Please see below selected recent intelligence about technology. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at competitors, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
- A new report prepared by Strategy& for Facebook Inc. in support of its Internet.org initiative, examined the barriers to Internet adoption and how they could be removed. The report analysed both the social and economic impact of internet access, and the implications and opportunities for telecoms, media content, and infrastructure sectors. 'Connecting the World: Ten Mechanisms for Global Inclusion' is a 10 year study, encompassing 120 countries. Growth in access to the Internet has slowed down in the past four years. Currently, only one out of three people in the world is connected to the Internet.
- Deloitte said it had partnered with five blockchain startups and built a wide range of prototypes to service industries including insurance, employee management and cross-border payments. The firm has built 20 working blockchain prototypes in partnership with startups BlockCypher, Bloq, ConsenSys Enterprise, Loyyal and Stellar. Four of the prototypes will be demoed live on stage at the Consensus 2016 conference in New York City. Deloitte partner Eric Piscini told CoinDesk that, while the companies represent a wide range of businesses, his company’s decision to partner with them was part of a global strategy to help push blockchain from theory into real-world applications.
- The internet is at a crossroads. Since its birth over 30 years ago, the internet has generally adhered to its original vision: a decentralized and universally connected network. That is to say, any connected device is generally free to exchange information with any other device that is willing to receive it. However, the internet of tomorrow faces a series of new challenges which, if allowed to accumulate unchecked, threaten to splinter it across national, commercial, and technological boundaries.
- Those able to harness the power of information and communication technology are reaping ever more benefits. But in poor countries, digital poverty is holding back growth and development, leaving them further behind. Singapore is this year’s leader of the global ICT revolution. Its government has a clear digital strategy and is an exemplar of online services and e-participation tools, which filters down to its industries and population. The country has the highest penetration of mobile broadband subscriptions per capita in the world and more than half of the population is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs. The country topped the 2016 Global Information Technology Report, published by INSEAD in partnership with the World Economic Forum and Johnson Cornell University, due to its leadership in business, innovation environment and government usage of ICT. The report benchmarks 143 economies in terms of their capacity to prepare for, use and leverage ICT.
- Adaptive Insights released its CFO Indicator Q1 2016 report that revealed the ways in which Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) harness the power of big data and scenario planning to help navigate their companies through the current financial uncertainty. To compile the report, the company surveyed 377 CFOs worldwide. The report found that while some CFOs are worried about the financial uncertainty that hung over Q1 2016, the vast majority of those it surveyed were confident in their forecasts and believe that big data, analytics and scenario planning will help them guide the way for their organisations. 48% cent of the CFOs viewed scenario planning provides the most strategic value to their companies when a downturn arises.
- Major banks are poised to escalate their participation in financial technology (fintech) projects across Asia Pacific as mainland China continues to drive these investments in the region, according to industry experts. Accenture has estimated that fintech investments in Asia-Pacific grew 517 per cent in the first quarter to US$2.7 billion, up from US$445 million in the same period last year, on the back of initiatives in the world’s second-largest economy. Total Asia-Pacific investments in fintech last year more than quadrupled to reach a record US$4.3 billion, the firm said. The region is now the world’s second-biggest geographic market for fintech investments after North America.
- The Telegraph looked at reasons why big banks may find it difficult to gain a foothold in the fintech market, despite their investment in new technology and the acquisition of forward-thinking start-ups. Traditional banks are weighed down by huge costs while start-up websites are cheaper to run, and so can offer far better value. Banks are so heavily regulated that competition has been smothered, meaning they may find a super-competitive market alien. With dozens and dozens of fintech start-ups, banks may find selecting the right ones to invest in difficult... history is against banks as “all the evidence of industrial innovation suggests that legacy companies can virtually never transform themselves.
- Digital technologies continue to rapidly reshape the business landscape, noted Boston Consulting Group. A striking feature of this ongoing transformation is that, despite these technologies’ underlying technical complexity, a significant share of many companies’ digital campaigns is being driven largely by the business function, with only limited conceptual involvement by the corporate IT department. In fact, sometimes the business even launches digital initiatives without the knowledge of corporate IT. The empowerment of the business function in this manner can provide clear advantages for a company: it can, for example, speed the launch of innovative new products and services to customers. But over time, it can also lead to an assortment of independently driven digital initiatives that have no unifying standards. This can translate into high complexity, additional costs, a lack of compatibility among initiatives, and security issues.
- Spooked by technological change, CEOs of global banks fear they are staring extinction in the eye if they fail to keep on top of trends, according to a new PwC report, which found that 81% of the world’s top bankers said the speed of technological change concerns them. The latest PwC survey of 176 banking and capital markets CEOs across 62 countries cites cybersecurity and fast-moving entrepreneurs nimbly grasping the new opportunities emerging from technology as key risks.
- Fewer than 30% of businesses using analytics to drive operational efficiency have actually managed to improve business operations, according a study from Capgemini. In its survey of 608 companies, only 29% said they had successfully achieved their objectives in operational analytics initiatives; 40% said they had achieved only moderate success. The survey found that 41% of the businesses that Capgemini looked at struggled to introduce analytics initiatives in their operations. “They have mostly implemented proof of concepts and are struggling to realise benefits from their analytics initiative,” the company’s Going Big: Why Organisations Need to Focus on Operations Analytics report stated.
- The predictive analytics market size is expected to grow from US$2.4bn in 2015 to $9.20bn by 2020, at an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.4% during the forecast period, according to Research and Markets. Increase in the amount of structured and unstructured data is the foremost factor that is driving the need of this market. Also, increased focus on market and competitive intelligence, transformation from traditional BI techniques to advanced analytics techniques are other drivers behind the increasing market. Among business functions, finance is expected to have the highest market share in 2015 while human resources is expected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2015 to 2020. Financial firms are delving deeper into predictive analytics to realize faster time to value and improve operational performance and decision outcomes.
- PwC published 'Making sense of bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain' to help understand terms like bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. (Contact: John Plansky, Andrew Luca, Haskell Garfinkel, Jeremy Drane.) See also Do you know what blockchains are?
- The European Commission published the results of the 2016 edition of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The findings show that Member States have made progress in areas such as connectivity and digital skills, as well as on-line public services, since the publication of the Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy last year but that the pace of progress is slowing down. More needs to be done, both at the EU and national levels, to remove the obstacles which prevent EU Member States from fully benefitting from digital opportunities.
- Bitcoin became the world’s first decentralised cryptocurrency back in 2009, and with it came its main innovation – the blockchain. The Bitcoin blockchain is used to keep a record of all transactions that occur in the Bitcoin network and acts as the global ledger for the currency. However the blockchain has now outgrown Bitcoin, and has the potential to be one the biggest disruptors of the computing world.
- According to PwC's 19th Annual Global CEO Survey, technology CEOs are more optimistic about growth prospects than CEOs from other industries as technology is increasingly impacting every business. Companies across the globe from all industries are looking to technology and innovation to help meet stakeholder expectations, which are changing dramatically. Tech CEOs are also making significant changes to their talent strategies and their purpose.
- Blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings announced alliances with Accenture, PwC and Broadridge. Accenture will work with the company to provide consulting and systems integration services for blockchain-related projects at global financial institutions. Broadridge will help identify, develop and drive adoption of business use cases of the blockchain and PwC will help educate Digital Asset's clients on its technology. Goldman Sachs and IBM recently participated in Digital Asset's latest funding round, which raised approx $60 million.
- McKinsey: Cutting through the noise around financial technology
- OliverWyman: Blockchain in capital markets
- Deloitte: Blockchain: Enigma. Paradox. Opportunity
- PwC announced it will be entering the Blockchain environment, by creating a new team of specialists to research the potentials of the technology due to customer demand. PwC has signed up fifteen FinTech specialists to operate its blockchain R&D program. The company is convinced that the technology will reduce costs and add transparency to the financial landscape abroad. The protocol can assist the company’s role with auditing services, real estate, insurance and basically every multinational service they offer. PwC plans to continue its role as a top provider of these services and hopes distributed ledger technology can change the traditional finance ecosystem for the better.
- Five years ago, an former KPMG commentator predicted that CIOs needed to keep a close eye on the following five trends:the return to craft (Freelancer, Skillsapien, Expert 360); crypto currency (Bitcoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Litecoin); 3D printing (absolutely everywhere); quantifiable self (Fitbit, wearables etc) and the impossibility of forgetting (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc). He now predicts five more trends CEOs will need to watch between now and 2020: machine learning; the blockchain; continuous monitoring; smart objects and the death of e-mail.
- ' How the blockchain will become our new signature' discussed how the Bitcoin blockchain and its timestamping and peer-to-peer transaction system can provide a path to data reliability and interoperability. With it, some believe we could empower citizens and boost their confidence in the agencies that govern their lives.
- PwC recruited 15 leading technology specialists to exploit and commercialise blockchain, the technology that powers the crypto-currency, Bitcoin. The new Blockchain team will be based in our Belfast office and is expected to grow to over 40 digital and technology specialists during 2016. he announcement comes just days after Sir Mark Walport, the UK's chief scientific adviser urged the government to adopt the blockchain technology to run key public services like tax collection, benefits or the issuing of passports.ur decision to focus on blockchain technology represents a major step in the firm’s move towards developing FinTech (financial technology) solutions that are becoming a catalyst for change and innovation in the financial services industry.
- Technological advances in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics, automobiles and neuroscience - to name a few - have left policymakers, business leaders and consumers scrambling to understand their full social, economic and ethical implications, warned the Financial Times in a special report.
- PwC announced the conditional acquisition of leading European technology consulting business Outbox Group. This bolsters PwC's ability to offer specialised cloud-based solutions and transformational services for clients in the UK and Europe. Polish-based Outbox specialises in customer, digital and technology services working with leading platforms such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and SAP. Its addition will further enhance PwC's cross-industry customer and digital capabilities to deliver innovative solutions across all channels, platforms and devices.
- In 'The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype', McKinsey noted that the potential for IoT has perhaps been underestimated so far. The impact of IT will not be confined to developed countries. The opportunities for automation in production and factories mean that there is potential for huge impact in developing countries as well. B2B applications of IoT have greater economic potential than consumer applications, and the IoT can impact a variety of environments such as hospitals, home and factories.
- Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled applications are poised to revolutionise digital customer experience and enhance digital operational excellence, claimed Forrester. Some key IoT-enabled applications such as security and surveillance and building management apply across multiple industries, while others, including inventory management, supply chain, and asset management, provide higher value in specific industries. Infrastructure and operations executives must collaborate with their line-of-business partners to identify IoT application priorities and deployment momentum across their organisation.
- In 'From ‘how?’ to ‘what?’ The digital side effect that will help define 2016', Accenture claimed digital is now "streamlined, slick, digs deep and gets personal". It has evolved from electronic brochure ware to multi-party, feature rich, interactive platforms that facilitate cross-sector collaboration to create personalised end-to-end products and services for customers. Agile businesses no longer think about ‘how’, only ‘what’. This is going to make for a fast-paced 2016 in digital, characterised by creativity and innovation. Accenture's advice: keep your eyes wide open, understand these new business models and value propositions, and act.
- According to PwC's Blue 2.0: The strategic response to megatrends, investment in blockchain in growing fast.
- KPMG released its ‘Fintech 100’ report, a collaborative effort with fintech investment firm, H2 Ventures. The report identified the leading 50 ‘Established’ fintech companies across the globe, and 50 ‘Emerging Stars’. Fintech is now truly a global sector – The list is comprised of 40 US companies, 20 from EMEA, 18 from the UK and 22 from Asia Pacific. China fintech leads the world – ZhongAn, a Chinese company tops this year’s list, and there are seven Chinese fintech companies on the list (with six in the 50 Established list). Payments is at most risk of disruption - Fintech growth in payments, currencies and transactions sees these segments of fintech now representing 25% of the Fintech 100, a substantial uplift on last year. Insurance finds its fintech footing - The top 2 companies on the list are insurance fintechs (with 7 overall, compared to none last year). Shift from disruptors to enablers – 25 ‘enablers’ (service providers to financial companies) this year, compared to 7 last year. For the full report see http://www.fintechinnovators.com/
- Many executives pine for their internal IT systems to give them a more consumer-friendly experience, claimed the Harvard Business Review. They point to the simplicity, ease of use, and hassle-free nature of the digital services they use in their personal lives: the apps on their smart phone that make services available at the push of a button, software that can be installed and configured with the click of an icon, the ability to plug a printer into a laptop’s USB port and have it ready to print, a tablet that can be connected to the internet without any cautionary pop-ups warning about potential security risks or possible compatibility problems. In the consumer IT world everything just seems to work, they lament. Why does corporate IT make things so complicated? Unfortunately, most executives don’t recognise that consumer IT and enterprise IT are different animals. They don’t understand that they must play the pivotal role in the critical decisions that shape enterprise IT- decisions that they leave to the likes of Yahoo, Apple, Google, and Vodafone in the consumer world.
- Big Data is failing businesses and costing them millions in missed opportunities, at least according to a survey from flash storage provider Pure Storage. It cited a number of reasons for the failure, but specifically blamed a lack of quick access to critical information, a lack of workers skilled in data management, and red tape. The pan-European report entitled “Big Data’s Failure” highlights the struggle businesses are experiencing in trying to access the information they need in a timely manner. The report found that over half of businesses have missed opportunities they didn’t see coming because they lacked accurate information at a time when they really needed it.
- Cloud service providers are quickly rolling out innovative cloud services, and, for a growing number of enterprises, cloud-first is a preferred strategy. Enterprises are facing more competition than ever, so they're scouting for their next cloud service for competitive advantage. To select the right service, they must understand its maturity, ecosystem, and potential to solve business problems. In a new TechRadar, Forrester assessed what it considers the 18 most important cloud service categories.
- Over the past few years, we have witnessed a number of technological revolutions. First there was the rise of smartphones, than tablets came along and finally cloud services hit the mainstream. But what’s next? Which technologies will shape the near future, especially from a professional point of view? IBM asked more than 5,000 C-level executives from 70 countries which technologies they think will be particularly important in the next three to five years. Most agreed that cloud computing and mobile solutions will continue to play a key role, while the Internet of Things is expected to make a big impact as well.
- In a new paper Capgemini looked at blockchain technology and how it can transform financial institutions.
- A new IDC study examined the market for digital transformation professional services, which is forecast to grow rapidly - with an 18.7% CAGR, this market is expected to reach $197 billion by 2019. The digital transformation professional services market has continued to evolve and grow as organisations of all sizes look for innovation and growth," claimed IDC's research director for IT Consulting and System Integration Research. "In the past, projects have mostly treated each of the four major sub-segments of cloud, analytics, mobile, and social as discrete projects; however, leading companies are now integrating two or more of these enabling technologies into single projects.
- Organisations that start and complete big data projects see practical results and significant value, according to a recent study by Accenture Analytics. Those standing on the sidelines may be left behind. Executives report big data delivering business outcomes for a wide spectrum of strategic corporate goals—from new revenue generation and new market development to enhancing the customer experience and improving enterprise-wide performance. Organizations regard big data as extremely important and central to their digital strategy.
- This is not the first time that technology has transformed business, argued the Financial Times. When supply chains were computerised in the 1980s, chief executives had to oversee complex systems that had been mere curiosities a few years earlier. Few had the wherewithal to do it themselves. But the best understood the challenge, and how to build a team that was equal to it. Thirty years on, that kind of automation seems mundane compared with the dramatic change we are now seeing in consumer habits. If our customers want to interact with us via smartphones and tablets as well as in person, then we had better get over the idea that we preferred them as simpler souls.
- Bitcoin will become sixth largest global reserve currency by 2030, while banks are set to invest over $1bn in blockchain technology over the next couple of years, according to research carried out by Magister Advisors, a Silicon Valley investment boutique. Bitcoin is experiencing a bull run at present in terms of price, fuelled by things such as the recent European Court's decision to call it a currency and make exchange transactions VAT exempt. Magister interviewed some 30 blockchain startup companies. The majority of executives said bitcoin would become the sixth largest global reserve currency within 15 years. The consensus is that blockchain is set to become the rails upon which finance runs in the future.
- Indeed, transactions are executed millions of times a day by banks globally, some transfers are now different, being completed via an internal blockchain, the shared database technology that gained notoriety as the platform for the crypto currency bitcoin. Banks are now racing to harness the power of the blockchain technology, in a belief that it could cut up to $20bn off costs and transform the way the industry works. Meanwhile, in Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain, Capgemini analysed the digital future of currency, storage and security, imagining a world of "frictionless business" through crypto-environments.
- What is Big Data worth, asked the Financial Times, following the news that IBM had acquired the digital assets of the Weather Company for $2bn (see IBM above). Like Monsanto’s purchase of a similar company, Climate Corporation, for nearly $1bn two years ago, the deal provides a graphic demonstration of the new data economy that is taking shape. Whole classes of information - in this case, detailed local data about, and forecasts of, weather conditions - may now be applied to everything from making more effective business decisions to providing better local services.
- Accountants are in danger becoming ‘marginalised' and ‘irrelevant' if the profession fails to adapt to disruptive technology trends, the Institute of Charted Accountants of England and Wales (ICEAW) warned. Capabilities such as cloud computing and data analytics are enabling accountants to do things even quicker, cheaper, better and with less human intervention, but trends like automation, self-service and information on demand poses risks to the future of the profession. The shift to online, cloud and mobile platforms has changed the nature of client relationships, the ICAEW said in its report, 'Providing Leadership in a Digital World'.
- PwC itself acquired the assets of Kusiri, a technology start-up, a technology start-up which provides a forensic data search platform used to discover fraud and for compliance screening. Six people from Kusiri joined PwC's forensics team. PwC already uses Kusiri's platform for our RADAR service - an ‘early warning system' which allows clients to manage risks including financial, regulatory, compliance and reputational.
- Only 6% of the directors overseeing the world’s biggest banks have any technology experience even though issues ranging from cyber security to digital challengers have shot up their boardroom agenda. Almost half of the world’s 109 biggest banks have no board members with any technology experience and a further quarter of them have only one such director, according to new research from Accenture.
- Data, technology and a rise in processing power are reshaping the future of audit, facilitating predictive analysis allowing auditors to identify areas of potential risk like never before, according to KPMG. In comments made to AccountantsDaily, the D&A leader at KPMG noted that audits are no longer started “with a blank sheet of paper”, as data analytics allow auditors to monitor transactions year round. The ability to identify outliers and large movements in data as a result of newly developed investigative routines and algorithms are key advantages of the recently evolved process.
- Asking Is Technology the New Human Rights Issue for Women?, the Huffington Post warned that, while 85% of the adult population in the United States has Internet access, with nearly equal access between men and women, the developing world is woefully behind. The Clinton/Gates report also revealed that in the developing world, 200 million fewer women than men use the internet, which is projected to grow to 350 million within three years unless something is done.
- According to IDC’s five-year forecast, cloud infrastructure IT spending will reach $53.1bn (£35bn) by 2019. Even this year, the research firm predicts that enterprises will spend $12.1bn (£7.9bn) on private cloud infrastructures, representing an increase of 15.8% in 2015 compared with the previous year, and $20.5bn (£13.5bn) on public cloud technologies, representing a 29.6% year-on-year increase.
- Technology is reshaping the accounting, audit and consulting divisions that are the bread and butter of professional services firms, according to the Financial Times. They are trying to fight back, launching partnerships with technology companies, picking dynamic start-ups to invest in and increasingly employing techniques that are the foundations on which innovative technology companies such as Google and Amazon are built. Innovate or die is the stark message for the professional services firms - e.g. online accounting services offered by the traditional firms are ripe for disruption, as technology moves activities online and lowers barriers to entry. They are competing with established brands such as SAP, Salesforce and Oracle, as well as newer businesses such as Square, the payments company launched by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and Receipt Bank, which removes the need for manual data entry of bills and receipts.
- Data is the lifeblood of the digital economy, it can give insight, inform decisions and deepen relationships. It can be bought, sold, shared and even stolen, all things that suggest that data has value. Yet when PwC surveyed 1,800 senior business leaders, very few organisations can attribute a value to their data and, more concerning, many don’t yet have the capabilities we’d expect to manage, protect and extract that value. The business leaders we questioned were divided equally between Europe and North America, and in mid-sized organisations (over 250 employees) and enterprises (over 2,500 employees). The results of the study, which was done on behalf of Iron Mountain by our Research to Insight (r2i) team, have been used to create a first-of-its-kind Information Value Index which benchmarks how well different businesses in different countries currently manage their information for competitive advantage.
- Data and analytics are revolutionising our clients’ businesses. This is reflected in PwC's 2015 CEO survey, where UK CEOs ranked data mining and analysis as the most ‘strategically important’ digital technology, alongside cybersecurity. To help our people talk to your clients about these opportunities and the potential solutions, PwC created a revised Data and Analytics Showcase. It’s an interactive tool that outlines core data and analytics concepts, provides client examples and defines our firm-wide propositions.
- The disruptive force of technology threatens to uproot many of the industries on which Europe has built its prosperity and challenge the balance of power across the world, claimed the Financial Times. This technological challenge is convulsing all governments, societies and economies, but some US tech entrepreneurs have warned that Europe might be particularly exposed to the fast-changing “techno-geopolitics” of the world.
- The adoption of Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology has begun to accelerate. Innovative use cases are emerging as companies discover ways to streamline their business processes and improve their interactions with customers through smart connected products. But as they deploy these capabilities, they struggle to craft viable business plans, collaborate across siloed organisations, and implement, integrate, and manage disparate IoT technologies. Forrester therefore believes that CIOs and CTOs will need to partner with consulting and technology services firms as they grapple with a complex set of business, integration, technology and data management implementation challenges.
- McKinsey & Co. estimates US$6.2 trillion in benefits by 2025 from the Internet of Things. Cisco meanwhile projects that organisations will capture US$14.4 trillion in IoT value during a similar period, as the world of synched devices, home appliances and wearable technology starts go to mainstream.
- IBM announced that it will invest $3 billion and hire 2,000 workers to staff its new Internet of Things (IoT) Business Unit. This reinforces the computing powerhouse’s dedication to powering connectivity and playing a major role in the development of mainstream IoT applications. According to a recent IoT Strategies Service report by Strategy Analytics, to date, IBM has invested more than $10 billion to spearhead its interrelated IoT, analytics and cloud initiatives. The SA report provides a detailed overview of IBM’s multi-pronged approach to advancing its IoT initiatives. There are four foundational elements to the strategy: devices and networks, platforms, applications and solutions, and industry-specific transformations.
- However, government has been slow to incorporate IoT technologies, according to the results of a recent study from Deloitte’s GovLab think tank. The report, "Anticipate, Sense, and Respond: Connected government and the Internet of Things”, identifies ways public service organizations can use connected devices to transform service delivery. The report says high impact efforts will focus initially on improving productivity of routine tasks, enhancing staff capabilities and engaging partners.
- In Sizing the Cloud Security Market, Forrester argued that, as enterprises embrace a diverse cloud ecosystem, a new generation of software is emerging to address the security requirements of highly distributed IT infrastructure. Its new report organises today's fragmented set of cloud security solutions into four discrete categories projects spending patterns for the cloud security category as a whole.
- The data analytics outsourcing market is predicted to grow about 30% between 2015 and 2019 according to the latest report from Technavio. The tech research consultancy’s report on the global data analytics outsourcing market forecasts that the market will be worth more than $3.3 billion by 2019 as data analytics outsourcing gains cost savings, operational efficiency and quality improvement for companies.
- There will be over 3 billion sensors in wearable technology devices by 2025, with more than 30% being emerging sensor types, according oto Wearable Sensors 2015-2025: Market Forecasts, Technologies, Players from IDTechEx Research. Sensors are the most diverse component type in wearable devices, and they also enable the key functions that will go into wearable devices and make them be worn. Advances with wearable sensors are a vital driver for the future of wearable technology. Their incorporation alongside new energy harvesting and energy storage techniques, efficient power management systems and low power computing, in form factors that will be increasingly flexible, fashionable and invisible will enable the wearable technology market to reach $70bn by 2025. See also Forrester report - Internet of Things.
- Explaining new research entitled “The Demise of Big Data, Its Lessons and the State of Things to Come” Gartner claimed that "we did it to move the big data discussion past hype and into practice” and also because “Hype Cycles consider any adoption trend that goes beyond 20% of the wider IT market to be past hype and entering into early market definition”. Hype, the analyst says, “... is now being replaced by practicality, because the technology and information asset types offer new alternatives that are most often additive or complementary to long-standing, traditional practices.
- The New York Times tackled the question that if, these days, every company is at least a little bit of a tech company (e.g. some Wall Street banks employ more tech workers than all but the biggest Silicon Valley companies. And large manufacturers like General Electric are leading the way in efforts to put Internet-connected sensors on things as varied as streets and turbines), why then are some start-ups called tech companies and others just … companies? “Tech means more than just producing hardware or software,” according to the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “It is synonymous with innovation, research and development, long-term thinking.”
- In Tech Firms Beware: Don’t Disappoint Investors, the Wall Street Journal warned that technology companies whose earnings disappoint investors are paying an unusually large toll this quarter, highlighting Wall Street’s high expectations for the sector at a time of uneven economic growth.
- Finance teams are spending more time on analysis and less time on data gathering amid greater automation of traditional book-keeping activities. PwC's own annual finance function benchmark report found that the best performing finance functions cost 40% less than their peers and have ditched the traditional focus on book-keeping and information gathering in favour of greater automation, shared services and more efficient use of capacity. Finance professionals now spend half their time on analysis versus data gathering, up from 36% three years ago, with a greater emphasis on real-time analytics and management information used by other parts of the business.
- Across Asia, investments in technology start-ups have escalated at the same swift pace and to the same heights as in the United States. In the first six months of this year, 46 Asian start-ups, had fund-raising rounds of $100 million or more, just short of the 48 in North America, according to the research firm CB Insights.
- The world’s largest technology companies are piling in to the Indian ecommerce sector, according to the Financial Times, seeking to to replicate in India the dominance they enjoy in their home markets. The contest will soon pit American tech groups against rivals from Asia, and China in particular.
- From music streaming and digital mapping to wearable devices and food-on-demand: the Financial Times introduced the Eurotech 50, its pick of Europe’s top technology entrepreneurs.
- MIT Technology Review published its lists of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2015. Massive solar panel factories, fertility treatments and friendly robots are among the companies reshaping the technology business.
- The majority of organisations fail to have a uniform process for archiving data types, according to analysis by the Computer Business Review. Businesses are failing to capture potential revenues due to poorly managed data archives. Large volumes of data are resulting in many organisations being unable to successfully leverage the value in their data archives. However, a subset of organisations which are successfully leveraging the data are making as much as $10m more in revenue due to streamlined IT and customer service operations. Research published by Iron Mountain, "Mining for Insight: Rediscovering the Data Archive", an IDC white paper, showed that organisations with a well-defined data archive process stand to realise value from cost savings and added revenue from monetising the archives.
- The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) is demanding new initiatives toward enterprise architecture, data services and integration, according to a survey of 675 application developers, which finds broad support for IoT initiatives, but a lot of work ahead. The study, conducted by Harbor Research and underwritten by Progress, found that at least 45% of developers are working on IoT initiatives, and 75% felt IoT is going to deliver positive results. However, at this point, only 50% of developers say they have the skills, resources and technological tools to deliver on IoT expectations, the survey finds. That's because there are many new moving parts that will need to be added to already complex IT infrastructures.In fact, nearly a third experience data overload and feel overwhelmed trying to manage it all when managing data sets for contextualised IoT apps,
- The Era of Living Services report from Accenture and Fjord, described how brands will use the Internet of Things and powerful data analytics to create services that come to life; predicting and reacting to consumers’ changing needs and circumstances. In other words, branded services that are personalised and change in real-time for every individual wherever they are and whatever they are doing. It looked at the effect Living Services will have on most aspects of our lives – from our homes, finances and work; to our health, shopping and the future of travel.
- By 2020, 62% of organisations will be running 100% of their information technology in the cloud. But younger startup companies are already close to that point. That’s the prediction from BetterCloud, which surveyed 1,500 of its customers to determine what direction they will be taking cloud in the next few years. Currently, 12% of companies run all of their IT in the cloud, so it looks like this number will quintuple over the next five years.
- London is the technology capital of Europe, with more than 1,000 “tech investment projects” started between 2005 and 2014 based in London, while only 281 are in Paris, the next most popular city in Europe, the data from professional services firm EY2 reveals. Below Paris were Dublin with 162, Madrid with 139 and Amsterdam with 126 start-ups. According to a report by Oxford Economics, London's digital technology sector has grown by 46 per cent since the Tech City UK programme was launched, with tech companies based in the capital now employing almost 200,000 people.
- Deloitte predicts that in 2015 one billion wireless Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be shipped, up 60% from 2014, and leading to an installed base of 2.8 billion devices. The IoT-specific hardware (which could be a more expensive cellular modem, or a much cheaper Wi-Fi chip) is likely to be worth $10 billion, and the associated services enabled by the devices worth about $70 billion. Services include all of the data plans that may be necessary to connect a device over a network, the professional services (consulting, implementation, or analysing the data) and then things like an insurance policy discount for a telematics device in a car or a wearable device for health purposes.
- Ventana Research recently completed what it claims is the most comprehensive evaluation of analytics and business intelligence products and vendors available anywhere. Analytics and business intelligence is now a fast-changing market and Ventana scrutinised 15 top vendors and their product offerings in seven key categories: usability, manageability, reliability, capability, adaptability, vendor validation and return on investment.
- The Internet of Things is rapidly building connections between devices, starting with wearables, cars and appliances. A recent report from Gartner forecast that, “4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.” Breakthroughs have been made with regard to processing chips and internet speed that are making IoT a reality. 20 years ago, the cloud technology that is current driving these changes did not exist, but today the Internet of Things is being compared to the Industrial Revolution.
- See also PwC's own latest Technology social media posts, Big Data - June 8, 2015, Trends/Emerging Technology - June 8, 2015 and New Emerging Technology page on PwC.com.
- Intense competition continues to be the most prevalent risk in the technology sector, particularly amid constant innovation and improvement. For example, according to the eighth annual report from BDO, all of the 100 largest public tech companies in the US cite risks related to competition and consolidation in their annual filings. Increasingly, competition is flowing into employment trends as hiring becomes a top priority for many managers at leading tech firms. As such, 95% of companies mention concerns over their ability to attract and retain key personnel, up from 89% in 2014.
- The technology sector is not ready to hit the pause button on M&A, even after record-setting dealmaking over the past five quarters. Rather, a growing sense of confidence amid global digital transformation should continue to drive technology M&A through 2015, according to EY's Technology Capital Confidence Barometer. 60% of technology executives surveyed see the M&A market growing over the next 12 months, and 57% expect to complete more deals than last year. That would come on top of post-dotcom-bubble records for deal volumes in every quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2015.
- According to HP, today’s CIOs sit at the centre of a seemingly endless maze, surrounded by twists, turns, and winding corridors, each offering a potential pathway to a constantly shifting goal - IT transformation. The company believes that there are five critical factors below can make the difference between success and failure: changing user expectations; time to value; workforce change; aligning the evolving IT organisation and confronting agility and basic modernisation challenges.
- Mergers and acquisitions related to the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to shatter records. Buyers so far this year have spent $14.8bn to purchase 39 IoT-related companies, surpassing the $14.3bn spent for 62 such companies in all of 2014, which itself was a record-breaking year. emiconductor-related acquisitions have driven the bulk of spending so far in 2015.
- 3D Printing Moves from Hype to an Innovative, Disruptive Force, is a new IDC presentation on how the market is shaping up for 2015 and beyond.
- According to Boston Consulting Group, digital disruption is not a new phenomenon. But the opportunities and risks it presents shift over time. Competitive advantage flows to the businesses that see and act on these shifts first. We are entering the third and most consequential, wave of digital disruption. It has profound implications not only for strategy but also for the structure of companies and industries. Business leaders need a new map to guide them.
- The European Union outlined its strategy to create a digital single market. The thrust of the proposals include establishing standard rules for buying goods online, pruning cross-border regulations on telecoms and reducing the tax burden on businesses. But the plan also calls for a “comprehensive assessment” of whether Google, Facebook and other internet platforms distort competition. Still, the strategy was broadly welcomed. The EU expects it will generate €415 billion ($468 billion) a year for the economy and produce 3.8m new jobs.
- Forbes argued that we’ve had software as a service, platform as a service and data as a service. Now, by mixing them all together and massively upscaling the amount of data involved, we’ve arrived at Big Data as a Service, or BDaaS. It might not be a term you’re familiar with yet, but it suitably describes a fast-growing new market. In the last few years many businesses have sprung up offering cloud-based Big Data services to help other companies and organisations solve their data dilemmas. Some estimate that the portion of business IT spending that is cloud-based, x-as-a-service activity will increase from about 15% today to 35% by 2021. Given that it is estimated that the global Big Data market will be worth $88 billion by that point, we can see that the forecast value of the BDaaS market could be $30 billion.
- Techfuture Ambassadors argued that, for those CIOs who are willing to embrace the change, digital transformation can provide the opportunity to rethink how they use technology at the most fundamental level. This can help businesses to improve their service offerings while also building a more meaningful relationship with the new generation of customers. For some business leaders, however, the idea of transforming their organisation remains a deeply worrying thought. Instead of adapting, these organisations would prefer to bury their heads in the sand and hope that digital will pass them by without disruption.
- Strategy& published .
- A new report by Verizon predicted that the Internet of Things is poised to transform virtually every major market sector, growing to more than 5.4 billion connections by 2020.
- According to Forrester, with challenges increasing - new touchpoints to measure, new technologies to master, and skills in short supply - professionals face a real challenge in increasing their firms' analytical maturity. Yet robust metrics are critical to driving digital transformation, so today's digital leaders must plot a path to deliver the skills, capabilities, and technologies their firms need.
- Data is the new natural resource that will fuel economic growth in the future, and analytics is the key to refining it, according to an IBM Europe vice-president, who claimed that four billion people already use a smartphone - more than the 2.5bn who use a toothbrush - but technology only had a value when it was integrated into our personal and working lives. Analytics had reached a new peak with Watson, IBM's cognitive computer which and it has also devised a "spoken web" for low literacy users of the internet in developing countries.
- Big & Fast Data: The Rise of Insight-Driven Business, Capgemini's study of 1,000 senior business leaders, demonstrated the extent to which big data sources and technology are being adopted across different sectors and regions of the world. It explains the impact on businesses and markets and how the acquisition of data is breaking down traditional industry boundaries, and identifies how businesses are adapting to deal with this and what organisations need to do to make big data work for them.
- Organisations are seeing measurable benefits from Internet of Things (IoT) projects, and the number of overall IoT connections will more than quadruple between 2014 and 2020, according to a Verizon Enterprise Solutions report, which delves into adoption trends and predictions for the future of the IoT market and guidance for business and public-sector leaders on developing an IoT strategy.
- The Times examined how companies are increasingly turning to big data to improve productivity. Many are treating every action made by an employee as a data point that can be measured, analysed and then potentially modified – with some examining top performers to see what they are doing differently, before encouraging other employees to be more like their star players. However, this can demoralise employees, it is noted.
- After decades of development, 3D printing is now ready to revolutionise manufacturing, claimed China Daily. For example, the southern Chinese city of Changsha has launched a new industrial park and what sets it apart is that it is China's first hub for 3D printing technology, and was established with an immediate goal to produce 100 3D printers, and to triple the number of devices by 2016. Taking Changsha's lead, the cities of Wuhan and Zhuhai have announced plans to develop similar industry hubs.
- Technology companies in the UK are set to be at the centre of a wave of takeover activity over the next two years. A survey published by law firm Pinsent Masons in conjunction with Mergermarket, identified UK & Ireland as the most active target region for technology acquisitions, while London has been identified as the technology start-up hub of Europe. A total of 80% of those questioned anticipate an increase in both the volume and value of deals in Europe over the next 12 months, building on the record year for deals in the sector in 2014. A third of those surveyed said they expected the value of deals to increase "significantly", with a continued rise of cash-rich bidders.
- In its annual organisational and staffing survey of eBusiness and channel strategy professionals, Forrester found that while eBusiness budgets have grown by more than 10%, finding the skills and capabilities to execute on a digital strategy is becoming harder and harder.Staffing is most painful for technology, customer experience, and business analytics roles - all critical functions for driving digital transformation.
- The Internet of Things - the concept that objects can be connected to the internet and communicate with us - promises much, argued a Financial Times special report, but, before it can take off, problems such as security, cost and interconnectivity need to be resolved.
- Still, organisations are already seeing measurable benefits from Internet of Things (IoT) projects, and the number of overall IoT connections will more than quadruple between 2014 and 2020, according to a Verizon Enterprise Solutions report, which delved into adoption trends and predictions for the future of the IoT market and provided guidance for business and public-sector leaders on developing an IoT strategy.
- Meanwhile, technology companies in the UK are set to be at the centre of a wave of takeover activity over the next two years. claimed a survey published by law firm Pinsent Masons in conjunction with Mergermarket, which identified the UK and Ireland as the most active targets for technology acquisitions, with London identified as the top technology start-up hub of Europe. A total of 80% of those questioned anticipate an increase in both the volume and value of deals in Europe over the next 12 months, building on the record year for deals in the sector in 2014.
- In its annual organisational and staffing survey of eBusiness and channel strategy professionals, Forrester found that while eBusiness budgets have grown by more than 10%, finding the skills and capabilities to execute on a digital strategy is becoming harder and harder.
- The Internet of Things - the concept that objects can be connected to the internet and communicate with us - promises much, argued a Financial Times special report but, before it can take off, problems such as security, cost and interconnectivity need to be resolved.
- Globally, mobile technology has emerged as a primary engine of economic growth, stimulating enormous private-sector spending in both R&D and infrastructure, and profoundly changing daily lives everywhere, argued the Boston Consulting Group, which believes that dramatic performance improvements in mobile communications standards have propelled mobile to become the fastest adopted technology of all time.
- A new survey of companies by Forrester Consulting for Zebra Technologies revealed that 96% of businesses feel prepared for the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the coming years. Almost all of the 600 companies surveyed said they were ready to, or already taking the appropriate steps, towards being able to implement the IoT into their business, reports BizReport, with more than three quarters already making use of the solutions and a further 26 per cent planning to within a year. The majority (80%) of respondents agreed that using the IoT is important in terms of smart business strategy over the next 10 years.
- Forrester argued that, as CIOs prepare and manage their 2015 tech budgets, they can confidently push for increases of 4% to 6% in their purchases of tech goods and services, depending on their country. Tech spending in the US, China, India, the UK, and the Nordics will be at the high end of this range; in the rest of Europe and Latin America, growth will be at the low end. Demand will be strongest for software — especially for analytics and cloud apps — and related services but weaker in hardware and outsourcing, creating savings opportunities.
- According to Euromoney, investment banks have been laggards with big data and analytics, but there are signs that they are now throwing more resources and capital at a field that has the potential to transform the industry.
- A leading futurist outlined emerging challenges regarding digital transformation.
- The industrial Internet of Things market could be worth $319.62 billion by 2020, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets, which believes that the market is poised for tremendous growth. Sectors such as transportation and manufacturing have already begun adopting the same for their operations.
- Boardrooms all over the world are excited by Big Data, but the collection of masses of information could lead to a legal mess for companies in the EU that suffer a serious data breach, warned the FT. And now there has come a warning that all companies need guidance about what all the data they collect can be used for. Europe’s advisory body on data protection and privacy, the Article 29 Working Party, has said there are legal and ethical questions about how big data fits within the law.