Consumer needs will greatly influence technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) trends this year, a recent report by professional services firm Deloitte reveals.
The 2007 edition of Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions says influence will shift from manufacturers and content providers to consumers.
This shift means companies will have to be more attuned to marketplace trends and rethink current business models, says John Ruffolo, national leader for Deloitte’s TMT group in Toronto.
In the late 1990s, R&D groups within tech companies, in particular, developed and released products with the hope consumers would adopt them, says Ruffolo. “It was an inward-outward development of a product.”
He says that model has changed significantly.
Today, he says, we’re witnessing a “melding together” of the market research and R&D functions. Consumer behaviour is studied and technology developed to respond to these behaviour patterns.
Deloitte’s annual survey polled more than 5,000 Deloitte TMT partners, directors and senior managers, and clients and analysts from around the world.
It offers 30 global predictions for the TMT industry. The following are the top 10 trends for Canada:
• Green technology: Technology companies will need to design products and services that respond to mounting environmental concerns.
• Biometrics: Biometric-based security will provide added security, especially given its increasing affordability, the rising performance of processors and digital storage, and growing public interest.
• Power scavenging: Instead of using disposable and rechargeable dry cell batteries, consumers will use sources such as sunlight, temperature changes, vibration, motion, sounds and pressure.
• Analogue and digital media: Tapping into new media’s potential will continue, however, proper research of comparable statistics is cautioned.
• Virtuanomics: Don’t let the booming business of virtual fantasy worlds fool you. The market is limited, and besides, tax authorities will soon take an interest.
• Digital user-generated content: Interest in digital user-generated content will remain. However, media companies will soon latch on to these online channels as powerful new promotional vehicles and talent searches.
• Participation in television: Even more money can be made from participating in television programs – given technological advances such as broadband infiltration, widespread ownership of mobile phones, and the increasing ability of service providers to handle thousands of simultaneous calls and text messages.
• Net neutrality: The debate over net neutrality will grow and become global. However the economics of Internet access will have to change so network operators and ISPs can continue to invest in Web infrastructure.
• Mobile TV: Consumers haven’t yet caught on to the idea of watching television on their mobile phones, therefore, mobile television services still won’t make a big splash.
• Mobile phones: Mobile phones will take over from traditional fixed services in homes and offices. Service providers will need to provide reliable in-building service and expand urban capacity to handle call volumes.