Duncan Stewart is one that needs no further introduction in Canada when it comes to discussing media and telecom trends as well as upcoming technologies. Since 2001, he’s been touring around Canada with Deloitte’s TMT predictions (this year’s schedule of upcoming presentations is available on their website).
We were in the fully-packed room at the Scotia Bank Theatre in Montreal last week to hear what Duncan and his trends analysts are foreseeing for this upcoming year. Here are some highlights:
Big data gets really big…
Although still marginal in terms of money (roughly $1.5 B compared to $3.4 T for global IT), big data gains importance in terms of quantity and traditional database management and analytics tools reach their limits. It’s time for ground breaking innovations. Not surprisingly, more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies will be on it one way or another in 2012, but 50% of these projects will be pilot projects.
Near field communication (NFC)
It’s a growing trend but 2012 should still be another “transition year”; the NFC technology will be used for payment but now also more and more for other uses (fast and easy way to exchanging data without relying on Wi-Fi or phone networks, one answer to these increasingly crowded networks).
Moving from HDD to SSD (solid state drive)
SDD are pricy (about 10 times the cost of their HDD counterparts) but they are convenient if not mandatory for portable devices (smartphones, tablets, ultraportables). They also become important for data centers (cooler, less energy-demanding). About 10% of the new centers to be built in 2012 should use SSD hardware.
Two tablets per household…
People used to move around their houses carrying their lights with them. Nowadays light is ubiquitous. Tablets should follow the same trend, transitioning from one tablet per household to one per person. On the longer run, it’s one per room or even more than could be the norm. Ubiquitous…
Portable devices as portable DVRs
Streaming being not always possible or the best solution (think of commuters in a train), tablets may turn into handy portable DVRs where users could catch up on the shows recorded the day before (30 B hours watched last year).
The caps are back
As the networks reach their capacity limits, we should see the end of the “All you can eat” wired bandwidth plans. Average cap is expected to vary between 150 and 250 GB per month, more than what most average users should need. This trend should last until fiberglass networks kick in (timeframe: 10 years).
TV schedules are still king
Viewed as dying not long ago, live TV is getting back stronger as interactions on social networks favour live shows. The latest stats (Nielsen report) speak loud: In the US, people watch on a weekly basis an average 32 h of live TV. Timeshifted comes second with… 3 h per week.
More and more companies are using MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technology to improve products and user experience. It’s something getting big but kept hidden by companies using it (competitive edge).
Online advertising: Emotions matter
Brand advertising online is gaining momentum and should catch up with TV where it is predominant. Less focused on click-through rates and the likes, it will focus more on brand and image building, such as illustrated in an online Chipotle (Mexican grill restaurant) commercial showed during the presentation. This long commercial (over 2 minutes) is all about emotions, with the name of the company only showing up – briefly – at the very end of it.
To read our own review 2011 and trends for 2012.