Big data projects will drive thousands of Canadian IT hires and tablets will become as pervasive as light bulbs, according to a list of key tech predictions presented Tuesday by Deloitte & Touche LLP.
About 100 million tablets could be sold in 2012, more than doubling the 47 million sold last year, said Duncan Stewart, director of research at Deloitte Canada and co-author of Deloitte’s 11th annual report on technology, media and telecom trends. Though it took 40 years for five per cent of households to own two TV sets, it will take less than three years for five per cent of homes to reach the two tablet threshold, he said.
Within a few years the proliferation of multiple tablets per owner will make computing and connectivity pervasive in every room of the home, Stewart predicted, “so it’s essentially like a light bulb on the ceiling.”
The desire to view video and TV content from anywhere at any time is driving much of the double tablet phenomenon, with “catch up commuters” set to consume an estimated five billion hours of TV content on their way to and from work in 2012, Stewart said.
In turn, that jump in online video and TV consumption is one factor leading to the rise of big data, along with increased use of the Web for social networking, gaming and advertising. This “deluge of data” could grow by over 1,000 per cent in the next two years, Stewart said, boosting enterprise spending on big data storage and management tools even though the global economy remains fragile.
“All of the sudden, traditional data tools struggle with those (volumes),” Stewart said. “About 90 per cent of Fortune 500 companies will have big data projects (in place) by the end of 2012.”
Deloitte forecasts up to $1.5 billion worth of new big data projects being initiated globally in 2012 (up more than tenfold since 2009), touching off 15,000 new IT hires in Canada over the next five years. The firm expects the earliest adopters of big data tools to be the public sector, financial services, retail, entertainment and media.
Turning to near field communication (NFC), Stewart said the mobile payments technology will see a dramatic increase in its availability – but not necessarily its popularity.
“We think 2012 will be a transition year on NFC,” Stewart said, with the number of NFC-enabled smart phones expected to double from 2011 levels of 90 million.
The use of those NFC chips to actually complete purchases and other financial transactions won’t gain huge traction this year, however, since “consumers are skeptical” about security risks, Stewart said. Instead, he said consumers in 2012 will likely use NFC “less for payments and more for the other stuff you can do” with it, such as mobile gaming, gambling and health care applications.
Among Deloitte’s other predictions for 2012: