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Jun 16
Will 2016 be the year that WiGig takes off?

WiGig has emerged as one of the most promising Wi-Fi standards in the recent few years with high speed data rates up to 7 Gbps operating in the 60 GHz band.

WiGig products have been on the market since 2013 (e.g. Dell Docking station) but the market has been slow to develop given a lack of compelling use cases and the need for development of new chip-sets to lower cost and drive usage. Much development work has been done in the last few years by OEMs and chip vendors.

After a few false starts, will 2016 be the year that WiGig will finally takes off? Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says that many new products, across a number of sectors, have announced that they are adopting WiGig technology and the signs are very positive.

| Read more »
Jun 15
Gartner: smartphone technologies that can’t be ignored

The smartphone market is getting more complex and dynamic, as well as maturing and being highly commoditized. In such mature market, technology improvements in smartphone has brought incremental enhancements and these are often not perceived by users as critical for them.

Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, Inc., has identified 10 technologies and capabilities whose developments and transformations cannot be ignored by any mobile device vendor. The 10 technologies and capabilities for 2016 and 2017 are: fast charging, wireless charing, augmented reality/virtual reality, multiple-lens camera solutions, biometric authentication sensors and technologies; virtual personal assistants, flexible/curved displays, Wi-Fi 802.11 standards, USB Type-C and embedded SIM (e-SIM)

They were selected looking at five main potential areas of impact: the battery, an immersive experience, a personalized experience, display technology and connectivity. Gartner says they represent...

| Read more »
Jun 14
Online on on-site backup? Most SMBs prefer both

When it comes to the critical task of backing up data, nearly half of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the US say using both on-site and online solutions are important and necessary, according to a new survey by Clutch, a B2B research firm. In fact, many SMBs steadfastly hold to on-site backup, with 42% of those surveyed reporting that it's more important than online backup.
I
n the past two years alone, 63% of SMBs have adopted cloud-based backup solutions, according to Clutch's findings. Despite this surge, nearly 90% of SMBs continue to back up their data both online and on-site. The trend is to be expected, say cloud backup and disaster recovery thought leaders.

"It's natural for business owners to take a cautious approach to adopting technology, especially when it comes to securing their critical business data," said Mark Anderson, co-founder and IT srategist at Anderson Technologies. "SMBs are reluctant to abandon on-site backup and adopt cloud-...

| Read more »
Jun 14
Parks Associates: almost 50% of smart home devices are...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that wireless home security sales are increasing and almost one-half of home security owners in the U.S. have a self-installed home security system that connects wirelessly to sensors.

"The emergence of 'monitor-it-yourself' and hybrid professional monitoring options for self-installed devices is a key trend for the smart home in 2016," said Brad Russell, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Almost 50% of smart home devices currently in U.S. broadband households are self-installed, by the owner or by the owner's friends or family members.”


The research also shows that:

° 80% of U.S. security dealers currently install smart home devices as part of their services.

° About 25% of security replacements or upgrades include at least one smart home device, such as smart thermostats, networked video cameras, or smart...

| Read more »
Jun 13
Digital skills gap slows push to build digital...

Although the majority of manufacturers have implemented digital platforms, more than half (51 percent) lack the skills to operate digital factories, according to a new study from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The Accenture Strategy report (www/accenture.com) revealed that the more successful manufacturers have advanced talent strategies in place to digitally enable the workforce of the future.

“Cracking the Code on the Digital Factory,” a report based on a global study of 450 manufacturers, found that a growing skills gap is one of their biggest concerns – a situation that has worsened in recent years as manufacturers have transformed their operations using new technology, analytics and mobility capabilities.

Fifty-five percent of manufacturers, up from 38 percent in 2013, reported a skills gap among skilled trades laborers, who need to operate increasingly advanced digital machinery and equipment, such as 3D printers or modeling and simulation tools on the plant floor....

| Read more »
Jun 10
CapTech: America does digital better

Businesses that want to win, serve, and retain customers on digital platforms are increasingly turning to American IT firms who can get them to market faster with more effective customer engagement solutions than offshore providers, according to a new CapTech study (www.captechconsulting.com).

New numbers reveal that 63% of IT sourcing decision makers will hire more onshore third-party service providers for digital transformation projects in the coming year. Late projects, poor communication, poor quality, and escalating total costs were cited as the main reasons for bringing offshore work back onshore. The survey found that U.S. service providers deliver more value and consistently better results for meeting the demands of today’s digitally empowered customers.

A key driver behind this outcome is that onshore services are more grounded in agile development. Using the agile approach...

| Read more »
Jun 09
Will 2016 be the year that WiGig takes off?

WiGig has emerged as one of the most promising Wi-Fi standards in the recent few years with high speed data rates up to 7 Gbps operating in the 60 GHz band.

WiGig products have been on the market since 2013 (e.g. Dell Docking station) but the market has been slow to develop given a lack of compelling use cases and the need for development of new chip-sets to lower cost and drive usage. Much development work has been done in the last few years by OEMs and chip vendors.

After a few false starts, will 2016 be the year that WiGig will finally takes off? Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says that many new products, across a number of sectors, have announced that they are adopting WiGig technology and the signs are very positive.

| Read more »
Jun 09
Number of homes with smart thermostats grew rapidly in...

According to a new research report from Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), the number of North American and European homes with a smart thermostat grew by 81% to 5.8 million in 2015.

The North American market recorded a 78% growth in the installed base of smart thermostats to 4.5 million. In Europe, the total number of homes with a smart thermostat grew by 90% year-on-year to reach 1.4 million.

Berg Insight forecasts that the number of homes with smart thermostats in Europe and North America will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 54.5%during the next five years to reach 51.1 million in 2020. North America will remain the largest market at the end of the forecast period with 32.2 million homes that have smart thermostats, whereas the installed base in Europe is expected to reach 18.9 million homes.
 
Smart thermostats is a particularly attractive opportunity in the smart home...

| Read more »
Jun 08
Number of smart homes in Europe and North America...

According to a new research report from Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), the number smart homes in Europe and North America reached 17.9 million in 2015.

North America is the world’s most advanced smart home market and the region had an installed base of 12.7 million smart homes at the end of the year, a 56% year-on-year growth. The strong market growth is expected to last for years to come, driving the number of smart homes in North America to 46.2 million by 2020, which corresponds to 35% of all households, according to Berg Insight.

The European market is 2–3 years behind North America in terms of penetration and market maturity. At the end of 2015, there were 5.3 million smart homes in Europe and the market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54% in the next five years to reach 44.9 million smart homes by 2020, which corresponds to 20% of all European households...

| Read more »
Jun 07
There’s 24% more spending on in-app transactions than...

Mobile app users spend 24% more on in-app transactions than on upfront app payments, according to an online consumer survey by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). Consumer preference for in-app transactions indicates that the flexibility they offer is delivering a better customer experience than paid-for downloads, according to the research group.

"Overall, the survey results showed that mobile app users are spending $7.40 on paid-for apps every three months and $9.20 on in-app transactions, resulting in a quarter more spending on in-app transactions," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. "This confirms that once users are confident that an app delivers the expected value without having to pay upfront, they then find it easier to spend on in-app transactions.”

She added that not all users will activate in-app transactions, especially those who cannot see the value of the app. However,...

| Read more »
Jun 06
CRM software market grew 12.3% last year

Worldwide customer relationship management (CRM) software totaled $26.3 billion in 2015, up 12.3% from $23.4 billion in 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

"The merger and acquisition activity that began flowing through the market in 2009 continued in 2015, with more than 30 notable acquisitions, Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner. "This has resulted in increased competition at the top end of the CRM market, with the continued focus of global vendors' sales forces driving good growth worldwide in all CRM subsegments but only for cloud or software as a service (SaaS) applications.”

Overall, the top five CRM software vendors accounted for more than 45% of the total market in 2015. The top five vendors had very little change in ranking compared with 2014, although Adobe jumped into the fifth position, displacing IBM, as it continues to lead the CRM marketing segment with a focus on...

| Read more »
Jun 03
ABI: mobile accessories revenue to top $110 billion in...

ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts global revenues of aftermarket mobile accessories to top $110 billion in 2021. Aftermarket Bluetooth headsets for smartphones will grow the fastest, in terms of both revenue and shipments, with shipments expected to show a 9% compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2020, per the research group.

"Bluetooth stereo headset shipments are rising steadily, and Apple's rumored decision to remove the headphone jack from its new iPhone only further supports our belief that mobile accessory manufacturers will largely focus on Bluetooth audio listening in the near future," says Marina Lu, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. "Wired headsets are also showing strong growth, as consumers usually have to buy additional headsets for their smartphones."

Screen protectors, protective cases, and chargers also contribute to growth in aftermarket mobile accessories. Apart from...

| Read more »
Jun 02
Cloud computing innovations create virtual learning...

Technavio (www.technavio.com) analysts forecast the global cloud-based virtual learning platform market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 25% through 2020. highlight the following four factors that are contributing to the growth of the global cloud-based virtual learning platform market:

° Innovation in cloud computing;

° Performance improvement of users;

° Emphasis on provision of continuous support;

° Reduction in operating cost

According to Jhansi Mary, a lead analyst at Technavio for education technology research, “Technology innovations in cloud computing have strengthened the accessibility of content and functioning of software and tools.” For instance, evolution in data centers in the last few years has enabled them to offer computing facilities to enhance data processing and storage. They offer high-performance servers, networking equipment, storage arrays, and...

| Read more »
Jun 01
The Northern Spy: How reads the glass?

By Rick Sutcliffe

The Spy spotted an article this month (which he won't loan credibility by providing a link) suggesting Apple was becoming the next Blackberry, doomed to fail because it is falling behind the times. Perhaps so, but that doom seems a long time off yet.

The good news is that WWDC, upcoming in two weeks, is likely to see a plethora of incremental upgrade announcements to please the faithful (though the Spy is giving it a pass again this year, as he's not expecting any blockbusters). Here's his list, in order of likelihood:

° New editions of both iOS and (rebranded) macOS (guaranteed);

° Incremental updates to Swift and Siri (almost certain);

° New products and alliances in medical, home automation (a must to retain a foothold);

° New Apple Pay alliances (also necessary);

° At least one new iPad;

° Bumps in Apple TV and consumer Mac models (one or two for sure);

° A bump in...

| Read more »
Jun 01
Smart city devices to top one billion units in 2025

Global unit shipments of smart city devices, which are internet-connected devices used in smart city projects, will increase from 115.4 million in 2015 to 1.2 billion in 2025. Although in 2015 North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific each received approximately one-third of unit shipments, the Asia-Pacific region will receive over half of all device shipments by 2025, according to IHS Inc. (www.ihs.com), a global source of critical information and insight.

“Unit shipments of smart city devices to Asia Pacific will increase more than shipments to other regions for two main reasons,” said Roz Euan-Smith, senior analyst, smart cities, for IHS Technology. “First, the region’s large population is increasingly moving to cities, which are straining under the increased pressure and demand for resources, creating a clear need for smart city development. Second, several national governments in the region have announced smart city...

| Read more »
May 31
Entrepreneurs choose the career path of most resistance

In its annual survey of high net worth business owners (www.ustrust.com/survey), U.S. Trust found that business ownership can be challenging, but most entrepreneurs wouldn’t consider any other line of work and have personally invested themselves and their families in their businesses. While there are distinct differences between younger and older owners, entrepreneurs of all ages share a strong desire to control their own destiny.

The study of 242 high net worth business owners with at least $3 million in investable assets, part of the 2016 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth survey, found what worries entrepreneurs most is what they don’t have control of: the unknown impact of the 2016 presidential election and a breach in cybersecurity, both of which could have significant implications for their business and personal financial interests.

The majority (95%) of business owners surveyed...

| Read more »
May 27
Big data, business analytics revenues to reach $187...

According to the new “Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide” from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019, an increase of more than 50% over the five-year forecast period. The new Spending Guide expands on IDC's previous forecasts by offering greater revenue detail by technology, industry, and geography.

The services-related opportunity will account for more than half of all big data and business analytics revenue for most of the forecast period, with IT Services generating more than three times the annual revenues of Business Services, according to IDC (www.idc.com). Software will be the second largest category, generating more than $55 billion in revenues in 2019. Nearly half of these revenues will come from purchases of End-User Query, Reporting, and Analysis Tools and...

| Read more »
May 26
Technavio: mobile ad spending revenue to surge

Technavio (www.technavio.com) is forecasting positive growth for many segments of the publishing and advertising market over the next four years as several markets, including mobile ad spending, programmatic ads, and advertising display, will witness an increase in revenues.

A rapid increase in the number of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has compelled advertisers to choose mobile advertising over other forms of advertising. Recently, it has been observed that many service providers have developed tools for programmatic advertising and real-time bidding. These tools allow app developers and advertisers to monetize customer usage by displaying relevant ads, according to Technavio.

These ads are customized based on data regarding the customer's mobile usage, location, and search keywords acquired from cookies embedded in apps and web pages. Technavio market research analysts predict the...

| Read more »
May 24
Survey: cybersecurity fears rising, online commerce...

A survey shows cybersecurity fears about breaches, identity theft, and privacy violations are taking a severe toll on the public trust and online commerce.

On May 13, the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released more analysis of its 2015 survey of 41,000 Americans on the topic of online security and privacy. As Violet Blue (@violetblue) summed it up in a post on Peerlyst (https://www.peerlyst.com), "Trust in digital security is flatlining.”

The Engadget journalist and author goes on to say, "We're talking about a huge dent in online commerce and the free flow of information, simply because people don't trust online companies anymore. It's not a growing digital economy we're in, it's a shrinking one.”

Some the most alarming numbers she cites from the report are:

° Nearly half of all Internet users have begun limiting...

| Read more »
May 24
Gartner: smartphone sales grew 3.9% in first quarter

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 349 million units in the first quarter of 2016, a 3.9% increase over the same period in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). Smartphone sales represented 78% of total mobile phone sales in the first quarter of 2016, notes the research group.

Sales were driven by demand for low-cost smartphones in emerging markets and for affordable 4G smartphones, led by 4G connectivity promotion plans from communications service providers (CSPs) in many markets worldwide.

"In a slowing smartphone market where large vendors are experiencing growth saturation, emerging brands are disrupting existing brands' long-standing business models to increase their share," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "With such changing smartphone market dynamics, Chinese brands are emerging as the new top global brands. Two Chinese brands ranked within the top five...

| Read more »
May 23
Organizations are experiencing a slow shift to public...

Transitioning to a public cloud is a slow-moving process for most businesses, according to a new study by Softchoice, a managed services provider. The study, The State of Cloud Readiness, found that while progress is at hand, 61%of organizations are still experimenting with or have limited use of public cloud and less than 14% consider public cloud to be an internal corporate standard.

"Today, moving to the cloud is no longer a question of if, but when," said David MacDonald, President and CEO at Softchoice (http://www.softchoice.com). "However, many organizations are stuck in endless pilots or are hesitant to migrate to the public cloud in a meaningful way because they lack the strategy, skillsets and governance structures to build and maintain a fully realized cloud solution.”

The State of Cloud Readiness surveyed 250 senior IT decision-makers and 250 line of business managers across the U.S....

| Read more »
May 20
Intel reveals security risks associated with unsafe...

Intel Security has released findings from its new study, “Online Security Diet: You Are What You Click,” which examines the online behaviors and attitudes of Americans ages 21 to 54 toward dieting clickbait. The research revealed that when it comes to the desire for the ideal body, people may be willing to sacrifice their online security if it takes them a step closer to achieving desired results.

With the summer season approaching, May is a popular month to start a new diet routine, and people are turning online for quick solutions. Thanks to better weather, more hours of sunlight and planned vacations, consumers have more opportunities to be active, which kick-starts a new wave of diets long after New Year’s resolutions come to an end.

“Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly savvy at understanding the seasonality of consumer search habits and exploiting that information to their full potential,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at Intel Security...

| Read more »
May 19
2.3 million households own a VR headset

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that 2% of U.S. broadband households, or 2.3 million households, own a virtual reality headset. The research firm’s survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households reveals 5% of U.S. broadband households plan to buy a VR headset in 2016, an increase from only 1% who made a purchase the year prior.

"The big change in VR for 2016 has been the availability or pending availability of VR headsets from companies such as Facebook (Oculus Rift), Google (Google Cardboard), and HTC (Vive). Sony PlayStation VR is expected to be released in October.  We expect gamers to be the initial market for VR," said Barbara Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates. "VR is an immersive experience, and more is better for gamers - more immersion, better sound, better graphics, and more players. The mass market is more likely to adopt mobile VR, which will be less...

| Read more »
May 18
China will account for 40% of VR headset shipments...

Canalys (www.canalys.com) predicts vendors will ship 6.3 million virtual reality (VR) headsets worldwide in 2016, of which 40% will be in China.

VR has the potential to thrive in the country and the research group believes competition will be fierce this year. Barriers to enter the VR market have been lowered. Local vendors are releasing VR headsets that overcome the quality and performance issues of simple viewers, such as Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Cardboard. 

“The competition is around the user experience, hardware quality and content,” says Canalys Analyst Jason Low. “Currently, there isn’t a clear leader for VR content in China. Local content providers, game publishers and service providers are racing to exercise their influence on the development of VR beyond hardware. Numerous Chinese vendors are exhibiting their VR headsets at CES Asia 2016 this week. Attendees are willing to suffer long queues...

| Read more »
May 17
98% of British consumers happy with their mobile...

A consumer survey conducted by leading mobile commerce analyst firm Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found near universal satisfaction amongst UK mobile banking users, with 98% of those surveyed stating that they were “very happy” or “quite happy” with their service.

However, the survey also found that with mobile access now perceived as a key pillar of a bank’s offering, 31% of mobile banking users would consider changing banks if they had a bad experience with their service. In the US it was much less of a concern, where users display similar levels of satisfaction with the service, but only 16% of respondents would consider leaving their current bank – suggesting that the mobile platform is less critical to their banking experience.

According to the survey, while 70% of UK respondents now use mobile banking services, a lack of trust in online services remains a key barrier to...

| Read more »
 
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