Revealed: Deloitte’s top tech, media and telco predictions for 2015

The internet of things really is about things, print is not dead – at least not books, and expect a billion smartphone upgrades. These are just three of the predictions that stand out in Deloitte’s  2015 Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions.

Not unreasonably the authors say that, “Arguably the bigger challenge in making predictions about the TMT sector is not about forecasting what technologies will emerge or be enhanced, but in how they will be adopted.”

On that point they note that while music has gone digital, consumer demand for physical books remains robust, with millenials at the vanguard.

“Indeed 18-34 year olds, counter to some perceptions, remain significant consumers of media content. Technological advance has enabled e-commerce, but customers are increasingly choosing delivery to bricks-andmortar stores. 3D printing offers a factory in every home, yet it is enterprise that is driving spend.”

Some description

And, according to the report, “The Internet of Things (IoT) offers us the capability to remote control multiple aspects of our lives from our smartphones, but we expect companies to reap most of its value in 2015.”

To get the real value of the report we’re afraid you have to read the whole thing – not just the tweets. And at 72 pages its a good afternoon’s effort, but its worth it.

Here at least are some headlines to get you started.

  • The Internet of Things really is things, not people : In 2014, the IoT analytics market is primarily descriptive ($800 million), a little bit of predictive ($180 million) and minimally
    prescriptive ($14 million). Over the next four years, while IoT analytics revenues of all three types is likely to grow by 500 percent,
    the prescriptive subset is likely to grow over 3,000 percent.
  • Drones: high-profile and niche : We expect drones will have multiple industrial and civil government applications, building upon the diverse uses they are already being put to. Any task requiring aerial inspection could be undertaken by a camera equipped drone, transmitting footage to ground staff in real time.
  • 3D printing is a revolution: just not the revolution you think : By lowering the cost and dramatically accelerating the time-to-market for both prototypes and tooling, 3D printing solves particular pain points in some manufacturing chains, and levels the playing field between large manufacturers and the start-up in the garage, just as PC technology narrowed the gap between the mainframe computer makers and the kids in the Silicon Valley garage.
  • Click and collect booms in Europe : Click and collect is an established feature of the retail market. As of 2015, the proportion of retailers offering click and collect in Europe will vary markedly by country, but we would expect that most markets should see significant increases in the number of merchants offering this facility. At first glance, click and collect may seem a win-win for retailers and customers alike. Consumers are offered additional convenience, hopefully encouraging them to spend more; retailers avoid the cost of delivery to the home, and can utilize existing space.
  • Smartphone batteries: better but no breakthrough : Battery life is becoming an increasingly primal anxiety among digital natives. This anxiety is to an extent self-inflicted: more frequent use of more power-hungry applications on larger devices consumes more power. Our devices would last longer if we used them less, or used them differently. But the rapid progress in smartphone capability looks likely to continue in 2015, which means that the smartphone users will use their phones more frequently, and for a wider range of applications. The gains from new or larger batteries are likely to be balanced out by greater usage.
  • Nanosats take off, but they don’t take over : In the short or even medium term nanosats may not be able to capture or disrupt many of the market segments currently served by larger satellites but they do lower the cost and challenges of getting a useful object into space; they will likely attract investor attention and get the public more interested in the satellite market. They will almost certainly enable testing of new technologies on low cost and ‘disposable’ platforms, which in turn may foster the emergence of new applications or services.
  • The re-enterprization of IT : The ‘re-enterprization of IT’ may be an inelegant term, but it is likely to be a boon for the CIO, who tolerated consumerization, but largely found it posed significant challenges. Consumerization and the associated ‘Bring Your Own Device’ trend offered some benefits for the enterprise, but attempting to procure, pay for, provision and secure tens or even hundreds of millions of consumer devices has been a nightmare for most corporate IT departments. The sheer diversity of operating systems and form factors has been a challenge, and if enterprise use of wearables, 3D printers, drones or the Internet of Things were being primarily driven by consumers the headaches would only be worse.
  • Short form video: a future, but not the future, of television : We do not expect short-form online content to usurp long-form traditional television.197 It is a future, but not the future, of screen-based entertainment; and it is unlikely ever to be the predominant video format, as measured by hours watched or revenues. Short-form’s success should be respected, but it needs to put in context. Any claims about short-form usurping traditional long-form content should be analyzed carefully, using comparable metrics.
  • The ‘generation that won’t spend’ is spending a lot on media content : Millennials are expected to generate $750 on average in direct spend on content in the US and Canada. But we should also consider their indirect and ancillary spend… Monetizing millennials sometimes requires a content provider to offer new services that may not directly be linked to the original media proposition.
  • Print is alive and well – at least for books: The essence of this prediction is that eBooks are not replacing print in a big way, unlike other digital form factors; but though they aren’t taking over, they are still a large and growing market. It might be expected that smartphones are too small for reading long-form content like books, but some data suggests that the number of books being read on smartphones is higher than on tablets (largely due to much higher ownership of smartphones),and phones are getting bigger with the rise of phablets.
  • One billion smartphone upgrades : The smartphone is the most successful consumer device ever: the landmark of a billion upgrades in a single year is testament to this. Just being in the smartphone industry, however, is no guarantee of success, and the market is becoming increasingly competitive. The challenges for smartphone vendors: retaining loyalty, taking share in a maturing market, maintaining margin, and determining which functionality their customers want at each point in time, are likely to get steadily more acute over time.
  • The connectivity chasms deepen: the growing gap in broadband speeds : When we talk about broadband divides, this often refers to the gulf between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. This gap is
    important, but it is also critical to recognize variations between the ‘haves’. The gulf between those with access to the fastest broadband speeds and those on basic speeds has widened over recent years; and in the near term looks likely to increase further. There are evident implications for regulators. It may not be sufficient simply to call for broadband to be recognized as a universal
    service, in the same way as fixed line telephony in many countries.
  • Contactless mobile payments (finally) gain momentum : Contactless payment, initially in single-vendor closed-loop systems, has already been available for decades, but it is only in recent years that contactless cards have started to enjoy a surge in adoption. 2015 should see strong growth in contactless mobile and card payments usage, but the rise will be from a small base to a slightly less small base. Customer education and marketing will be essential to increase awareness of the ability to pay using a phone.
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