Category: Opinions

Worldwide semiconductor market to grow 10.2% in 2017

Global semiconductor market is expected to grow 10.2 percent in 2017, to US$77.7 billion, according to Gartner.

This growth rate is up from the previous quarter’s forecast of 1.4 percent, due to continued aggressive investment in memory and leading-edge logic which is driving spending in wafer-level equipment.

“Spending momentum is more concentrated in 2017 mainly due to strong manufacturing demand in memory and leading-edge logic. The NAND flash shortage was more pronounced in the first quarter of 2017 than the previous forecast, leading to over 20 percent growth of etch and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) segments in 2017 with a strong capacity ramp-up for 3D NAND,” said Takashi Ogawa, Research Vice President of Gartner.

AI to fuel next wave of cloud growth

The cloud infrastructure services market is continuing to grow strongly, up 47 percent year on year in Q2 to reach US$14 billion, according to Canalys. Growth was driven by demand for primary cloud infrastructure services, such as on-demand computing and storage, across all customer segments and industries.

However, future growth is expected to be fueled by customers using the artificial intelligence (AI) platforms cloud service providers are building to develop new applications, processes, services, and user experiences.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) maintained its leadership position, growing 42 percent on an annual basis and accounting for more than 30 percent of total spend. But its growth rate was lower than those of its main rivals, Microsoft (up 97 percent growth) and Google (up 92 percent), but higher than fourth-placed IBM (up 23 percent). Overall, the top four cloud services providers represented 55 percent of the cloud infrastructure services market, which includes IaaS and PaaS.

Video services analytics to double in 5 years

The market for analytics within Pay TV services will grow by 105 percent in the next five years, from US$1.8 billion this year to US$3.7 billion in 2022, according to ABI Research.

Comcast, Netflix, Sky, Telstra, and other successful video companies differentiate themselves from their peers by their strong use of analytics to optimise and improve operational metrics. Pay TV companies are starting to transform products to support an analytical focus, moving in the direction of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable self-optimisation.

Video companies sell today’s products in a host of point-solutions, including content and metadata engagement, customer management, network optimisation, and consumption measurement. Larger network-oriented business support systems and business intelligence vendors also play a significant role within these markets.

Students’ demand drives Aussie IT spending

Australian educational institutions are increasing information technology (IT) spending in response to dramatic changes in student expectations, according to IDC.

Spending by Australian educational institutions is expected to peak at US$1.6 billion by 2020, driven by software and services related investments. Education practices are shifting away from the classroom towards e-learning and virtual instructor-led training approaches as students are demanding anytime-anywhere remote access.

In its recently published Australian education sector report, IDC highlights the need to overhaul existing ICT management models in schools and universities so that a step-change improvement in delivery efficiency can be achieved.

Petya ransomware cripples networks

Just like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, one computer after computer shut down without notice during a meeting. That’s what happened at one of the organisations hit by the Petya ransomware attack.

The strike is malicious and deadly with many affected organisations struggling to recover lost data — some, if not all, of which may never be restored.

IT security teams are still working to get their networks and computers up and running. Some have turned to Apple computers, which are relatively unscathed, to work on the recovery process.

Singapore and Shanghai among top autonomous vehicle cities

Shanghai and Singapore are among the world’s top four cities that are ready for autonomous vehicles, according to Canalys.

San Francisco is out in front while London is also among the top four. These rise to the top of a group of cities that, due to their size and populations, have some of the most complex transport networks in the world. The top four have a high need for autonomous vehicles to revolutionise their transport systems, combined with the ability to make it happen.

“Naturally, San Francisco leads the way and is the city best able to implement autonomous vehicles. The Bay Area is renowned as the world’s AV testing capital,” said Chris Jones, Chief Analyst of Canalys.

Singtel identified as APAC leader in 2016-17

Singtel is one of four telcos identified as leaders in Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2016-17 by IDC in its report entitled IDC Telecom MarketScape for Next-Generation Service Providers 2016-17.

The report, which evaluates the leading regional and global telecommunications service providers (SPs) in APAC, also listed AT&T, BT and Orange alongside Singtel was “Leaders” of the next-generation telecom service providers in the region along with plenty of challengers in the market.

These service providers demonstrated a strong regional network presence, comprehensive suite of enterprise cloud and managed ICT service offerings, diverse portfolio of services in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT) and collaboration in the region, as well as a large base of mid and large-sized enterprises, multinational corporations (MNCs), and government clients across Asia Pacific.

Massive shift to hybrid infrastructure services underway

The growth of cloud and industrialised services and the decline of traditional data centre outsourcing (DCO) indicate a massive shift toward hybrid infrastructure services, according to Gartner.

In a report containing a series of predictions about IT infrastructure services, Gartner analysts said that by 2020, cloud, hosting and traditional infrastructure services will come in more or less at par in terms of spending.

“As the demand for agility and flexibility grows, organizations will shift toward more industrialised, less-tailored options. Organisations that adopt hybrid infrastructure will optimise costs and increase efficiency. However, it increases the complexity of selecting the right toolset to deliver end-to-end services in a multisourced environment,” said DD Mishra, Research Director of Gartner.

Gearing up for the next industrial revolution

BabyX is a computer generated simulation of an infant who learns and interacts in real time using AI.
BabyX is a computer generated simulation of an infant who learns and interacts in real time using AI.

By Edward Lim

It’s been a long time coming but the next industrial evolution, dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution is nearly, if not already here.

Each revolution since the first led by water and steam power used to mechanise production in 1784 has been driven by technology in various forms. The Second Industrial Revolution leveraged electric power for mass production while the Third Industrial Revolution used electronics and information technology to automate production.

The next revolution builds on an increasingly digital economy and the fusion of various technologies, including the Internet, which is shaping the way people live, work, play, and relate to one another.

360-degree camera demand to rise

abi researchWhat was popularised by Google Earth is now easily available and affordable for consumers. That is the 360-degree camera, of course.

Demand for such cameras is expected to surge among prosumers and professionals.  ABI Research expects professional grade cameras and mid-tier, prosumer 360-degree cameras to hit nearly two million shipments by 2021, with consumer 360-degree cameras to top four million by the same year.

“The most prominent force driving 360-degree video content and hardware is virtual reality (VR). And though VR has been experiencing a period of content starvation due to its novelty, small early install base, and the high cost of premium VR, support from major content platforms will lessen this for 360-degree video,” said Eric Abbruzzese, Senior Analyst of ABI Research.

Worldwide IT spending to be flat in 2016

GartnerWorldwide IT spending is forecast to be flat in 2016, totaling US$3.41 trillion, according to Gartner, Inc. This is up from last quarter’s forecast of negative 0.5 percent growth. The change in the forecast is mainly due to currency fluctuations.

“The current Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast assumes that the UK would not exit the European Union. With the UK’s exit, there will likely be an erosion in business confidence and price increases which will impact UK, Western Europe and worldwide IT spending,” said John-David Lovelock, Research Vice President of Gartner.

While the UK has embarked on a process to change, that change is yet to be defined. The “leave” vote will quickly affect IT spending in the UK and in Europe while other changes will take longer. Staff may be the largest immediate issue. The long-term uncertainty in work status will make the UK less attractive to new foreign workers. Retaining current non-UK staff and having less access to qualified new hires from abroad will impair UK IT Departments.

Worldwide IT spending to remain flat this year

GartnerThe global economy is hitting IT spending, with Gartner predicting just a 0.6 percent increase over 2015 spending of US$3.52 trillion.

2015 saw the largest US dollar drop in IT spending since Gartner began tracking IT spending. US$216b less was spent on IT in 2015 than in 2014 and 2014 spending levels won’t be surpassed until 2019.

“The rising US dollar is the villain behind 2015 results. US multinationals’ revenue faced currency headwinds in 2015. However, in 2016 those headwinds go away and they can expect an additional five percent growth,” said John-David Lovelock, Research Vice President of Gartner.

Selfie stick: Simple invention but extremely useful!

Selfie stickIn a world of technological breakthroughs, the selfie stick is a really simple invention. Somebody had the bright idea to stick a holder at the end of a rod and voila, the selfie stick was born.

And what an invention it has turned out to be. It has solved the problem of close up shots being really closed up, especially for the one pressing the smartphone button. Also, group shots would have been really tough with the presser looking really big relative to the rest of the folks.

But, it was only during a recent trip to the UK that I truly appreciated the value of the selfie stick. From the airport to the various tourist attractions, my wife and I could take couple shots without me having to look disproportionately larger or having to keep asking passers-by for their help.

5 reasons why I like the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

My Samsung Note EdgeThis week’s introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge brought back memories of when the first Samsung Galaxy Note came out in 2011. While many were pooh-poohing the smartphone for being too large and bulky, I was really excited and among the first owners.

Four years down and I have not regretted that decision to cut over from what was the last Symbian-based Nokia phone to the massive Android smartphone. In fact, my family of four now carries the entire Samsung Galaxy Note range (OK, we’ve retired the original Note).

Last December, I upgraded from my trusty but slowing Note 2 to the Note Edge. It’s been nearly three months and I’m really loving it — the same feeling I had with the first Note.

Singapore has right attributes for Smart City development

IDCSingapore possesses the necessary ingredients for sustained Smart City developments, according to IDC Government Insights.

While it is still unclear which paths lead to the success of Smart City implementations, IDC explains that this forecast relates to an effective and innovative strategic leadership as well as strengths in close cross-industry ties across a multitude of technology and business partners alike to drive the necessary future developments of its city.

It defines Smart Cities as a district, town, city, county, metropolitan area, city state, or even functionally clustered government operations such as public order and safety, transportation, healthcare, and education sectors. Such next-generation models of cities are anticipated to capture, analyse, and use information to achieve over-arching long-term sustainability goals around improving the lives of their residents, business, and government services.

New Apple hardware? OK, but free OS and apps sound really good!

OSXApple’s fall event early this morning (Singapore time) was about thinner, lighter and more powerful products. Yes, these are improvements but not something that would get me excited to lay my hands on one.

After all, having gone through two iterations of the iPad and other Apple products, the new announcements seem to be marginal improvements. OK, the new iPad Air is lighter and thinner but hey, I’m already used to having the New iPad (or at least, that’s what it was called at launch). However, what kept me awake (remember, it was in the wee hours) was the announcement that users can have the latest Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, for free. Now, this has the potential to be a game changer especially in its battle with Windows. How often have we heard of free Microsoft products? If at all…

According to Jan Dawson, Chief Telecoms Analyst of Ovum, the changes to Apple’s software licensing for Mac OS X, iLife and iWork is also important, not least for Microsoft.