Deloitte released their “big data” report today and have tried to predict some of the biggest trends in digital, data and media for the coming year. Their are 18 in total but the 6 most relevant to the digital sector are summarised below. Or if you like you can skip to the bottom and watch the funky video by friends of the site ballywire.
It takes two to tablet: the rise of the multi-tablet owner
The tablet explosion has shown little sign of slowing down since the format hit the market in 2010 and it is set to take the mantle of the most rapid ‘multi-anything’ market penetration in history. Roughly five million tablets will be sold to people that already owned one in 2012 generating up to $2 billion in revenue. However the tablet market will diversify around size, processing power, price and operating system in 2012 as was the case with smart phones. Corporations are also likely to require tablets with greater security and ruggedness. That presents a challenge for content owners, network operators and retailers that need to prepare to respond to the rise in the multi-tablet household. Here in Ireland, CIOs will be cognisant of the fact that their organisations cannot afford to lose pace with disruptive innovations such as mobile and tablet computing or they risk losing pace with their customers.
Billions and billions: big data becomes a big deal
Globally, interest in big data, although in its infancy is set to grow in 2012 which will see 90 per cent of Fortune 500 companies kick off a big data initiative, triggering industry revenue of between $1 billion and 1.5 billion. Internet companies have led the way with exploring big data but fast follower sectors are likely to include the public sector, financial services, retail, entertainment and media. Increasing levels of online activity and social interactions are one of the developments driving the emergence of the “big data” market. As data volumes grow exponentially, traditional database technologies struggle to generate timely insights. In the Irish context, few organisations currently have the data volumes to justify “big data” initiatives, and few organisations have maximised the insight from transactional databases. We suggest that, as big data continues to evolve, the majority of Irish organisations should focus on the effective use of existing transactional data to drive decision-making before looking to the opportunities that “big data” opens in terms of insight from unstructured information and real-time insight.
The schedule dominates, still
For all the talk of the death of linear television, 95 per cent of all television programmes watched in 2012 will be live or within a day of the original broadcast. Even the advent of social networks has enhanced, rather than diminished, the schedule’s appeal as commentary on programmes has expanded from the living room to a community. Conventional broadcasters need to build on this power and show advertisers the advantages of the schedule and building campaigns within the context of a schedule. While things will have changed half a century from now, when RTE reaches its 100 year anniversary, the schedule is still king in 2012.
Online coupon intermediaries: from novelty, to celebrity, to sizable niche
2011 was the year of the online coupon, and Ireland was not exempt from the gold-rush, with several Irish coupon intermediaries emerging. With the market reaching saturation point and with many retailers disillusioned with the coupon experience, current revenue levels are under threat. 2012 is the year that it is likely to settle into a small niche; albeit one that generates billions of dollars in revenue. The challenge coupon intermediaries face is evolve their business models to a sustainable footing. Moving away from the one-off discount hunt to foster repeat business for retailers will ensure that buyers are matched to sellers in a way that benefits both. They may also need to accept lower commissions on sales of coupons – which can be as high as 50 per cent – to entice more retailers to consider using their services as well as shifting their focus from discount size to value, utility or even rarity to change the perception of the service they offer.
Near Field Communications (NFC) and mobile devices: payments and more
The rise in the number of the devices with embedded near-field communications technology is set to soar to the 300 million level by the end of 2013. NFC – the transfer of small amounts of data over a very short distance – has been dominated by the ‘wave and pay’ notion of embedding a credit card into a mobile phone but the application of the technology is likely to have a wider reach. Many people remain uncomfortable with the notion of using a phone to pay for items. Here in Ireland, only 10% of CIOs in our last CIO Survey felt mobile payments would be relevant to their organisation. 2012 may turn out to be no more than a “transitional year” for mobile payments. It has been muted that some Irish banks may be poised to launch contact-less credit cards in 2012 and so consumer attitudes to contact-less payment should become more positive over 2012 paving the way for mobile payment adoption in 2013. Other applications of NFC will continue to create opportunities for companies like Irish start-up iNFLUX, which produces NFC-enabled smart posters.
So many apps – so little to download
The number of apps available surged through the one million mark in December and will double again by the end of 2012. However the proportion that is paid for remains small. Only a fifth of those that are downloaded break through the 1,000 mark and only a tiny proportion of unpromoted apps will ever become unsuccessful. The proliferation of platforms and features in mobile and tablets will pose a challenge to app developers and organisations, and we see the sophistication of apps and the associated cost of production rising. To reach a global target market a developer may have to make 360 different variants which has all-but called time on the part-time app developer. This will raise the bar for app developers to a level that will make ‘bedroom hits’ such as Irish teenager Harry Moran’s Pizzabot unfortunately rarer.