Technology Industry News & Trends, September 2016
Below is the technology industry news & trends report for September 2016. You can also check out our latest news & trends report to be in the loop of what’s shaping the tech industry landscape today.
September passed quickly, but still delivered many interesting elements in the technology industry and we’ll have a look at them. Certainly a couple of the most interesting news were the Angular 2 release and the announcement of unified .Net Standard libraries by Microsoft. We’ll discuss that and more in our report.
Google announced the release of Angular 2. The new version will significantly improve the productivity of delivery. Thanks to more capable versions of the Router, Forms, and other core APIs, Angular 2 will meet today’s needs for powerful tools for development of sophisticated apps. The framework retained its modularity and flexibility. Angular 2 provides a wide range of new features: 1) bug fixes and non-breaking features for APIs marked as stable; 2) more guides and live examples specific to your use cases; 3) more work on animations; 4) Angular 2 material; 5) moving WebWorkers out of the experimental stage; 6) more features and more languages for Angular Universal; 7) greater speed and payload size improvements.
- Crystal might gain popularity by bringing C language benefits to Ruby’s ecosystem.
- Also a Ruby community member, Elixir, is focused oncreating high-availability, low-latency systems.
Microsoft is going to simplify the .Net development by providing new unified .Net Standard Library. This step should significantly boost multiplatform development and make the code-sharing easier. As a result, the boundaries between .Net Framework, .Net Core and Xamarin will be blurred. Microsoft is going to launch updated versions of .Net Core, Xamarin, and UWP that will add APIs to support .Net Standard 2.0.
Oracle expands the number of languages available in Oracle Application Container Cloud. PHP is ready and Ruby is expected to move to the Oracle Cloud in 3-4 months. MySQL databases were also added to developers’ arsenal. It will enable running databases like Cassandra or MongoDB in the Oracle Cloud. The technology giant aims to motivate the development of scaling apps with Oracle.
TECH.CO named key web design trends for startups. In order to succeed, young companies must keep their savvy Internet audiences engaged in their websites. They can do that by keeping the following designs in mind:
- Stationary Navigation. This feature keeps all links accessible to your audience, making it especially user-friendly.
- It’s really much easier than clicking and friendlier to the eyes when trying to become familiar with new material. This trend already in the mobile and tablet space is now coming to desktops.
- An example of less is more, they convert a lot of information to small space and provide pleasing symmetry.
- Innovating UI Patterns. This falls in with another group of important UI trends like the hamburger menu, account harvesting, etc.
- Animation + Demonstration Videos. The number of these tools is growing. They deliver an abundance of information in a clear and compact way.
- Material Design. It crafts more realistic images employing shadows and contrast to deepen user engagement.
Internet of Things
Business has a more positive view of Internet of Things (IoT) than it did a year ago. This is the opinion of 80 percent of the 512 businesses and IT executives surveyed by CompTIA. The survey shows that IoT technologies are commonly associated with connected devices, smart solutions, and integrated systems. Interest is strongly driven by adoption: 60 percent of organizations have started an IoT initiative and 23 percent plan to start an IoT project by the end of this year. Nevertheless, only 20 percent of the projects will move to maturity by 2020. Forty-five percent of the respondents are going to allocate new budgets for IoT initiatives. The businesses mainly expect to strengthen 5 key areas of operation: 1) Cost savings from operational efficiencies; 2) New/better streams of data to improve decision-making; 3) Staff productivity gains; 4) Better visibility/monitoring of assets throughout the organization; 5) New/better customer experience. At the same time, the research identified security as the biggest challenge for IoT projects.
IoT technologies will revolutionize the retail industry. It should boost eCommerce, which shows no signs of slowing. Year over year eCommerce is gaining its share in retail. It occupied 8.1 percent of total retail in Q2 2016, compared with 7.1 percent a year earlier. Experts believe that retail will be driven by the following IoT development factors: beacons (the installed base will soar from 0.096 million in 2015 to 3.5 million in 2018), digital signage (market size of such devices will account for $23.7 billion in 2020, rather than $15.8 billion in 2015) and other, more sophisticated devices like smart shelves, smart mirrors and bots. As a result, retail industry sales will reach $2.356 trillion in 2018. Note that eCommerce was valued at $1.058 trillion in 2015.
Big Data & Data Science
Big Data usage has become a common business practice over last five years, especially in the USA, which remains the largest and most developed market. Three percent of decision-makers say that they already have Big Data projects and another 30 percent admitted that they are planning adoption in the next 12 months. The Big Data solution market is expected to grow 12.8 percent CAGR over 2016-2021. The growth will be significantly accelerated by the NoSQL (25 percent CAGR) and Hadoop (32.9 percent) sub-segments.
The combination of Big Data analytics and Industrial IoT could solve a wide range of problems in manufacturing. As a result, 68 percent of surveyed manufacturing executives declared that they already invest in Big Data analytics and Industrial IoT solutions and plan to continue spending over the next 12 months. The businesses expect to get the following benefits from such project implementations 1) well-informed decisions in real-time (63 percent); 2) operating-cost optimization by reducing wasted resources (57 percent); 3) the risks of downtime predictions (56 percent); 4) significantly increasing the accuracy of maintenance and repair schedules (51 percent); 5) defining quality problems and defects in work products (43 percent); 6) workload predictions (43 percent). The solutions based on industrial IoT and big data analytics will improve the following aspects of the manufacturing process: real-time decision-making, supply-chain management, resource management, increased speed and safety of the manufacturing process.
Baidu open sourced internally-developed deep-learning software “PaddlePaddle.” The company aimed to make access to deep learning easier for developers who don’t have much deep-learning experience. Earlier the same step was made by Google when it opened its own deep-learning software TensorFlow.
Blackstorm raised $33.5 million to disrupt Android and iOS domination as key software distribution platforms. The aim of the company is to create an alternative distribution place for messenger, apps within app environments, IoT and mobile browsers with special focus on the post-apps environment. Currently, the startup already has two products Neo Store and a development environment that can be used across multiple types of UX.
Since 2008, only iOS users have downloaded over 140 billion apps worldwide, nevertheless, the mobile apps market still remains a high potential for growth. The US measurement company comScore reveals that 49 percent of US smartphone owners download zero apps in a typical month. The download activity continues to be low. At the same time, about half of the app downloads are being done by 13 percent of the users. Alternative investigations provide different results. Tune, the mobile-app advertising company, says that 75 percent of US owners download at least one app per month.
Gartner expects that the global public cloud market will soar to $208.6 billion in 2016 from $178.0 billion in 2015. The most rapidly growing segment will be IaaS with 42.8 percent growth at the same time SaaS has projected only 21.7 percent growth. The main drivers of market growth are the IT modernization, fact business savings, innovation, and agility. Furthermore, despite the high growth rate, there are a lot of businesses that currently have no plans to use the cloud. We assume that some of them might change their views and boost public cloud market growth in the future.
Evernote moves to Google’s Cloud Platform from its private cloud. The note-taking and productivity startup covers around 200 million users. The company data accounts for 5 billion notes. In addition to cloud services, Evernote will use Google’s machine learning APIs to help process data in a different way. Evernote`s CTO noted that Google will not have the access to user’s data. While it is known that Google beat Microsoft in the competition, the terms of collaboration were not disclosed.
IBM announced the new cloud offerings for their clients: zSystems and the IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management. The services were launched as open source. These features and services will help simplify the movement of data across the hybrid cloud. The company expects to boost its hybrid cloud services operations. So far IBM bet on the demand for flexibility by supporting the Open Software Ecosystem.
Accenture beats expectations on quarter revenue. The company`s officials associated the exceptional results with the rise of security, cloud, and analytics services segments. The company has already spent $930 million on acquisitions compared to $800 a year before. The digital service firm plans to continue gaining investment activities. The special focus for future investments are digital, cloud, and security services. This year the security segment has already returned about 40 percent of revenue.
Fintech starups will soon need to change their development strategies. The goal of reaching $1 bln is not as good as it used to be. The ledger financial service players are not ready to take over startups, which significantly exceed unicorn size. The assumption is supported by the fact that three of the biggest fintech deals were Climate Corp ($1.1 billion in 2013), Trustwave ($810 million in 2015), and Braintree ($800 million in 2013). The startups, which rapidly gained value, usually moved into the stage of uncertainty due to the absence of development strategy and unpreparedness of business model. As a result, the value usually sinks, which is unacceptable to investors. Consequently, it’s pretty clear the fintech entrepreneurs should clearly define their strategic goal: merging or operating as the separate business.
BNP Paribas partnered three crowdfunding platforms (Lendosphere, Enerfip, and Lumo) to support the French government initiative that allows private companies to issue mini-bonds. The project would be based on BNP Paribas’ blockchain technology platform. The core value of the project is quick, efficient, and secure processing of mini-bonds issues registration and transactions recording. The bank officials emphasize that distributed ledger technologies are especially useful for private companies’ fundraising solutions.
Travel & Booking
Travel tech is demonstrating significant decline in investment activities over 2016. Total travel startup funding dropped 44 percent the first half of 2016 compared with the first half of 2015. Last year by the same time, travel tech earned over $2,654 versus $1,494 million this year. Simultaneously, the number in the first half of 2016 was even more than in the same period of 2015, but the 3Q 2016 put everything in its place, due to strong downward trend. Travel technology investments would look even worse if Airbnb was excluded. Airbnb remains on top of the well-funded travel startups ratings. The research covers travel techs focused on tourism, booking and supplementary products and services. Statistics also exclude the booking services like Uber and Didi Chuxing. The research also shows that the number of deals with US travel techs has declined since 2012.
Google improves its presence in the travel industry by updating its Destinations tool and Google Trips mobile app launch. The services allow Google users to compare pricing for hotels, get personalized travel guides, and track activities such cars, flights, etc. This step is particularly important both for Google and the travel industry, especially in the view of the shift to mobile (86 percent of total digital travel booking via mobile by 2019). The corporation aims to boost its platform engagement. As such an all-inclusive platform driven by custom content might be very useful.
Retail & eCommerce
VR is continuing its integration into everyday life. This time it’s the fashion industry. Rebecca and brother Uri Minkoff partnered in a startup to create the mobile app called Zeekit, which aims to help women select the right clothes and see how they look on them. The Minkoffs expect that the VR app will boost sales of their brand. They expect shopping habits will change and that the app will appeal to the youth market.
Looking at the leader of the traditional retail industry, TechCrunch argues that the future of retail is in the digital world. Walmart is preparing the great shift to eCommerce. It’s trying to move in that direction with its Jet.com acquisition. The company reported only 0.7 percent growth in the first half year while the company`s eCommerce revenue increased by 11.8 percent, but performed less successfully than the eCommerce market did. Walmart must change its business strategy to survive. Rivals like Amazon have at least two strong competitive advantages 1) They gather a lot of information about their clients, as opposed to the brick-and-mortar giant who knows nothing about its customers; 2) The strong delivery services of eCommerce companies will stimulate consumers to stay at home and not spend their time on trips to traditional shops.
Aviation & Transportation
Uber is targeted to move into the trucking industry. The company has recently acquired the long-haul trucking startup called Otto. The deal was valued at $680 million. The company was established this January and is backed by $68 million in funding. The Uber brand and significant support could open many opportunities for the company. The goal is building a freight network to connect shippers and carriers like Uber already uses to connect taxi and passengers. Nevertheless, some experts are skeptical about Otto’s success because it’s in a low margin $700 billion industry.
Logistics stands on the threshold of great change: AI, robotics, IoT and blockchain will rock the industry. The cutting-edge technologies aim to make logistics and warehousing cargo traffic optimal, unmanned, fully trusted, highly connected, and finally it will bring us to whole automation. The transformation process will take up 15 years and be based on the following conceptions: 1) Effectiveness through autonomous fleet; 2) Data becomes more important than fuel; 3) Assets employment minimization; 4) Emergence of e-brokerage platforms; 5) Blockchain in logistics.
Healthcare is the second most promising area of AR/VR usage, after gaming. The AR/VR technologies market is expected to reach $5.1 billion USD by 2025. The different researchers assume that about 25 percent of technology investments will go to healthcare during next 10 years. The AR/VR will spread significantly as soon as the cost of adoption and implementation drop. The 3D virtual world could address the wide range of cases in the medical world from educational models to controlled environment use to test, train or treat users.
Nielsen Marketing Cloud disclosed the details of the partnership with i2c (Sainsbury’s and Aimia joint project). The partners worked on the real business case on Carling’s promotion campaign. As a result companies reach 19 percent sales growth and 4.1X campaign ROI attributed was to the collaboration. The results were achieved thanks to the effective usage of programmatic media driven by data. Nilsen leverage i2c data with Nielsen Marketing Cloud. That permitted assessing the target audience in different views across a great number of characteristics. The partners have proven that programmatic media could successfully boost both online and offline sales.
Toluna acquired Crossense, the Nielsen incubated startup. The technology allows accessing the consumer`s behavior using the relationships between an individual’s media and eCommerce activities. The final idea is to map and determine the details of customer`s journey from viewed ads and watched products and services videos to purchases. Crossense is the first company accelerated through the Nielsen Innovate fund. The deal’s details were not revealed.