Enkele weken geleden publiceerde Deloitte de technologietrends voor 2005. Pas deze week kreeg ik het complete overzicht in handen. Voor de liefhebber een samenvatting van de top 10 trends volgens Deloitte.
1. Nanotechnology becomes mainstream
Nanotechnology, the set of technologies that enables the manipulation of structures and processes at the atomic level, is one of the most talked about, yet least understood technologies of the 21st century. Nanotechnology will soon become a cornerstone of every manufacturing industry and is already revolutionizing a wide range of products ? from computer hard drives, to sun block cream, to car tires. Pharmaceutical companies are expected to implement nano-scale structures for more effective drug delivery and clothing manufacturers will likely exploit nano-scale properties to make stain-resistant, crease-free fabrics and garments that resist bacteria.
2. Electronic viruses run rampant
Massive growth in connected technologies will cause a corresponding leap in electronic viruses and other malicious attacks such as unsolicited e-mail (SPAM) and unsolicited instant messages (SPIM). More harmful intrusions, such as viruses, worms and malware, blue-jacking (attacks on Bluetooth-enabled devices) and VoIP SPAM will become common. Increased use of mobile phones, remote working and WiFi will give hackers more access to private, corporate and government networks. The trend will cost businesses billions of dollars in lost data and downtime; at the same time, it will reveal vast opportunities for companies that sell IT security, and new lines of business such as mobile operators, handset makers, service providers, and systems integrators will spring up.
3. Electronic identification vs. digital crime
2005 will see a rapid increase in electronic forms of identification as governments around the world move to replace paper-based IDs with digital products including passports, ID cards, bank cards and credit cards. Electronic identification will be primarily designed to curb fraud and identity theft, but will also speed up the process of identification and authentication. In spite of these measures, identity theft will continue to rise dramatically ? particularly for people and organizations that do business online. It will be imperative for all companies doing business online to spend the money to create more secure methodologies to protect themselves and their customers.
4. WiFi sizzles but hotspots stay cold
Several new innovations will extend the appeal and reach of WiFi technology ? from streaming music wirelessly from a computer to a stereo system, to networked control over lights and appliances throughout the home. Deployment of fee-based hotspots is likely to continue to outpace usage (except in a handful of business-centric locations such as airport lounges), with numerous companies fighting over a niche market that might actually get smaller in 2005. WiMAX, the heir apparent to WiFi, is predicted to make more headlines than money.
5. RFID - the great beast awakens
In 2005, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) will finally make it out of the lab and into the commercial world. The combined influence of major retail chains, defence contractors, automotive manufacturers and others ? all of whom are requiring suppliers to use RFID ? will prompt a massive increase in RFID adoption. By year-end, more than 10 billion RFID tags will have been sold and used. RFID is not just a replacement for barcode, it is a transformational technology that can help reduce waste, curtail theft, manage inventory, streamline logistics and even increase productivity. Collecting, collating and presenting all of that RFID data will become a very sizeable industry, with IT companies grabbing the lion?s share of revenue. RFID readers and other hardware will also represent a very healthy market with RFID applications being used in healthcare (for monitoring patients), construction (for managing projects and equipment), and even transportation (for monitoring baggage and passengers in airports).
6. Music downloading becomes respectable
2005 will see rapid growth in music downloads over the internet. Although illegal downloading will still dominate, legal sites will significantly increase their share, fuelled by the growing quality of online music stores, a sharp increase in the installed base of digital music players, the inclusion of CD burners as standard features in laptop and desktop computers, and the exceptional quality of legal downloads. The music industry will finally begin to recognize and embrace the financial benefits of this new distribution channel for singles and albums, as well as new forms of content, such as ring tones, remixes and live recordings. By year-end, the growth of illegal downloading will start to slow, with occasional but high-profile litigation scaring off many casual pirates. Nonetheless, illegal downloads will continue to cost the industry billions of dollars in lost revenue.
7. Advertising gets embedded
To better reach consumers, advertisers will begin embedding advertising using text hyperlinks, software toolbar buttons or even computer graphics in video games, software (particularly freeware), web browsers and even active desktops on mobile phones to better reach consumers. These ads will be very precisely targeted as advertisers learn more about each group of consumers and will need to be far more subtle and sophisticated and less intrusive than the banner ads and pop-ups that currently plague the internet, in order to gain consumer acceptance. Embedding advertising has the potential to reinvigorate the advertising business, but agencies will need to stay abreast of technological progress and will need to know when the audience is available, what its members are likely to be doing, and most important, how to capture their interest within that context.
8. Blogs and Wikis compete for eyeballs
Traditional media outlets will lose their monopoly on content, as more and more people express their opinions on the internet through Blogs (web logs) and Wikis (editable web pages). While not a direct threat to traditional media revenue, they will compete for eyeballs and influence - the media industry?s underlying currency.
9. Small talk by billions adds up to big revenue
By the end of 2005, there will be nearly two billion cellular mobile subscriptions worldwide. Subscriber growth will be strongest in developing countries (including Asia and Latin America) where mobile phones are both a transformational technology and a status symbol. Voice will continue to be the primary source of revenues and profits ? on average accounting for more than 80 percent of total revenue; mobile voice volumes will continue to grow steadily due to ease of use and falling prices. Penetration will surpass 100% as more customers take a second subscription for data or for personal use; providers will structure plans accordingly and services will include automatic line switching, multiple voicemail accounts and separate billing. The most compelling and lucrative mobile content will continue to revolve around phone personalization, such as ring tones, real tones, wallpapers and basic games.
10. Strength in Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN), VoIP and Broadband
In 2005, the vast majority of voice calls will still be with the PSTN due to superior call quality and overall reliability. PSTN operators will to reduce prices in response to the competition from low cost providers (mobile and VoIP), causing margin pressure. VoIP, meanwhile, faces a rollercoaster year with both call volume and the user base increasing significantly, but adoption and growth being limited by shortfalls in VoIP?s quality, consistency and reliability. Cost-savings for enterprises will often be less than anticipated. Many companies will thus opt for a hybrid approach, using VoIP for internal communications and the PSTN for external traffic. Broadband penetration will continue to grow in 2005, with broadband connections finally outnumbering dial-up in many countries. Prices will continue to come down, driving customer churn, raising acquisition and retention costs, and cutting sharply into profits. Broadband use will continue to revolve around PC applications with an increasing number of broadband applications, such as video-phones and home security devices, limiting the perceived value of a broadband connection.