Tom Sweeney

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2010 to be all about mobile technology: Deloitte

Posted by sweens on January 19, 2010


Krystle Chow
Ottawa Business Journal
Tablet PCs, eBooks and other mobile technology are among the top trends sighted for 2010 in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors, or TMT, along with the dilemma of tightening resources versus burgeoning demand, according to Deloitte Canada.
Deloitte’s 2010 TMT Predictions report said the increasing popularity of mobile Internet will lead the charge for innovation in the year ahead, with the e-book topping its list of trends to watch.
The headline-grabbing Amazon Kindle e-reader has been flying off the shelves since its introduction in 2007, spawning imitators from Sony and fellow book retailer Barnes & Noble among others, but the report pointed to the actual reading medium as the way of the near future, rather than the reading technology, which it proclaimed a niche-filler.“Although e-readers are securing headlines, they are an interim technology and sales growth will not meet expectations, as competition from alternative devices will likely slow their growth rate in 2011,” the report said. “E-books are expected to do well, but not be limited to stand-alone e-readers and will mainly be read on smartphones, PCs and tablets.”Deloitte drew parallels between the potential challenges for Canadian publishers, writers and distributors and those of the music industry, which has been seeking ways to deal with declining sales of hard-copy, recorded music in the face of digital downloads.

Other key industry trends include the emergence of the tablet PC and the media’s struggle to gain revenues from online content, the study showed.

That’s in line with what the report predicted would be the major driver of the three industries in 2010, namely the demand for the ability to access unlimited data “anywhere, anytime and on any screen.”

However, Deloitte pointed out that the slow recovery from 2008’s economic downturn means that demand will have to be balanced with limited budgets and clogged networks.

“Yesterday’s technologies can’t keep up with tomorrow’s customers,” said John Ruffolo, chief of Deloitte’s national technology, media and telecommunications industry group, in a statement. “Clearing the network traffic jams created by new mobile devices will not be easy and will have serious ramifications for customers and carriers alike.”

The report pointed to the dangers of recent “all-you-can-eat” data offerings among mobile carriers, especially with the addition of new entrants such as Wind Mobile, and said service providers will likely turn to short-term quick fixes to tide them over while they plan out new networks to accommodate the increased bandwidth usage.

That could be where local companies such as DragonWave and Bridgewater Systems come in, since the former deals with bandwidth-maximizing packet microwave radios while the latter’s technology allows carriers to keep track of and manage subscriber plans.

“Canadians and Canadian companies are at the front lines of the battle between demand for data and the realities of pricing,” stated Duncan Stewart, director of Deloitte Canada Research. “This tension is driving the TMT world to opt for solutions that may not be perfect, but are good enough.”

The report also pointed to cloud computing – in layman’s terms, the increasing use of hosted, virtual IT services provided over the Internet instead of the traditional on-site hardware and software ­– as one of the fastest-growing technology sectors, although it said it is “not taking over the world quite yet.”

“Concerns over reliability and security continue to make large enterprises and governments cautious about adopting cloud. In contrast, consumers and small enterprises are the logical early adopters, as the global cloud computing industry is predicted to grow almost 50 per cent to $80 billion in 2010,” the report noted.

It’s another area where Ottawa firms could benefit, including companies such as Embotics, which helps customers manage their virtual servers from creation to destruction, ensuring that servers are not deployed unnecessarily or lying dormant once created.

Other trends highlighted by Deloitte include increased competition and the threat of oversaturation in the clean-tech industry, along with the shift to the $80-billion online advertising market, which is expected to continue to steal market share from traditional ad media.

The report is based on research, interviews and input from Deloitte clients and alumni, industry analysts, 100 technology, media and telecommunications C-suite executives from around the world, and more than 6,000 Deloitte TMT member firm practitioners.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-01-19/article-497864/2010-to-be-all-about-mobile-technology%3A-Deloitte/1
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