Limited budgets constrain desire for unlimited data

As economies emerge from the global recession, the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sectors continue to evolve at a rapid pace and will have strategic implications for TMT companies, Canadian businesses and consumers. Today Deloitte unveiled its 2010 global TMT predictions reports and launched its cross-country road show presentation series in Montreal, with stops in Toronto tomorrow and Ottawa Friday.
“This year’s predictions are all about the mobile Internet,” says John Ruffolo, Deloitte’s TMT national leader. “Yesterday’s technologies can’t keep up with tomorrow’s consumers. Clearing the network traffic jams created by new mobile devices will not be easy and will have serious ramifications for customers and carriers alike.”
Now in its ninth year, Deloitte’s TMT predictions are based on research, in-depth interviews and input from Deloitte clients and alumni, industry analysts, leading global TMT executives, 100 TMT C-suite executives from around the world, and more than 6,000 Deloitte TMT member firm practitioners.
This year’s Canadian TMT Predictions demonstrate that consumers and enterprises want to access data anywhere, anytime, and on any screen — but want to do so economically. As the world emerges from the recession, both individuals and corporations want unlimited data and mobility but are restricted by limited budgets.

“Canadians and Canadian companies are at the front lines of the battle between demand for data and the realities of pricing,” says Duncan Stewart, director of Deloitte Canada research (seen in video clip above). “We may not have been the first country in the world to get the iPhone or the Amazon Kindle reader, but our companies, our people and our regulators are facilitating the mobile Internet revolution and changing the ways that technology, media and telecommunications are bought, sold and used.”
“This theme of innovative disruption is changing both the telecom and the media worlds. At the same time as cloud computing is set to take off in 2010 — disrupting the hardware and software industries — growth in online advertising is reaccelerating, further disrupting the world of traditional media advertising,” says Stewart.
According to Deloitte Canada’s TMT leadership across the country, the top 10 most significant TMT trends that will impact Canada in 2010 are:
1. eReaders fill a niche, but eBooks fly off the (virtual) shelf — Although eReaders 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.

2. Smaller than a netbook, and bigger than a smartphone: net tablets arrive — Experts predict that there is room for a connected media device that fills the gap between the smartphone and the netbook, which could generate well over $1 billion in global sales in 2010.
3. Publishing fights back: pay walls and micropayments — While a majority of Canadian publishers may be wondering if they can charge readers for online editions, most will not implement pay walls or micropayments, knowing they could negatively impact traffic, and therefore, advertising revenue.
4. CleanTech makes a comeback. But solar stays in the shadows — Although the long-term future of solar energy is still promising, a massive global supply glut will make 2010 a very tough year. As Ontario introduces new programs to encourage the use of CleanTech, the province may run the risk of trying to create a globally competitive solar manufacturing industry, while the rest of the world may not require these services in the long run because of their own market overcapacity.
5. IT procurement stands on its head — If employee demand begins to drive corporate IT purchasing decisions, smartphone companies are likely to benefit.
6. Nixing the nines: reliability redefined and reassessed — Canadian IT and telecom companies may reduce costs if they no longer need to implement expensive measures to ensure 99.999% network reliability. Savings will likely be passed onto consumers in exchange for their acceptance of minor network downtime.
7. Cloud computing: more than hype, but less than hyper — Cloud computing will grow faster than almost all other tech sectors, but it is not taking over the world quite yet. Consumers and small enterprises are the logical early adopters, as the global cloud computing industry is predicted to grow almost 50% to $80 billion in 2010.
8. Paying for what we eat: carriers change data pricing and make regulators happy — New players are entering the Canadian wireless market, and some have started offering “all you can eat” data plans in an effort to capture market share — setting a potentially dangerous precedent for carriers. Finding an appropriate competitive response that does not erode profitability may be a challenge for wireless carriers.
9. Widening the bottleneck: telecom technology helps decongest the mobile network — As smartphones and PCs create a mobile data traffic jam, carriers will not be able to build entirely new networks in 2010. Instead they will use short-term tech quick fixes to make the mobile Internet work faster and handle more customers. Although network congestion issues are not yet common in Canada, they are a global challenge, and many of the companies that provide these technologies are Canadian.
10. The shift to online advertising: more selective, but the trend continues — Online only makes up about 10% of global ad sales at $80 billion. That said, online sales will continue to steal share from traditional media in 2010 and disrupt the ad market, causing prices to fall.

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