Access to faster, affordable technology a necessity

BG reporter
Wednesday, 01 March 2017
Access to faster, affordable technology a necessity

Connectivity as a core enabler of the modern economy; enhanced connectivity is likely to nurture and disrupt a significant part of global economic output for decades to come.

Thus, enterprises have been urged to start experimenting with new products and services based on higher speeds, greater capacity and a lower cost per gigabyte. This was shared by Delloite’ Country Managing Partner, Max Marinelli in the 16th annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) 2017 report. Marinneli said, “Greater Internet speeds may encourage greater device usage and impact consumer behaviour and global markets in turn.” This year’s report includes 10 predictions focusing on critical business opportunities and challenges.

These include: Cyber attacks entering the Tera bit era, biometric fingerprint reader-equipped devices to top one billion, the growth of IT-as-a-Service, and enhancements in machine learning engineering for use in automobile and even medical industries. 2017 predictions combine Deloitte forecasts, original and secondary research, perspectives gained from hundreds of conversations with industry leaders, and the aggregated opinions of tens of thousands of consumers across the globe.Some of the key predictions included in the TMT report include the following:

Biometric security reaches the billions
The active base of biometric fingerprint reader-equipped devices will top 1 billion for the first time in early 2017. It is predicted that about 40 percent of all smartphones in developed countries will incorporate a fingerprint reader as of end-2017. By the end of the decade, the technology will become as available as front-facing cameras on even lower range smartphones. Consumers mostly use the technology for unlocking their devices. Application developers are expected to meet growing demand through enabling other features including replacing password entry. Deloitte Global expects, as of end-2017, that the percentage of smartphone or tablet owners using facial, voice or iris recognition for authentication will be less than five percent compared to 40% for fingerprint readers.

Cyberattacks enter the Terabit Era
In 2017, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, a form of cyberattack, will become larger in scale, harder to mitigate, and more frequent. There are expected to be on average a terabit/s (Tbit/s) scale attack per month, over 10 million attacks in total, and an average attack size of between 1.25 and 1.5 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). This escalation in the DDoS threat is largely due to the growing number of IoT devices, online availability of malware methodologies which allow relatively unskilled attackers to corral insecure IoT devices and use them to launch attacks, and access to ever higher bandwidth speeds.

Machine learning coming to mobile technology Over 300 million smartphones, or more than a fifth of units sold in 2017, will have on-board neural network machine learning capability, that is. computer models designed to mimic aspects of the human brain’s structure and function, with elements representing neurons and their interconnections. This capability will allow smartphones to perform machine learning tasks even when not connected to a network. In the near term, most of the on-board machine learning capacity will be on consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets. Over time, the applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices may be more transformative,extending to possibilities to automated automobiles and more efficient medicinal dispensing machinery. 

Users find tablet devices growingly obsolete
2017 sales of tablet computers (‘tablets’) fall by about 10 percent from 182 million units sold worldwide in 2016, indicating the device has passed its peak demand. Since their arrival, smartphones have taken the upper hand in the market, by becoming bigger and laptops becoming lighter. Deloitte research in 15 developed markets reported that access to tablets of any size was 55 percent, while smartphones stood at 80 percent, and any computer (desktop or laptop) was 94 percent. 28 percent of respondents claimed they were likely to buy a new smartphone in the next 12 months, and 25 percent intended to buy a new computer (desktop or laptop).

IT-as-a-Service to become 35 percent of IT spend
By the end of 2018, spending on IT-as-a-Service, for data centres, software and services will be just under $550 billion worldwide. This would represent a rise of more than half from a forecast in 2016. The global trend transforms how the IT industry markets, sells and buys technology across businesses worldwide. The IT service industry is a viable and growing market, that offers sustainable opportunities for new business entrants to meet growing information technology demand. If that rate of growth continues Deloitte Global estimates that the market will be over $1,550 billion by 2018.

“In the developing world especially, there is an increasing demand for enterprises to use digital technology to provide telecommunications, financial and even medical assistance to people outside of urban areas. It is therefore evident that global trends point to an evolved consumer landscape of the 21st century, which has made driving access to faster and more affordable technology, especially via the smartphone, now a growing necessity rather than a luxury for the few,” concluded Marinelli.

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