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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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

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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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Jan 08
OTT and multiscreen usage driving new bundling...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that 25 percent of OTT (over-the-top) OTT video subscribers in U.S. broadband households plan to upgrade their broadband service in the next 12 months.

Only seven percent of consumers who watch video exclusively on television plan to upgrade their pay-TV service in the next 12 months. This compares to 22 percent of consumers with above-average viewing on all platforms, including computers and mobile devices.

"Evolving usage habits around multiscreen viewing are shaping all aspects of the industry, including service delivery, content production, and the devices consumers use to access content," said Brett Sappington, director of Research, Parks Associates. "Today, one-third of broadband households that own three or more connected devices state that they are likely to upgrade their broadband service in the next 12 months. These...

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Jan 08
Top 10 mobility trends for 2016

DMI (Digital Management Inc.), an end-to-end mobility company, has released its annual Top Ten Mobility Trends for 2016 (http://tinyurl.com/zj9ztqe), citing the need for an improved mobile customer experience, top-down concerns for cybersecurity, key innovations through partnerships and a stronger focus on the redesign and implementation of omni-channel and mobile payment technologies. among the projected trends:

° Stronger focus on the customer experience: Analyst firms Forrester and Gartner highlighted the customer experience (CX) as a top priority for 2016. Based on DMI's experience, the average organization has less than one in 100 employees with the CX skills needed to amplify the mobile experience, whether in-store or on the Internet. In 2016, customers will demand one consistent cross-channel experience. Look for organizations to embed the mobile customer experience throughout every part of...

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Jan 07
Predictions for data security trends in 2016

With the new year here, there will be some extraordinary shifts in how people watch their favorite TV programs, how they surf the Internet and how our daily gadgets will become more interconnected. While our lives are becoming easier, the new technology shift requires an increasing sensitivity towards online security.
 
NordVPN (www.nordvpn.com), a VPN service provider, predicts some of the major shifts and trends in digital and online security world in 2016:
 
° Streaming over downloading. There will be more streaming options in 2016 and better access to content compared to downloading options that are becoming less popular. Streaming is becoming border-free as well, as there are new ways to overcome geographical restrictions.

SmartPlay, for example, is NordVPN’s new secure technology that helps overcome geo-based restrictions used by certain streaming websites, such as Netflix, Pandora,...

| Read more »
Jan 06
China to overtake US 3D Printer Shipments in 2016

According to IDC (www.idc.com), 3D printer shipments in the China market passed 34,000 units in 2014, and is expected to reach 77,000 units in 2015, exhibiting a growth rate over 120%.

This growth rate is largely driven by sales of desktop 3D printers priced under US$5,000. As the Chinese Government continue to promote 3D printer awareness and usage within schools and educational institutions, the desktop 3D printer market is expected to maintain an annual growth trend in the coming years, according to the research group.

“China's local 3D printer market will surpass the US market in 2016 with an annual growth rate over 100%. However, the US is expected to retain its position as the market leader in terms of market revenue, due to the greater proportion of high-end printers adopted by the manufacturing sector,” said Wendy Mok, Research Manager for IDPS at IDC China. “To capitalize on this growth, 3D printer vendors...

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Jan 05
Automotive display systems o grow to $18.6 billion by...

Driven by continued innovation in vehicle connectivity and safety technologies, global revenue from automotive display systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 11 percent to $18.6 billion by the end of 2021. This will add nearly $9 billion in annual revenue compared to 2015, according to IHS (www.ihs.com).

Data from the the research group represents production of instrument cluster systems, head-up display systems and center stack display systems as full automotive modules, not just display panels. Center stack display systems are expected to account for half of the overall revenue growth, while head-up display (HUD) systems will boast the strongest revenue CAGR at nearly 21 percent from 2015.

“The automotive displays supply chain will see some amazing growth and innovation through the end of the decade, as more vehicles debut new displays or standardize larger ones in the instrument...

| Read more »
Jan 04
The Northern Spy: much ado about very little when it...

By Rick Sutcliffe

Much ado about very little is how the Spy categorizes the newest iteration of the Apple TV. When Steve Jobs announced a few years ago that he'd figured television out, he ignited great expectations.

But time, negotiations, and reality have laboured mightily to bring forth...not a mouse, but no tiger either. Now, it may be that the new box and its dedicated store have a future place in the hands of gamers, but that appeal, loyal though it may hypothetically be, is of extremely limited value, and the Spy, who's never begun to comprehend the appeal of action games, stands firmly outside the circle of that limitation.

The issue, as it was with all the delays, is content. To be more pointed, there doesn't appear to be much "there" there. Yes, access to a few other subscription services, all similarly thin gruel, and a few modern TV shows, but where is the library of old TV shows and movies, particularly the...

| Read more »
Dec 30
Consumers increasingly watching videos on their own...

The shift in consumer online video viewing habits is changing rapidly, according the latest survey of more than 1,200 consumers from Limelight Networks, Inc. (www.limelight.com), which specializes in digital content delivery.

According to the second semi-annual “The State of Online Video” report, more than 83 percent of consumers watch on-demand video, an increase of four percent since April 2015. The percentage of consumers watching four or more hours of on-demand video a week increased to more than 36 percent as compared to 30 percent in April 2015. Among Millennials, the greatest jump is in those that watch 10 or more hours of video per week (nearly 20 percent vs. 15 percent in April 2015), perhaps a tell-tale sign they are binge-watching more often than their counterparts in different demographics.

How are consumers watching on-demand video? A growing number are doing so on their TV, either through...

| Read more »
 
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