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Welcome to the Connected Age

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Welcome to the Connected Age

An IDC study present’s the first forecast and analysis of the cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) market in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), or APEJ. The total number of cellular M2M connections in APEJ will grow from 26.8 million connections in 2012 to 72.4 million in 2017, a 22% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). M2M spending will grow from US$3 billion in 2012 to US$6.7 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 17.3%.

Another IDC study analyzes the worldwide opportunity for the burgeoning “Internet of Things” (IoT) market. It provides a market outlook for 2013–2020 and sets the forecast within the context of the IoT ecosystem including intelligent systems, connectivity services, platforms, analytics, and vertical applications in addition to the security and professional services required to build out a complete picture. The study discusses the key market trends contributing to the growth of the IoT on a worldwide basis. A forecast of installed “things” and revenue is included.

IDC has published an infographic titled Welcome to the Connected Age which can be viewed here.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Continues Stellar Start With Windows Azure

CloudTweaks

At last week’s BUILD developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced major changes to their cloud computing platform, Windows Azure. These changes included added support for foreign languages and third-party tools, and the introduction of the Azure Preview Portal, which allows developers to build and manage instances while they are running. These improvements will go a long way to helping Microsoft compete with other cloud computing giants like Google and Amazon.

When Satya Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft in February 2014, the company was stagnant in terms of product innovation. The man Nadella replaced, Steve Ballmer, does deserve credit for raking in enormous profits for the company. But under Ballmer’s tenure Microsoft lagged behind the technology developments of its competitors, especially in the realm of cloud computing.

Nadella is steering the company into a new direction. In an interview released just hours after he was named CEO, Nadella stated that his primary objective was to make Microsoft a “mobile first, cloud first” company. Then is not surprising when you look at Nadella’s experience and see he was previously the Head of the Cloud and Enterprise department at Microsoft.

In his few weeks as acting CEO, Nadella has taken many big steps towards his “cloud first” objective. He resurrected Microsoft Office for iPad, a program that was killed two years ago by Ballmer. Microsoft has also released OneNote on the Mac. His willingness to work with the competition for mutual benefit reflects Nadella’s pragmatic side, while the products being offered here over Apple systems highlight his devotion to the proliferation of cloud-based apps.

Before we get too carried away, it is important to remember that Nadella hasn’t even been CEO for 100 days yet. There is still plenty of time for him to make mistakes. But if the past few weeks are a true indicator of the decisions Nadella will make in the future, Microsoft is well on its way to being a top innovator and competitor in the cloud computing market.

See more…

MEA Enterprise Hardware Market Sees Constrained Growth

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 MEA Enterprise Hardware Market Sees Constrained Growth

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) enterprise hardware market, comprising servers and external storage, remains in a passive state according to the latest figures released today by International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its EMEA Quarterly Server and Disk Storage Systems Trackers, the research firm today announced that the market expanded a sluggish 5.1% year on year in 2013 to total $2.58 billion, with much of the growth spurred by infrastructure deals within the oil and gas (O&G), telecommunications, and BFSI verticals.

The MEA region’s x86 server market witnessed a 5.0% year-on-year increase in value, but a 3.7% decline in unit terms during 2013. “There are a lot of changes occurring in the MEA enterprise domain, with a gradual shift towards fully virtualized datacenters and cloud-based infrastructures,” says Zeeshan Gaya, research manager for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “As such, the growth seen in the x86 server market’s value, and the corresponding decline in volume, can be attributed to the increased adoption of virtualization technologies that utilize fewer server units than is the case in traditional datacenters.”

The region’s external storage market expanded 5.1% year on year in 2013. ”The overall sentiment in the MEA storage market ended on a positive note in 2013, with most countries witnessing healthy growth barring a few in Africa,” says Swapna Subramani, senior research analyst for storage systems at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “The storage market is witnessing increased uptake of entry-level and midrange storage devices driven by demand for the NAS protocol. Mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives, video surveillance, and Big Data are the key driving factors for this ongoing shift within the MEA storage market.”

UAE’s enterprise hardware market witnessed a strong growth of 11.5% with 2013 revenue representing a healthy mix of spending by the country’s key verticals namely, Financial, Telco, Hospitality and Government sectors. Saudi Arabia’s growth was more subdued at 3.2% annually hampered by the small decline in the server market this year compared to the massive server revenue registered in the Kingdom last year.

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5 Behaviors of Digital Performance

CIO Dashboard

In our 2014 Digital IQ survey of almost 1,500 business and technology executives, only 20% of respondents are highly confident in their organization’s Digital IQ—a company’s acumen in understanding, valuing and weaving technology throughout the enterprise.

How can a company raise its Digital IQ and harness the full power of technology to advance their business performance? Top performers—companies that reside in the top quartile for revenue growth, profitability, and innovation—point the way.

We analyzed the responses of top performers to understand what they do differently to fuse business and technology. For top performers, digital isn’t window dressing or corporate speak. Digital is a way of life. Following are five key best practices that top performers employ to outdo the competition:

1. CEO is the Digital Leader

81% of top performers say their CEO is an active champion of using information technology to achieve business goals, compared with 68% of other companies. Executives tell us that CEO involvement in shaping strategy provides them with a competitive advantage. Once the company determines its digital strategy, the CEO must define clear roles, accountability, and governance for how the strategy is executed. The scope should address who is responsible, and how the functional or business unit leaders will work together—for example, what the CMO is responsible for in a customer initiative, what the CIO does, and together what they will deliver and when.

2. CMO and CIO are Collaborative Partners

The CIO and CMO relationship is critical to success because many digital technology initiatives are driven by marketing needs. 70% of top performers say their CIO and CMO have a strong relationship, compared with just 45% of the pack. The growth in digital marketing spending, often independent of IT, has led to debate among industry analysts about whether the marketing organization will soon yield more spending power than the IT department.

Click to continue reading the five key best practices

Google looks to push Glass into the enterprise

Computerworld

Google is looking to push its wearable computer Glass into the enterprise.

With the Glass at Work program, Google is trying to make it easier forcompanies to begin using the wearable computers for their business.

“In the last year we’ve seen our Explorers use Glass in really inspiring and practical day-to-day ways,” the Google Glass team wrote on its Google+ page. “Something we’ve also noticed and are very excited about is how Explorers are using Glass to drive their businesses forward.”

The Washington Capitals, Washington D.C.’s hockey team, has already been working with fans who use Glass, Google noted. The Capitals partnered up with APX Labs to create a Glass app that allows the team’s fans to see real-time stats, instant replays and different camera angles.

The hockey team may be a good example of how businesses can take advantage of Glass, or any upcoming wearable, according to Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.

“My contention has always been that wearables are a best fit for vertical applications,” he said. “I think this is good news and I think companies will use this program. It is Glass’ best shot so far at an ecosystem. In these vertical usage models, it’s more about getting the job done versus looking cool to your friends.”

Moorhead also noted that with Google trying to push Glass into the enterprise, it might signal the company’s realization that building out a horizontal platform will be more difficult than once thought.

Read more…

The rise of mobile apps and the decline of the open web — a threat or an over-reaction?

Gigaom

As the use of mobile devices continues to climb, the use of dedicated apps is also increasing — but is this a natural evolution, or should we be worried about apps winning and the open web losing? Chris Dixon, a partner with venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, argues in a recent blog post that we should be concerned, because it is creating a future in which the web becomes a “niche product,” and the dominant environment is one of proprietary walled gardens run by a couple of web giants — and that this is bad for innovation.

Dixon’s evidence consists in part of two recent charts: one is from the web analytics company comScore, and shows that mobile usage has overtaken desktop usage — an event that occurred in January of this year. The second chart is from Flurry, which tracks app usage, and it shows that apps account for the vast majority of time spent vs. the mobile web, an amount that Flurry says is still growing. I’ve combined the two charts into one (somewhat ugly) graphic below:

If apps are winning, is the web losing?

The implication of all this is obvious, says Dixon. Mobile is the future, and what wins on mobile will win the internet — and “right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.” Not only that, but Dixon argues that the problem is likely to get worse, as more companies realize that an app gives them much more control over the user experience than a website. And with less and less investment in making the web experience better on mobile, it will continue to deteriorate, which in turn will push users even further towards the use of apps.

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IDC’s New Buyer Technology Spending Forecast; Business Technology Spending Market will Reach $330.4 billion by 2017

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 IDC’s New Buyer Technology Spending Forecast; Business Technology Spending Market will Reach $330.4 billion by 2017

Framingham, MA – April 8, 2014 – International Data Corporation (IDC) today announced a new report, “United States Technology Buyer Forecast by Vertical: 2012 to 2017,” (Document # 247588) which  examines technology spending by 12 buying segments and how this new technology purchasing behavior differs by 15 vertical industries. According to the new report, the business technology spending market will grow at 6.9% 5 year CAGR from $236.6 billion in 2012 to $330.7 billion by 2017, while enterprise IT grows slowly at a 1.9% 5 year CAGR from $213.0 billion to 233.5 billion over the same forecast period.

  • ClicktoTweet, “Business funded technology  is expected to reach $275.2 b in 2014, accounting for 55% of total United States technology spending”

The new forecast quantifies how much money business areas including Accounting / Finance / Billing, Customer Service, Engineering, Architecture & Research, Human Resources, Industry Specific Operations, IT, Legal, Marketing, Other Horizontal Operations, Sales, Security and Risk and Supply Chain Management are spending on technology, and how this new paradigm differs by industry.  Key findings include:

  • Business funded technology is expected to reach $275.2 billion in 2014, accounting for 55% of total technology spending.  Industry specific operation is the largest business line, capturing approximately 45% of total business funded technology in 2014
  • Enterprise IT spending is growing only at a 1.8% 5 year CAGR, far below the overall 5 year technology CAGR of 4.6%. Only healthcare enterprise IT is growing faster (than overall technology spending.
  • Marketing is the fastest growing functional area, growing at a 5 year CAGR of 9.5%, reaching nearly $26 billion by 2017. The marketing function within the Communications and Media industry will spend the most on marketing in 2014, with the retail  vertical growing the fastest over the forecast period (11.2% 5 year CAGR).

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IT Spending by UAE Businesses to Top $4.6 Billion in 2014

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 IT Spending by UAE Businesses to Top $4.6 Billion in 2014

Business IT spending in the UAE is expected to increase 8.3% year on year in 2014 to total $4.63 billion, according to the latest figures released today by International Data Corporation. Referencing its recently released United Arab Emirates Vertical Markets 2013–2017 IT Spending Forecast (IDC#ZV11V), IDC anticipates healthy growth over the 2013–2017 forecast period as the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai continue to spend on upgrading the country’s infrastructure.

The public sector, which includes government, education, and healthcare organizations, will account for most of the business IT spending in 2014. Organizations in this vertical are predicted to invest $1.12 billion in IT and account for 24.3% of the spending, driven primarily by government-led initiatives to bring more public services to online and mobile platforms. Government-backed projects to increase the use of ICT in educational institutions, together with regulations in the healthcare sector that mandate a reduction in paper-based processes, are other major factors driving IT spending in this sector.

‘Combined Finance’ is the second-biggest vertical in the UAE with respect to business IT spending. Organizations in this vertical, which includes banking, insurance, and securities services providers, are predicted to invest $719.77 million in IT in 2014. The rapid expansion of branch and ATM networks, investments in online and mobile banking channels, and the need for better regulatory compliance are the primary drivers of ICT investments in the banking sector.

Consumer IT spending in the UAE is expected to account for 30.5% of total IT spending in 2014, though it will contract 8.4% year on year. This decrease in spending is a result of the stagnating PC market, which is being cannibalized by the growing demand for tablets.

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Macworld innovation through the years

SF Gate

The 30th San Francisco edition of Macworldopens Thursday with a showcase of startups that organizers not surprisingly tout as the next game changers in technology.

But predicting the future is always easier in hindsight:

“The machine uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse.’ There is no evidence that people actually want to use these things,”San Francisco Examiner columnist John Dvorak wrote in a column published in 1984 by the then-jointly produced Sunday Examiner & Chronicle.

To his credit, Dvorak correctly predicted numerous reasons the original Macintosh wouldn’t be as big a hit as Apple hoped. But we now know the mouse revolutionized personal computing.

Macworld itself has transformed several times since January 1985, when that first show drew 100 exhibitors and thousands of Apple fans to Brooks Hall. At the height of its popularity, there were two annual Macworld shows, including one on the East Coast.

Center of universe

But San Francisco has remained the center of Macworld’s universe.

The legendary Chronicle columnist Herb Caen described a swanky preshow party at the St. Francis Hotel thrown by David Bunnell, then chairman of PC World Communications, publisher of Macworld magazine and sponsor of the show.

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App use dominates mobile browser use, but what does that mean for news content?

Poynter

The latest report from Flurry shows mobile users are spending the vast majority of their time with mobile apps, not with mobile Web browsers. So far in 2014, iOS and Android users have spent 86 percent of time with their devices using apps, up from 80 percent in 2013.

That certainly reflects how airlines, food delivery services, ride-sharing startups, and of course Facebook have embraced native apps over the mobile Web, to the delight of users. But the takeaway might be different for news organizations, whose apps still account for a rather small slice of time spent on mobile.

In January, Flurry reported that overall mobile use grew 115 percent in 2013, while the news and magazines category grew just 31 percent.

Cory Bergman of Breaking News has argued that news organizations need to offer apps with real utility in order to capture a bigger slice of the pie. As hewrote for Poynter, “simply extending a news organization’s current coverage into mobile isn’t enough.”

The value of apps like Breaking News and Circa, which aggregate information from all kinds of news sites and make use of push notifications on mobile devices, is that they offer features beyond what mobile websites do. That’s not the case for lots of other native news apps that merely mimic the Web experience.

But what’s interesting about many of the news apps that solve problems — Breaking News with its customizable alerts, Facebook Paper with its news-reading capabilities, and The New York Times’ forthcoming NYT Now with links to outside news sources — is that they are still deeply integrated with the Web. They connect users to Web content.

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