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Video age arrives

Now that some real momentum has returned to the ICT industry I am reminded of a speech Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made three years ago during the height of the recession at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.


September 1, 2011  


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Now that some real momentum has returned to the ICT industry I am reminded of a speech Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made three years ago during the height of the recession at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

“I believe that the companies that recognize the fundamental importance of innovation will have a chance to gain a competitive advantage, particularly as we weather this economic storm,” he said at the time.

Ballmer also predicted that a new generation of innovation is about to transform what technology can do for people: “It will be a transformation that we like to equate to what the graphical user interface meant when it opened up the world of computing to more and more people, or what the Internet enabled when it allowed people to connect to one another in entirely new ways.”

Whether you are talking about the pending emergence of 40-Gig cabling, the rise of the so-called connected society or preparing for the onset of the video age, a massive technology churn is occurring, the effects of which will be profound.

As an example, in our cover story, Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of the Ontario Telehealth Network in Toronto, says a number of factors are helping to accelerate video adoption, key among them being the smart phone revolution. Its day, he adds, has finally arrived.

“It is interesting because back in the 1960s with the introduction of the first video telephone, they thought it would take over. The world was not ready. But now it is, and everybody gets it.”

When asked during a recent interview if video represents a “game changer,” Kevin St. Cyr, the president of Berk-Tek, replied that it has great potential for a couple of basic reasons (see p. 22).

“One is the continued drive of Ethernet everywhere, which is migrating into the IP camera and IP security segments,” he said. “We are hopeful that it is going to have significant penetration in the market. There is definitely a lot of excitement, which is certainly better than the alternative.”

Advances such as these and others are fueling a whole new IT spending boom. According to a report released in late June by Gartner, Inc. worldwide IT spending is “on pace” to grow 7.1% this year, which is impressive and a full one and-half percentage points above the original forecast forecasters had predicted at the end of the first quarter

“It is a bit surprising that we have not seen more significant impact on our global IT spending forecast as a result of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, but despite widespread concerns about disruptions to the supply of critical components in the initial aftermath of the natural disaster, there has been a dramatic impact on overall IT spending,” said Gartner vice president Richard Gordon.

The research firm said in its quarterly report that the migration to public cloud services is currently one of the hottest topics in IT. Spending worldwide is forecast to total US$89 billion in 2011, up from US$74 billion in 2010. The market is forecast to reach US$177 billion by 2015.

MarketResearch.com, meanwhile, is predicting that the enterprise mobile cloud computing market in North America is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 12%, which is certainly healthy.

As for the ongoing wireless revolution, In-Stat recently summed it up this way: “Between mobile applications, data, voice, and streaming and broadcast video, global wireless bandwidth usage has increased 10-fold since 2008, and there are no signs of it stopping. This obsession to connect anywhere, any time, on any device, viewing any type of digital content is about to have a very real and sudden impact on the wireless world.”