The Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Group presented its ninth annual TMT predictions at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto Wednesday.
This year’s theme for Canada, according to Deloitte, is that consumers and enterprises wanting to access data from anywhere, anytime and any screen. But the twist is that they need to do so economically, so the result will likely be technologies that aren’t perfect, but “good enough.”
A panel discussion moderated by Duncan Stewart of Deloitte Canada TMT Research brought Chris Wormald, strategic alliances at Research in Motion Ltd., Paul Kedrosky, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, and Charles Lax, managing general partner at GrandBanks Capital, on stage to provide their opinions on this year’s predictions.
While Deloitte anticipates widespread adoption of tablets in 2010, Wormald expressed skepticism on the success of the tablet market due to a feature set that doesn’t really stand out when the device is being used inside of a consumer’s home.
Kedrosky also disagreed with the tablet prediction, listed in Deloitte’s Top 10 for Canada. The devices are targeted to the education market, according to Kedrosky, who pointed out that students won’t necessarily be able to afford them. Tablets are not a type of new e-reader, he pointed out.
Deloitt’s telecommunications predictions for 2010 call for new billing plans that charge consumers based on when, what kind and how much data they use. But Wormald doubts that consumers will be willing to move backwards from all-you-can-eat data plans to models that calculate consumption.
Lax agreed with Deloitte’s prediction that e-books will be read on a variety of devices and not necessarily e-readers. Smart phones will become the major e-book reader device, according to Lax. He also anticipates consumers will increase their consumption of content as their ability to access content relevant to their personal tastes grows.
Deloitte expects online advertising to grow at the expense of traditional media, with “search, click, social network and cost-per-action” experiencing the greatest amount growth. Wormald said he anticipates a transition in online advertising from cost-per-click to cost-per-buy.
The following are highlights from Deloitte’s top ten TMT predictions for Canada in 2010:
- E-readers will see strong growth in 2010, but this will slow down the following year due to competition from other mobile devices like smart phones, netbooks and tablets. Deloitte anticipates e-readers will ultimately remain a niche device, while e-book sales skyrocket.
- Tablets are expected to hit mainstream success with sales over $1 billion in 2010. Deloitte anticipates the form factor as weighing about one pound, measuring eight by five inches, ranging in cost from $400 to $1,000 and refers to the new devices as net tablets.
- Publishers will consider charging for newspaper and magazine content through models such as online subscription fees or micropayments, but very few will actually implement them and online revenues will continue to consist mainly of advertising.
- While the clean-tech sector is recovering, the solar technology subsector is unlikely to bounce back. The industry is suffering from unprecedented overcapacity, prices will remain depressed, new projects may be halted and plants may close.
- Employees will take procurement power from IT departments as purchasing decisions will be increasingly based on personal preferences. Manufacturers that traditionally target their latest products toward the enterprise market will increasingly focus on the consumer.
- IT and telecom companies will reduce network reliability to lower costs. Companies with traditional 99.999 per cent reliability may lower their requirements from five nines to three nines or less.
- Cloud computing will continue to grow faster than almost all other technology verticals, but the industry won’t explode as expected. Consumer and SMB markets will see faster growth than large enterprise and government, which will continue to remain cautious about data security, reliability, data portability and long-term cost benefits.
- Carriers will move away from unlimited data plans to deal with increased congestion and avoid traffic management. But newcomers to Canada’s wireless market may continue to offer unlimited packages to capture market share.
- Telecommunication technologies aimed at improving the performance of existing wireless networks will experience much stronger growth compared to the growth in overall IT spending and leading pure-play companies in this area are likely to see year-over-year growth approaching 100 per cent.
- Online advertising will likely continue to gain share at the expense of traditional media in 2010 and the categories of online likely to experience the greatest growth are search, click, social network and cost-per-action.