 percent CAGR. This is due to a variety of factors, including greater use of automation in cloud migrations.

The smallest cloud category, infrastructure build, which includes hardware, software, and support for enterprise private clouds and service provider public clouds, will enjoy solid growth (11.1 percent CAGR) over the forecast period.

Outlook for Cloud Computing Applications Growth

While the impact of an ongoing global pandemic could have negative effects on cloud adoption over the next several years, IDC says there are a number of factors that are driving the market forward.
  • The ecosystem of tech companies helping customers migrate to cloud environments, create new innovations in the cloud, and manage their expanding cloud environments will enable enterprises to meet their accelerated schedules for moving to cloud computing platforms.
  • The emergence of consumption-based IT offerings is aimed at leveraging public cloud-like capabilities in an on-premises environment that reduces the complexity and restructures the cost for enterprises that want additional security, dedicated resources, and more granular management capabilities.
  • The adoption of cloud services should enable organizations to shift IT from the maintenance of legacy IT to new digital transformation initiatives, which can lead to new business revenue and competitiveness as well as create new opportunities for suppliers of professional services.
  • Hybrid cloud has become central to successful digital transformation efforts by defining an IT architectural approach, an IT investment strategy, and an IT staffing model that ensures the enterprise can achieve the optimal balance across dimensions without sacrificing performance, reliability, or control.

That said, I believe that the continued growth of public cloud computing services, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) in particular, will motivate CIOs and CTOs to re-assess their overall enterprise networking strategy. The emergence of flexible 'Hybrid Working' models requires secure access to on-premises IT resources and SaaS apps from anywhere employees choose to reside or visit.

Legacy virtual private networking (VPN) solutions must be reconsidered, in light of these new demands. IDC's notion of a 'branch of one' person will likely increase the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) solutions that accommodate all potential variations of branch office configuration and location.