Deloitte analyses top technology trends for 2013
The technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte has announced its predictions for the technology sector in 2013.
Jolyon Barker, global lead for Deloitte's technology, media and telecommunications industry, comments: “This year’s predictions cover a range of topics, highlighting the continued dominance of the personal computer (PC), the vulnerability of user-generated passwords and developments for crowdfunding portals.
“In 2013 more than 80 per cent of internet traffic measured in bits will continue to come from traditional personal computers (desktops and laptops.) In addition, more than 70 per cent of the hours we spend on computing devices, including smartphones and tablets will be on a PC. Time at work accounts for a large portion of that, but even in our non-work lives we are likely to use PCs more than 50 per cent of the time online. For most people, the PC will continue to be the primary computing device. We are not in a ‘post-PC era.’ We are in the era of ‘PC Plus’.”
“Deloitte predicts that in 2013 more than 90 per cent of user-generated passwords, even those considered strong by IT departments, will be vulnerable to hacking. Whilst moving to stronger, longer passwords means greater levels of security, people understandably find these harder to remember. Instead an additional bit of identification can be used. It could be a password sent to a cell phone or smartphone, a physical device that plugs into a USB slot, or possibly be a biometric feature of the user.”
Peter O’Donoghue, lead technology partner at Deloitte, adds: “We also predict that crowdfunding portals will raise $3 billion (£1.9 billion) in 2013, doubling the $1.5 billion raised in 2011. Crowdfunding portals are websites that enable large numbers of individuals to financially support a project or company, with each backer contributing just a small percentage (generally less than one per cent) of the total funding. A typical crowdfunded project has thousands of backers.”
Key predictions include:
The PC is not dead: it’s about usage not units
Strong sales of tablets and smartphones have prompted some to suggest that the PC is becoming an anachronism. From 2010 to 2012, sales of tablets and smartphones have grown from over 350 million to around 1 billion units. This is far greater than the volume of PC sales, which also grew over that period, just at a lower rate. PC sales were 350 million in 2010, 353 million in 2011 and are likely to be about 355 million units in 2012.
In 2011, Deloitte predicted that tablets would be popular in the enterprise market, and so far companies around the world have purchased about 30 million of them. However, it’s likely that only 10-15 million of those units are currently being used as PC replacements. In fact they replace paper, not PCs, whether it is pilots taking tablets into the cockpit, doctors reviewing medical records in hospitals, restaurants showing wine lists, or boards of directors using them as binders. While the enterprise PC installed base is about 500 million, at most 15 million enterprise tablets are being used as someone’s principal computing device. Fewer than five million of these are complete PC replacements where employees had PCs taken away and now rely solely on tablets to do 100 per cent of their work tasks.
P@$$1234: the end of strong password-only security
Inadequate password protection may result in billions of dollars of losses, declining confidence in internet transactions and significant damage to the reputations of the companies compromised by attacks. As the value of the information protected by passwords continues to grow, attracting more hack attempts, high-value sites will likely require additional forms of authentication.
Let’s get together: crowdfunding portals bring in the bucks
Crowdfunding’s growth matters to TMT for two reasons. First, some crowdfunded projects raise funds for new technological devices and media content such as computer games. Second, the portals themselves are likely to become a new type of technology company.
Crowdfunding will more likely have a role in complementing traditional venture capital, generating additional capital at the ’friends and family’ stage of funding that generally precedes VC involvement. Indeed, crowdfunding could benefit the ‘A round’ market (where startup companies usually first try to access institutional money; typically for one to three million dollars) by helping more start-ups establish proof of concepts and secure their first paying customers. Further it could enable VCs to skip the riskier and more laborious early stage investing that many would rather avoid. Crowdfunding also brings the potential for more democratic or broader access to capital for startups and innovators without personal connections to capital.
The button stays beautiful
In 2013, Deloitte forecasts that a growing range of high-end TV sets are likely to incorporate gesture or voice based control. Deloitte predicts that on these devices, conventional remote controls may account for over 99.99 percent of all instructions sent by the user to change channel, vary volume, bring up a menu or control any aspect of the experience. Deloitte’s forecast is that while the vast majority of consumers purchasing a TV set with gesture or voice capability will try out the functionality, over 99 per cent will revert to the standard remote control, due to the unreliability, impracticality or physical effort of using voice or gesture control technologies.