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Feb 16
Cards linked to mobile apps see rise in activity rates

A new study by Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) found that more than three billion loyalty cards will operate as mobile-only or be integrated into mobile apps by 2020, up from 1.4 billion last year.

The new research found that brands and retailers are increasingly responding to consumer demand for mobile integration, with many now offering customers the opportunity to store their loyalty cards within a dedicated digital wallet. Crucially, the research argued that the improved targeting and personalization made possible by digital coupons was leading to greater activity rates, thereby resolving a key failing of traditional schemes where the lack of relevant offers had resulted in a downturn in usage.

However, the data from Juniper Research found wide variations among retailers and other reward card providers with regard to the extent of digital loyalty integration. In the UK, the...

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Feb 15
35% of U.S. broadband households would participate in...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows 35% of U.S. broadband households would participate in an energy program advertised by a security provider. Consumers are 40% more likely to participate in an energy program if it is offered by a security provider than an energy provider.

"Security providers have an opportunity to capitalize on their strong connections with their consumers by expanding into energy management programs," Tom Kerber, Parks Associates’s director of research, Energy and Home Controls, said. "They can also leverage their strong reputation with consumers to forge beneficial partnerships with utilities that want to leverage connected devices in the home."

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Feb 12
Internet security market may hit $46.5 billion by 2021

A new report by Allied Market Research (www.alliedmarketresearch.com) says the world Internet security market is expected to garner $46.5 billion by 2021, registering a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 8.4% from 2016 to 2021.

The market is driven by the huge demand for Internet security software solutions due to the increasing number of cyber-attacks and the adoption of cloud-based Internet security systems, according to the research firm. Increasing use of Internet-based applications across various sectors, such as education, government, retail, IT & telecommunications, BFSI and others, make them prone to virus and spam attacks.

According to McAfee, in 2014, cybercrimes, such as unethical hacking, botnets, distributed denial of services (DDoS), malware, spyware, spams, viruses, and other threats, caused a loss of $400 billion, worldwide. Increasing incidence of security...

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Feb 11
Over 90% of smart thermostat, door lock, and sprinkler...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reveals that 19% of U.S. broadband households currently own at least one Internet-connected smart home device.

These devices, including smart thermostats, sprinkler systems, door locks, and security cameras, offer remote control, monitoring, or notifications via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Upwards of 90% of device owners use mobile apps to access cloud-supported services associated with their devices, according to the research group.

"IoT cloud platforms offer device makers and companies the opportunity to greatly expand the value of a product or service, and consumers are responding," said Brad Russell, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Cloud-based services also create unique new service partnerships, such as the automated guest-entry system in the RemoteLock from smart door lock maker LockState. This solution will be...

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Feb 10
Study: retailers’s mobile capabilities lag customer...

Retailers are failing to meet consumer demand for increased convenience while shopping with mobile devices, according to new research from Accenture, which conducted two pieces of research: the Accenture Adaptive Retail report, which surveyed more than 10,000 consumers across 13 countries; and a separate benchmarking study that evaluated a global sample of 162 retailers in 10 countries across multiple industries. 

Taken together, the research findings highlight the need for retailers to become more adaptive in order to embrace and achieve the connected and integrated shopping experience that consumers seek. The consumer survey found that the number of consumers shopping “on the go,” with mobile devices, grew 10% in the past year, from 36% of consumers in 2014 to 40% in 2015. 

Not surprisingly, the number of shoppers who want more retail services via mobile devices, particularly real-time in-store promotions, also grew this past year, to 47%, up from 40% in last year’s...

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Feb 09
Gartner: worldwide wearables device sales to grow 18.4%

Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com) forecasts that 274.6 million wearable electronic devices will be sold worldwide in 2016, an increase of 18.4% from 232.0 million units in 2015.

Sales of wearable electronic devices will generate revenue of $28.7 billion in 2016. Of that, $11.5 billion will be from smartwatches.

"From 2015 through 2017, smartwatch adoption will have 48 percent growth largely due to Apple popularizing wearables as a lifestyle trend. Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, reaching $17.5 billion," said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. "Though the sales of smartwatches are the one of the strongest types of wearables, their adoption will remain much below sales of smartphones. For example, in 2016 more than 374 million smartphones will sell in mature market countries and in large urban areas of emerging market countries, for example, in Hong...

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Feb 08
40% of U.S. health care providers’ IT budgets are...

A new report from IDC (www.idc.com) examining the results of the “2015–2016 Healthcare Provider Technology Spend Survey” reveals that while 40% of providers reported their IT budgets are still growing, only 25% of providers with growing budgets attribute the growth to electronic health records (EHR), providing evidence that the post-EHR era is upon us as providers turn to optimizing the business for accountable care, adding analytics and care management, and away from massive enterprise EHR projects.

The new survey specifically examines technology spending and planned technology spending by U.S. acute care hospitals with more than 200 beds. The results indicate that we are at the beginning of the post-EHR/post–meaningful use era in healthcare IT. The hospitals responding to the survey overwhelmingly reported confidence in their ability to manage meaningful use. Hospitals were somewhat less confident in their ability to...

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Feb 05
Gartner: cloud email gaining traction among global...

The cloud email market is still in the early stages of adoption with 13% of identified publicly listed companies globally using one of the two main cloud email vendors, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

A recent study by the research group found that 8.5 percent of public companies in the sample use cloud email from Microsoft's Office 365 service, while 4.7% use Google Apps for Work. The remaining 87% of companies surveyed have on-premises, hybrid, hosted or private cloud email managed by smaller vendors. 

These are the findings of a Gartner research study based on an automated examination of a large number of publicly available email routing records. The research group used the email server addresses in the domain records of nearly 40,000 public companies globally, to find out which ones point to cloud email services from Google or Microsoft. 

"Although it is still early days for cloud...

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Feb 04
Rising number of smart homes will drive the global...

The global connected device market is set to reach $6.2 million by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of over 10%, according to new data from the Technavio (www.technavio.com) research group.

In 2015, the Americas was the largest market for connected devices, accounting for almost 46% of the overall market share. Technavio’s report states that rapid advances in technology and changing consumer preferences regarding the use of electronic devices are the main factors contributing to market growth in this region.
The US accounts for the majority of the connected devices market in the Americas.

This growth is attributed to the implementation of the Green Buildings Act. This act covers the public, private, and non-profit sectors and aims to increase the energy efficiency and sustainability of buildings. The use of connected devices has reduced annual energy consumption in many countries....

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Feb 03
1-in-3 home Wi-Fi routers to double as public hotspots...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) predicts that at least one in three home routers will be used as public Wi-Fi hotspots by 2017, and that the total installed base of such dual-use routers will reach 366 million globally by the end of 2020.

The new research notes that these so-called “homespot" routers essentially create two wireless networks separated by a firewall: one network is for private use while the other is offered as a public Wi-Fi hotspot by the broadband operators. Major broadband operators such as BT, UPC and Virgin Media in Europe and several of the biggest cable TV operators in the US such as Comcast and Cablevision have adopted the homespot model as a low-cost way of rapidly expanding their domestic Wi-Fi coverage.

The research pointed out that the rapid expansion of Wi-Fi in this way is also giving rise to a number of global Wi-Fi aggregators such as...

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Feb 02
Fitness devices to dominate the wearables market until...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) shows that fitness wearables will remain the primary wearable device, with smartwatches being less commonly used for the next three years.

However, fitness wearables are expected to be used by approximately 110 million people worldwide at the end of 2019, while smartwatches will have more than 130 million users, according to the research group. Juniper Research observed that the lines between the categories are starting to blur, with fitness wearables offering a range of call-handling and notification functions that can also be found in smartwatches. The existence of app-enabled fitness trackers, such as the Samsung Gear Fit and Microsoft Band, lessens the distinction even further.

A recent Juniper Research survey also found that fitness devices are the most popular wearables because they are both cheaper and have a more obvious use...

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Feb 01
The Northern Spy: why does the stock market always...

By Rick Sutcliffe

Why is it that supposedly hard-headed evidence-based fact-found business and IT decision makers seem so driven instead by emotional and personal considerations?

Take the stock market, for instance. The one predictable thing about it is that it always overreacts, whether on the up or down side. Never has this been more apparent than lately, where every titbit of "news" sends it on a wild gyration, up several hundred points one day, down likewise the next, with no time or effort spared for considered analysis of said reports (calling them "information" is too generous, given the lack of intentional processing).

Speculative psychology is the driver, not investment analytics, and this is true whether short or longer term swings are the grist in the mill for speculative profits. Day traders try to make money in the moment, predators buy enough stock to force their views on the board, usually with a view to selling off profitable...

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Jan 29
Worldwide public cloud services spending to double by...

According to new data from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) -- almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019.

The new spending guide expands on IDC's (www.idc.com) previous public cloud services forecasts by offering greater detail on industry and geographic spending levels. Software as a Service (SaaS) will remain the dominant cloud computing type, capturing more than two thirds of all public cloud spending through most of the forecast period. Worldwide spending on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) will grow at a faster rate than SaaS with five-year CAGRs of 27.0% and 30.6%, respectively.

"Over the past several years, the software industry has been shifting to a cloud-first (SaaS) development and...

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Jan 28
Worldwide device shipments to grow 1.9% this year

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2016 , a 1.9 percent increase from 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). End-user spending in constant U.S. dollars is expected to decline 0.5 percent for the first time. 

The device market in 2016 will continue to be impacted by country-level economic conditions. “It’s clear that vendors can no longer market their products with the mind of only targeting the mature and emerging markets," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Driven by economic variations the market is splitting into four categories: economically challenged mature markets, economically stable mature markets and the same for emerging markets. Russia and Brazil will fall into the category of economically challenged emerging markets while India will be stable, and Japan will belong to the...

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Jan 26
Consumers more frustrated by smart home apps than...

The Smart Home ecosystem comprises both hardware devices and software apps and together they are supposed to make an efficient system for consumers.

A new report from Argus Insights shows that consumers are overall more frustrated with the applications that dictate, schedule and manage each device than with the actual devices themselves. Past Argus Insights reports looked at the hardware component and the challenges and irritations customers were experiencing with installation and connectivity, but this new analysis introduces a new data set to uncover the fact that consumers are experiencing even more issues with the apps that run these devices.

According to data compiled from nearly 50,000 Smart Home device and app reviews from August 2015 to the present, the incumbent home security companies like ADT, Comcast and AT&T are failing to delight consumers with their apps while the more innovative and newer Smart Home-focused companies like Vivint and Honeywell...

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Jan 25
Wearables market forecast to reach 228 million...

According to a new report by Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com), shipments of connected wearables reached 72.5 million in 2015, up from 25.3 million devices in the previous year. Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25.8%, total shipments of smartwatches, smart glasses, fitness & activity trackers, people monitoring and safety devices and medical devices as well as other wearable devices are forecasted to reach 228.3 million units in 2020.

Bluetooth will remain the primary connectivity option in the coming years. A total of 17.8 million of the wearables sold in 2020 are forecasted to incorporate embedded cellular connectivity, mainly in the smartwatch and people monitoring and safety categories. Apple entered the connected wearables market in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015 and quickly became the leading smartwatch vendor.

The competition is responding with...

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Jan 22
Worldwide IT spending forecast to grow 0.6% in 2016

Gartner Inc. (www.gartner.com) forecasts that worldwide IT spending will total $3.54 trillion dollars in 2016, just a 0.6% increase over 2015 spending of $3.52 trillion dollars.

2015 saw the largest U.S. dollar drop in IT spending since the research group began tracking IT spending. $216 billion dollars less was spent on IT in 2015 than in 2014 and 2014 spending levels won’t be surpassed until 2019.

"The rising U.S. dollar is the villain behind 2015 results," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "U.S. multinationals' revenue faced currency headwinds in 2015. However, in 2016 those headwinds go away and they can expect an additional 5 percent growth.”

Gartner forecasts that the devices market (PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones, tablets and printers) will decline 1.9% in 2016. The combination of economic conditions preventing countries such as Russia, Japan and Brazil from...

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Jan 21
IDC: Cloud IT infrastructure spending to grow 23% in...

According to the IDC research group (www.idc.com), vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew by 23.0% year over year to $7.6 billion in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15).

The overall share of cloud IT infrastructure sales climbed to 33.8% in 3Q15, up from 28.7% a year ago. Revenue from infrastructure sales to private cloud grew by 18.8% to $2.9 billion, and to public cloud by 25.9% to $4.6 billion. In comparison, revenue in the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment decreased by -3.2% year over year in the third quarter, with declines in all three technology segments (server, storage and Ethernet switch).

All three technology markets showed strong year-over-year growth in both private and public cloud segments, with server experiencing the highest growth in private cloud at 24.3% and Ethernet switch...

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Jan 20
IEEE: VR headsets might not have the staying power...

At CES 2016, IEEE (http://www.ieee.org) , the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, conducted a survey that asked booth visitors to answer a range of questions regarding the future of AR/VR [augmented reality/virtual reality] technology. 1,537 participants took the survey.

According to the findings, the use of VR headsets might not have the staying power that is predicted with this new, emerging technology. When questioned about the year AR/VR technology will advance to the point where immersive headsets will no longer be required, more than half (52%) of respondents believed this will occur in well under two decades, by 2030. On top of the 52%, another 21% of respondents predicted this to be a reality by 2035, 15% by 2040 and 5% by 2045.

When asked which industry would most benefit from the widespread adoption of AR/VR technology, 36% of participants...

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Jan 19
Smart home technologies and IoT driving new growth in...

Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) has released new research reporting that 70% of U.S. security dealers currently install or plan to install some type of interactive smart home device or system within their residential offerings in the next 12 months. Nearly three-quarters of security dealers offer interactivity with their devices, which can be controlled through smartphones, tablets, and computers.

"Smart home features are helping security dealers increase monthly revenues and also attract new customers," said Barbara Kraus, director of Research, Parks Associates. "Benefits from smart home features increase interest among homeowners who were not interested in monitored security systems. The sales model for security dealers, which involves one-on-one interaction with the customer, is particularly effective in communicating the benefits of smart home solutions.

Parks Associates...

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Jan 19
ABI Research: 156 million tablets will ship in 2020

ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) predicts 156 million tablets will ship in 2020, marking a 3% CAGR [compound annual return rate] for the device category between 2015 and 2020.

This is despite the fact that tablet forecasts were revised downward in response to continued pressure on shipments and revenues by Apple, Samsung and other leading vendors. According to the latest research, branded tablet revenues reached approximately $55 billion in 2015, down from $68 billion in 2014. While revenues are expected to remain flat in 2016, ABI Research projects last year's retail ASPs [average selling prices] to drop below $400 for the first time.

"We expect the global installed base to decline primarily due to older devices in most developed market economies aging out faster after purchase than replacement devices being acquired and new products being shipped into emerging market economies," says Jeff Orr,...

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Jan 18
U.S. smartphone owners love their social networking...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that more than 70% of U.S. smartphone users watch at least one short streaming video clip every day.

Parks Associates' survey shows consumers are embracing many new use cases as their smartphones become more intelligent and multifunctional. Voice calls and texting are still the dominant activities, but 80% of smartphone owners use social networking apps at least once a day and 35% spend an hour or more on this activity.

"Consumer appetite for mobile data is very strong, but currently most subscribers use less than half of their allotted data, while those with high data plans use even less," said Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. "For mobile operators, pushing consumers to sign up for a bigger data plan will have its limits. More and more consumers will start to compare payment to data...

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Jan 15
Cybersecurity incidents in Canada increased 160% year-...

According to PwC's Global State of Information Security (GSISS) Survey 2016 (www.pwc.com/ca/gsiss), Canadian companies are taking steps towards establishing holistic, integrated safeguards against cyberattacks. While investment in safeguards against cybersecurity threats have increased by 82% year over year, it still accounts for an average of only 5% of overall IT (Information Technology) spending.

Because of the impact cybersecurity attacks can have on the overall health of a company and a brand, boards are playing an increasingly significant role in informing the development of cybersecurity strategies. In fact, this year's report found that 50% of Canadian companies surveyed indicated that their board participates in defining their organization's security budgets, compared to only 25% in 2014.

As part of an expanding digital service offering PwC Canada is launching, Game of Threats, a digital...

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Jan 14
One-third of U.K. broadband households have an OTT...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reveals that 33% of U.K. broadband households subscribed to an OTT [over-the-top] video service as of the third quarter of 2015. The same study shows that only 15% of U.K. households with pay TV subscribe to premium movie channels.

"Overall OTT video usage in the U.K. favors broadcasters," said Brett Sappington, Director, Research, Parks Associates. "The most popular OTT video sources in the U.K. include BBC's iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD (now All4), and Demand5 - all catch-up or on-demand offerings from broadcasters. New OTT video market entrants, especially those with paid services, will have to provide unique value in order to make substantial gains. However, the demand for interesting content is strong enough that there are market opportunities for new OTT video players. Nearly 20% of U.K. broadband households have recently used a Netflix...

| Read more »
Jan 13
US hospital engaging only 2% of patients via mobile...

New research from Accenture (www.accenture.com) has found that only 2 percent of patients in the largest U.S. hospitals are using hospital-provided mobile health apps. Accenture estimates that failure to align mobile apps to the services consumers’ demand could cost each of these hospitals, on average, more than $100 million in lost annual revenue.

The research, which assessed mobile app use among the 100 largest U.S. hospitals, found that two-thirds (66 percent) of the 100 largest U.S. hospitals have mobile apps for consumers and roughly two-fifths (38 percent) of that subset have developed proprietary apps for their patients. However, only 11 percent of health systems offer patients proprietary apps that operate with at least one of the three functions that consumers demand most: access to medical records; the ability to book, change and cancel appointments; and the ability to request prescription refills...

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