Tag: Gartner

Gartner thinks it knows everything

gartnerThe global energy and utility markets face significant challenges from ongoing environmental sensitivity, policy maker decisions and consumer demands, Gartner has said.

The research company has made the claims within its top ten technology trends within the industry for 2013.

Report author Kristian Steenstrup, vice president and Gartner Fellow said searching for successful business models that will address these issues and generate anticipated shareholder returns in uncertain regulatory settings was a top priority for this industry.

He added this was in addition to protecting the security of critical generation and delivery infrastructure, as well as maintaining system reliability with aging physical assets.

He said one of the top ten technology trends for this sector this year was social media and Web 2.0, which would give utility IT leaders the opportunities to use social media as a customer acquisition and retention medium for competitive energy retailers and as a consumer engagement channel to drive customer participation in energy efficiency programs.

Big data will also play a part this year with Gartner predicting that smart grid development would increase data quantity by several orders of magnitude, driven by a host of edge devices, as well as new IT and OT applications such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), synchrophasors, smart appliances and microgrids.

Mobile and Location-Aware Technology was also cited as a trend with Gartner claiming this could lower costs and improve accuracy and effectiveness of the field force, which were the main drivers for utilities to deploy mobile and wireless technologies.

Gartner also pointed out Cloud Computing and SaaS would help in the smart meter, big data analytics, and demand response coordination and GIS industries, while sensor technologies, which would be applied extensively throughout the entire supply, transmission and distribution domains of utilities.

Increasing use of in-memory computing (IMC) application infrastructure technologies as enablers inside multiple types of software and hardware products would, according to Gartner, result in rapid IMC adoption by mainstream, risk-averse IT organisations.

The company added the ability of IMC to support high-scale, high-throughput and low-latency use cases would also make it possible for IT organisations to implement innovative scenarios, such as those addressing processing of the smart-grid-generated metering and real-time sensor data.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure was also highlighted as a priority as it would provide communication backbones for low-latency data aimed at improving distribution asset utilisation failure detection, and facilitating consumer inclusion in energy markets.

PCs lose out to tablets worldwide

Dodo-birdA report from analyst company Gartner said that the traditional PC market will slip in 2013 by 7.6 percent as people open their wallets to spend on tablets and smartphones instead.

Gartner said the availability of low end tablets coupled with the features they’re now able to offer is fueling the move from PCs to tablets.  Said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at the company: “While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet… most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device.”

Worryingly for PC vendors and X86 companies, people no longer think of PCs as devices that they have to replace regularly.

She said: “This is not a temporary trend induced by a more austere economic environment; it is a reflection of a long term change.”

Gartner estimates that worldwide tablet shipments will be 197 million units this year, a 69.8 percent increase.

And the Android operating system is set to dominate a mixed market which includes PCs, as this chart shows.
gart2013Gartner said that smartphones are becoming more affordable. “The trend towards smartphones and tablets will have much wider implications than hardware displacement,” Milanesi said.

Worldwide semi revenue falls

gartnerWorldwide semiconductor revenue declined in 2012, figures from Gartner have shown.

According to the analyst company revenues hit $299.9 billion in 2012, down 2.6 percent from 2011. It added that the overall semiconductor market decline also had a knock on effect on semiconductor vendors with the top 25 seeing a faster decline at 2.8 percent, than the industry as a whole.

The reason for the industry decline was put down to the disruption of  the computing, wireless, consumer electronics and automotive electronics sectors, which the semiconductor industry relies on, Gartner said.

Steve Ohr, research director at Gartner pointed out that in addition the industrial/medical, wired communications and military/aerospace sectors, “ordinarily less affected by changes in consumer sentiment” suffered severe declines in semiconductor consumption.

Excess inventory levels were also blamed for the profit declines.

Intel recorded a 3.1 percent revenue decline, due to falls in PC shipments. However, it held the top market share position for the 21st year in a row. Intel’s share was 16.4 percent in 2012, down from 16.5 percent in 2011.

Samsung, the second vendor, was held back by weak DRAM growth in 2012, as well as a dilution of the NAND flash market, although its overall revenue increased from smartphone application-specific integrated circuits and application-specific standard products.

Qualcomm’s semiconductor revenue increased 31.8 percent in 2012 to $13.2 billion. The company climbed from sixth place in 2011 to third in 2012 and now trails only Intel and Samsung. Qualcomm was the fastest-growing semiconductor company in the top 25 and continues to benefit from its leading position in wireless semiconductors.

Texas Instruments retained its fourth-place ranking, although Toshiba slipped to fifth place in semiconductor shipments.

Portable gadgets shape home and office landscape

Apple iPadPortable gadgets are affecting consumer spending habits and lifestyles, research by Gartner has found.

The analyst company spoke to 8,000 consumers in the US, UK, Canada and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

It found that household adoption and spending on consumer technology products is shifting faster than expected in favour of gadgets and services that are portable or mobile and those that deliver networking capabilities and entertainment.

It said the major change is that mobility is now reshaping mainstream consumer behaviour in fundamental ways. Many of us, for example, now choose a smartphone or tablet in the lounge in favour of the office and the laptop, Gartner said.

It said service providers had to therefore wake up and begin “innovating” for this trend and mobility. “If they do nothing, they face a potential train wreck as consumers abandon gadgets, services and applications that do not fully support changing mobile lifestyles,” the company said.

And it seems the likes of tablets are taking over the household, with Gartner finding camera’s, e-readers and laptops had been replaced by tablets and similar devices in the household.

Mobiles fell in 2012

mobyGlobal mobile phone sales declined in 2012 as a result of the economic climate and intense market competition Gartner has said.

In its latest report the analyst company said that 2012 mobile phone sales hit 1.75 billion units, a decline of 1.7 percent from 2011. And it was smartphones that bolstered this number with the fourth quarter of last year marking a record sale rate of 207.7 million units, up 38.3 percent from the same period last year.

The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009 and this year’s dismal results were as a result of tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year, the company said.

It added that feature phones were neglected with a 19.3 percent decline in 2012. And there was bad news for this sector with the company predicting that 2013 would continue to see a decline.

Smartphones were given a better future with the company claiming that sales of these would be close to one billion units in 2013, while overall mobile phone sales were estimated to reach 1.9 billion units.

And this market also bought in the bucks for manufacturers with Apple and Samsung both seeing their market shares in this sector rise. However, it was Samsung who had the last laugh ending up in first place for overall mobile and smartphone sales in 2012. Gartner said this was as a result of the company’s ability to build products based on broad needs.

But Samsung was warned that there could be trouble ahead with Gartner’s crystal ball predicting that competition would intensify in 2013 as players such as Sony and Nokia improved.

Huawei also had a good fourth quarter, helping it to take on third position for the first time  in the smartphone sales race. The company sold 27.2 million smartphones, up 73.8 percent from 2011, while its Ascend D2 and Mate models were tipped to drive further sales for 2013.

Nokia’s handset sales improved from a good response to its Asha mobile phones and the launch of the latest Lumia Windows Phone 8 models.

However, this wasn’t enough to stop Nokia to lose further market share, totalling 18 percent, the lowest it has ever been. In 2012, Nokia reached 39.3 million smartphone sales worldwide, down 53.6 percent from 2011.

Half of businesses to get Facebook style not working by 2016

gartnerHalf of large enterprises will have an internal social network, similar to Facebook, by 2016, Gartner has claimed.

Although 30 percent of these firms will consider this medium as essential as email and telephones, Gartner also claims that through 2015, 80 percent of social business efforts will not hit the high levels required to make this a reality, as a result of inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology

According to Gartner, using Facebook-like enterprise social not-working software for communication has several advantages over email and traditional collaboration methods. The analyst house said this is because software enabled information and events that are traditionally sent in emails can instead be turned into conversations and logged onto one system that everyone can see.

To ensure that businesses made the most of this, Gartner said head honchos must shift their thoughts away from deciding what the best communication technology is and instead focus on how to implement and understand how social networks work – and how they can be integrated into companies.

Currently, businesses are stifled because there is too much focus on content and technology, and not enough focus on leadership and relationships.

By 2017, Gartner expects to see companies offering social networking with gamified features – possibly rewarding employees through the social networking on a mobile or PC platform with work incentives.

Gartner: Cloud providers need to look at security services to survive

cloud 2Cloud providers must look at offering robust security options to ensure they stay ahead of the game, Gartner said.

Rubbing its crystal ball, the analyst company has gone as far to say the US government could declare cloud services as a critical national infrastructure, as a result of expanding public clouds, along with the ever-persistent threat on private and public sectors’ infrastructures.

It said that in the future this could mean that future network security is based increasingly on virtual security appliances.

By 2016, Gartner said public cloud infrastructure will include and be mandated to critical national infrastructure regulations by the US. It said that this is a result of the economic downturn, with governments continuing to sniff out ways to reduce their IT operating expenditures, eliminate duplication across their IT organisations and optimise their compute resources, making cloud deployments an attractive option.

Apparently several key governments have created initiatives for the adoption of cloud-based services, however, Gartner pointed out that they are yet to see any negative impacts from the technology. Disruptions, brought around by attacks on cloud service providers, were minimal.

By 2015, 10 percent of overall IT security enterprise product capabilities will be delivered in the cloud.

However, Gartner warned that as the economy becomes more dependent on the cloud, the threats against these networks would grow, eventually impacting national security.

The company is advising security providers to prepare their technologies to address potential mandates for critical infrastructure protection of public cloud environments.

It warned that those who lag behind with their security could face difficult sales and be squeezed out of the market by cloud providers who had threat management processes in place.

Growth rates for cloud-based security services are set to overtake those of traditional on-premises security equipment over the next three years with operational cost reduction, flexibility of deployment across multiple IT environments, and fast implementation and product updates among major factors driving demand.

Gartner also pointed out that as cloud matures, security offerings will also evolve, with data loss prevention, encryption and authentication all becoming must-have services offered alongside the cloud.

As new players establish themselves with innovative offerings, existing companies will look to acquire them to expand their portfolios with new capabilities and remain competitive.