Five tech trends to take charge in 2012

Consumer technology will continue to see robust demand in 2012, according to a new Deloitte report, which identifies 3D printing and big data as other major trends to watch out for.

 

The latest edition of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions report presents Deloitte’s view of the major trends over the next 12-18 months for companies in these industries.

 

According to Deloitte, demand for consumer technology will continue to soar in 2012, with record numbers of smartphones and tablets likely to be sold.

 

“The tablet explosion has shown little sign of slowing down since hitting the market in 2010, Deloitte spokesperson Joylon Barker says.

 

“[It] is set to take the mantle of the most rapid multiple market penetration in history.”

 

Here are five of Deloitte’s key predictions:

 

1. Consumer tech demand defies the economic headwinds

 

While this technology will continue to advance, the dollar value of the market may prove to be flat as lower prices and the “bang for your buck” value of technology becomes more paramount.

 

The cost of technology has plummeted over the past three decades, and the usage of a tablet and a television proves that consumer electronics fare well in terms of value.

 

2. The rise of the multi-tablet owner

 

It took several decades for one household to have more than one car, phone, radio or television, and ten years for a similar landmark to be reached in the computing and mobile phone markets.

 

However, the tablet market will diversify around size, processing power, price and operating system in 2012, as was the case with smartphones.

 

Corporations are also likely to require tablets with greater security and ruggedness.

 

That presents a challenge for content owners, network operators and retailers who need to prepare to respond to the rise of the multi-tablet user.

 

3. Big data

 

Internet companies have led the way with exploring big data, but the sectors that are likely to follow include the public sector, financial services, retail, entertainment and media.

 

This could trigger a talent shortage.

 

Although managing the increasing volume, variety and velocity of data is critical to the future success of the industry, companies launching initiatives should ensure that their approach remains focused on the insight needed to drive better decision-making and business outcomes, not just the data input.

 

Mastery of the sheer expanse and complexity of data is important, but it will not be the driver for investment.

 

Instead, the driver will be how the insight derived is used to change the way that organisations compete.

 

4. Solid state storage

 

Even the data centre market could turn to smaller, cooler, power-sipping solid state drives as an alternative to more traditional hard drives.

 

The technology, which builds storage onto silicon chips, should benefit from savvier consumer behaviour, as people start to pay more attention to how much storage they actually need on specific devices, particularly as more cloud-based storage services become available.

 

5. 3D printing

 

3D printing has caught the attention of the public, but the hype around the technology does not recognise the severe limitations of the concept.

 

The ability to download designs for anything imaginable and create the product on the spot will become a viable segment in several niche markets over the coming years, such as the biomedical sector and after-sales service industries like auto repair.

 

It is likely that several do-it-yourself enthusiasts will invest in 3D printers as prices drop in 2012, but the cost of the materials needed to create an everyday product remains expensive.

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