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Deloitte’s 2010 Technology Predictions

Deloitte, one of Canada’s top accounting and professional services firms does an annual prediction of what technology trends will be key in the next year. I have attended their predictions roll-out for the past three years and I have always found them insightful (and in some cases inciteful) but always quite accurate, and always with some unexpected items not on my normal horizon.

Here are Deloitte’s fearless predictions for 2010:

  1. E-readers fill a niche, but e-books will fly off the virtual bookshelf
    Single-purpose, monochorome displays and limited functionality will limit their adoption, but are great for book readers.
  2. Net tablets arrive: smaller than a netbook but bigger than a smartphone
    Deloitte predicts 15 million units in 2010. Which iPhone user wouldn’t trade up for a larger screen?
  3. Publishing fights back: pay walls and micropayments
    In their struggle to find a revenue basis for online content publishers are fining ways to monetize content, likely for a few cents each article you read.
  4. Cleantech makes comeback, but solar energy stays in the shadows
    In northern latitudes solar is not as efficient. Keep in mind 2/3 of our sunshine is in the summer and 2/3 of our heating bills are in the winter. But prices for solar cells will drop sharply a some worldwide subsidies are removed.
  5. IT procurement stands on its head
    Rather than rigidly enforcing “corporate standards”, companies will learn to respect individual preferences for smartphones, laptops, etc to improve efficiency & effectiveness while protecting key corporate information assets.
  6. Nixing the nines: reliability is redefined and re-assessed
    Getting 99.999% (Sigma 6) reliability is expensive, and overlapping technologies can (while individually less reliable) provide a much more cost effective approach to achieving this reliability. Cellphones + Internet+ WiFi + Skype are cheaper than highly reliable land line phones.
  7. Cloud Computing: more than hype but less than hyper
    The move to “thin client” computing and having data and applications on a “cloud” based server provides greater efficiency & reliability. Popular now with indviduals (think gMail, Facebook). Companies have unresolved issues of where is their data and how does can they control and protect it.
  8. Paying for what we eat: carriers change data pricing and make regulators happy
    Applications and data that are bandwidth hogs (streaming, peer-to-peer sharing (especially hi-def movies) will see higher connectivity fees. Access providers see this as a suitable work-around while preserving net-neutrality.
  9. Widening the bottleneck: telecom technology helps decongest the network
    Increased smartphone and mobile PCs are choking the wireless networks. Smarter technologies (many of the Canadian companies) will speed things up.
  10. The shift to online advertising: the trend continues, but more selective
    As advertisers recognize consumers are spending less time with traditional media and more time online, they will shift their ad dollars. Newspapers will suffer most (and they thought they have suffered enough!). See this chart from Silicon Alley Insider. They are forecasting a 50% growth in online adspend this year, and in the next few years online advertising may account for half of all ad spending. This will also have a significant impact on how ad agencies operate and staff.

See Deloitte’s full 2010 Media Predictions report