Technology

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Challenges the Technology Industry Faces

Higher Bandwidth Requirement with Increasing Migration to Cloud

Cloud solutions have gained immense traction, and every organization— be it an SME or large enterprise — is adopting them for their cost benefits and usability. Network connectivity is a vital issue associated with cloud solutions, as handling large volumes of data requires high bandwidth, which adds to the company's expenditure. The introduction of AI, IoT, and other technologies has necessitated competent data handling infrastructurein terms of data centers, raising the demand for higher bandwidth.

Strict Regulatory Policies

Cloud and virtualization technology has recorded enormous growth. Due to its low resource utilization capacity that forms a base factor in the current IT model, it has taken the industry to new heights. However, on the counter side, certain regions/countries implement a user privacy model that would result in an unsolved challenge for the industry. GDPR, Data Protection Act, and various others would result in reframing their architecture and necessitating new approaches for storing user data, like per-user keys and others.

 

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Where the industry is heading

 

Artificial intelligence and smart machine gaining rapid attention within the industry

Artificial intelligence, parallel with machine learning, is gaining early traction in predicting patterns that humans fail to identify. Intelligent machines, combined with AI technology, can instigate changes and help solve problems unidentifiable by humans.

One use case is that of the U.S. army. The U.S. Army integrates artificial intelligence measures from Uptake Technologies in vehicles mainly used in peacekeeping missions for repair purposes. This action would reduce irregular maintenance and hone in on machine components that are more likely to deteriorate or get damaged. Predictive vehicle repairs can grow and extend to civilian purposes in the coming years.

Medical AI is another trend that is presenting a lucrative opportunity. Given patient information and risk factors, AI systems can predict the outcome of treatment and even estimate the length of a hospital visit.

Business Process Outsourcing Set to Experience a Golden Era in Coming Years

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The BPO industry is gaining rapid traction in the service sector and has reached a market value of around USD 95 billion in 2020. In the past few years, several areas, such as e-commerce, fintech, and healthcare,have opted for BPO methodologies to streamline their activities. Below are some of the statistics related to the BPO industry.

  • Around 60% of global business processes are outsourced to help organizations focus on their core functionalities
  • 17% of enterprises have firmly stated that outsourcing helps in broader transformational changes
  • 78% of organizations are estimated to have a positive relationship with their outsourcing partners
  • 37% of companies are outsourcing accounting processes
  • Followed by accounting and IT services, 34% of organizations are outsourcing digital marketing processes

Finally, though automation and AI are set to cut jobs, several outsourcing trends,such as tailored outsourcing and omnichannel, are expected to keep the BPO industry lucrative.

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Solutions

We provide customized research solutions through a holistic approachto help our clients achieve their goals. Our solutions cover the inclusions listed below.

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Impact

Straits Research allows enterprise software leaders to significantly impact their business ecosystem in the rapidly evolving technology industry. Our consultants had delivered comprehensive insights that have helped clients strengthen their internal capabilities and consolidate digital and analytical tools into their business ecosystems. As a result of our consulting services for potential products and their market penetration, our clients have been able to transform their strategic standard operating procedures to improve their business sustainably.

As an example of one of our success stories, our research team supported a technology and telecom company based in Spain with in-depth market insights and a comparative analysis of products.  As a result, our client partnered with one of the leading software companies to develop a holistic software module that eventually made a tremendous sales transformation. We have also helped clients respond to widespread disruptive trends, the transition from hardware to software built capabilities, and transform product portfolios from conventional machine-based to cloud-based, thereby generating new sources for revenue growth.

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Covid-19: What happened and the What next

Impact of COVID-19 on IoT Industry

 

IoT Industry Overview Before the COVID-19 Pandemic

Internet of Things (IoT) has dramatically transformed the wireless communication landscape.IoT technology cannot be considered as a standalone terminology; it’s an umbrella concept. The figure below showsthe ranking of IoT components, depicting their importance in market growth and future implications.

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Open Source Technologies Bolstering IoT-Based Working Model

The integration of open source tools with IoT technology has garnered widespread attention in the past few years, bolstered by automation and digitalization in the commercial and industrial sectors. For instance, the rising popularity of Industrial IoT (IIoT) has substantially promoted the use of HTML5 and various open-source version of TCP/IP tools. Additionally, MQTT, an open-source messaging protocol used explicitly in the IIoT, has been accepted widely. This scenario has paved the way for prominent companies to enter in the open-source project, thereby contributing to the development of various tools and packages, and subsequently raising the acceptance level of open-source consortium.

Below figure depicts the plan for implementing IoT solutions based on open-source tools:

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From the above figure, it is clear that around 60% (Mix of the closed and open-source  + high dependence on open source) respondents are full-fledged to integrate open source technologies in their IoT platforms. Additionally, the establishment of various open-source consortiums such as the Open Process Automation Forum and the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance widen the market scope of IoT with their open-source measures.

Promising Future: A Lucrative Growth Estimation

The market for IoT today is worth around USD 210 billion,foreseen to reach close to 1.5 trillion by 2025 (estimation is done before COVID-19 scenario). Taking into such a lucrative growth trajectory, various companies have entered the market with their enormous investments.

Investment and Merger and Acquisition Activities
IoT Investment

From the period 2017 (Q1) to 2018 (Q2), there were around 100 recorded IoT funding rounds per quarter, with 2018 (Q2)recording investments to the tune of USD 874Million. As per the analysis, there is a clear indication that IoT investment volume has reached a stable stage with the second quarter of 2018 a 1% IoT investments decrease from Q1/2018, and a 20% IoT investments increase year-on-year.

To make things more transparent, we have divided the IoT investment scenario into the following types:hardware, connectivity, storage and platforms, analytics, applications, and security.

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Merger and Acquisition

There were around 69 mergers and acquisitions in 2017 and 2018, as per the data analysis, IoT started to gain wide popularity around 2013/2014, and investors often have a 5+ year investment cycle. It is therefore expected that there will be more exits and acquisitions in the coming months. Some notable recent additions include IoT networking solution specialists, Silver Spring Networks by Itron, French security-specialist Gemalto by Thales Group, and IoT Platform Relayr by MunichRe.

COVID-19 Impact on the IoT Market

Although COVID-19 has an unprecedented impact on society and economy, there persist some strong indications that certain technologies will probablywitness an accelerated adoption, as people will become more digitalizedconsidering the current trend of working from home.

Now lets us look into the impact of COVID-19 on IoT technology, from a general point of view we would consider that IoT would endure an adverse effect, however, the ratio of positive to negative impact for IoT is around 1:8, which indicates that IoT technology is set to gain new levels within the pandemic period.

Positive Impact

Remote Asset Gaining Wide Attention

Various remote access and conferencing tools havewitnessed substantial acceptance due to its ease of connectivity, thereby streamliningthe communication between people living in different corners of the world. One of the platforms that have gained a vast demand within these days is Zoom,a videotelephony and online chat servicecloud-based platform.It enables remote connection with machines and performs virtual inspections, remote diagnostics as well as remote support. Another firm Librestream also reported a 2x growth in its remote software usage. This scenario hints at apotentialmarketplace for various new entrants, thereby engendering a highly competitive situation.

Drones: A BoonDuring the Crisis

Unmanned aerial vehicles and drones have achieved a wide range of acceptance, owing to its usage in various use cases. Portrayed below are some of the primary use cases of drones:

  • One of the prominent solutions is for medical delivery purpose, E.g., Zhao Liang, COO at Antwork, said, “During the past month, our drone delivery system in Xinchang County has helped local hospitals with more than 300 flights delivering medical samples and medicines related to the COVID-19 virus”.
  • For broadcasting messages and surveillance to stop the outbreak of COVID-19.
  • For spraying, e.g., on Jan. 30, agricultural drone manufacturer XAG Co. Ltd. and Huawei converted 2,600 smart robots and drones into disinfectant sprayers.

There has also been a massive demand for agricultural drones during the coronavirus outbreak, as various countries have stopped importing food products from other countries. Backing this situation, XAG, one of the prominent agrarian drone makers in China, delivered around 4000 units of agricultural drones that will help house agrarian crop production.

Smart City Encouraging Adoption of IoT Solutions

The smart city solution provided an impetus to the data platform solutions to avoid the outbreak crisis and handle it effectively. South Korea, which has dealt with the COVID-19 effectively, utilized its smart city data hub to investigate epidemiological investigators’ requests and obtain and confirm data about coronavirus cases and people they had come into contact with. Similarly, other cities, such as Boston, built up new platforms as the pandemic spread.

Negative Impact
Reduction in CapEx Cost to Affect Market

As the supply and demand ratio is on the restraining path, companies have focused on cost reduction, thereby putting a halton further expansion. Oil companies are one of the prominent ones that have hit adversely by the COVID-19 crisis, one of recent news about the price drop to USD zero/ barrel depicts the worst-case scenario.Major companies such as Exxon have reduced their capital expenditure plan for 2020 by 30% or more. Within these, most CAPEX will be related to technology-low investments such as new oil rigs; it can be expected that non-necessary tech will also see a reduction.

Conclusion

Thus, from the above analysis, it has become clear that through major technologies has its worst-case condition during the pandemic, IoT is set to reach a newer level, thereby placing an overall fertile scenario for the market growth.

 

Impact of COVID-19 on Video Conferencing Solution Market

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The on-going COVID-19 crisis has urged people globally to maintain a social distance, thereby breaking the chain and restricting the outbreak of this disease significantly. Thus to support these measures, all businesses and educational institutes have implemented travel restrictions and opted for work from home (WFH) and remote learning practices.

To keep the business running during the lockdown and enable smoother communication flow, most organizations have incorporated several communication tools. Within this period, technologies that have witnessed a positive impact is — video conferencing and chats applications.

Remote Working and Learning Policy in Education and Business Sector

Mandatory regulations laid down by various government bodies and the World Health Organization (WHO) to effectuate social distancing has dramatically raised the importance of remote access technology. Recent data by Straits Research depicts that WFH policy has set a new growth record in the number of unique users and the existing ones, thereby resulting in a double-digit growth of the video conferencing solutions. The below figure depicts the overall statistics about video chat apps amid the lockdown period.

Not First Time: Pandemic Bolstering Video Conferencing Market

A fact worth considering is — it is not the first time that the video conferencing market has experiencedsuch elevation in its demand. In the past scenarios, such as September11, the SARS outbreak also compelled businesses to use video conferencing solutions. But the impact did not last long; only around 8% of the meeting rooms were enabled with video conferencing solutions. On the other hand, the case of COVID-19 appears to be different and is predicted to have a long term positive effect on remote learning and working procedure.

The technical features difference is one of the critical factors that put this technology growth in two scenarios in different buckets; conventional video conferencing technology had a complex operational structure with higher cost. However, the current generation of technology comes with easy-to-deploy features, with a reasonable price, thereby allowing enterprises of all sizes to adopt it.

Governments Implementing Video Conferencing Solution

This growth trend is estimated to translate into an exponential growth trajectory as notable government bodies and organizations have made it mandatory to continue their operations using these solutions. One recent news that highlights these trends is the Supreme Court's announcement that it will remain the case hearing through video conferencing solutions.

Long-Term Impact

It is now evident that the video conferencing solution market will witness a lucrative market scenario in the coming years. There is an increased awareness among the users regarding the remote working scenario. Along with these, the following are the factors that will shape the market growth

Strong Growth for Freemium Models

Freemium-based applications such as slack, zoom, and others were in the phase of single-digit market growth; however, the COVID-19 outbreak brought millions of users seeking toadopt video collaboration technology to connect with people. This dramatic growth trend will lead to higher than expected conversion rates over the mid-to-long term.

Cloud- and Hardware-as-a-Service

In this whole scenario, as “As-a-Service” models are gaining remarkable traction due to their cost reduction operational model, thereby reducing the stress on IT budgets and allowing meeting rooms to operate on single OpEx-based contract and finally allowing the enterprise to scale up and down as the per the load flexibly.

Key Players: Video Conferencing Market

Cloud-based video conferencing solutions and service providers are experiencing an unprecedented growth rate; for instance, Pexip, a video conferencing service provider, has achieved a whopping 200% during the past three months. Similarly, BlueJeans have seen global usage growth three times, and Fuzesaw an increase in meetings by 251% during the past few weeks. Some of the prominent players operating in the market are 8x8, Amazon Chime, AT&T, Avaya Spaces, Bluejeans, CafeX, Cisco Webex, Google Hangouts Meet, Lifesize, LogMeInGoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, PGi, RingCentral, Slack, and Zoom.

Cisco Webex

  • As per the latest Cisco results, their Webex has reported around 6.7 billion meetings in March and is hosting more than 4 million meetings a day globally. This number is higher as compared to 6 billion meeting minutes per month announced in January.
  • As of March 10, volume on Webex Teams messaging increased 35% from February’s daily highs.
  • Its larger audiences were reported from the countries, including Japan, Singapore, China, and South Korea.

Microsoft

  • On March 13, Microsoft revealed that the Teams collaboration platform had seen a 500% increase in meetings, calls, and conferences.
  • Teams also saw a 200% increase in usage on mobile devices in China since January 31.

Neat

  • Neat has reported a double-digit growth rate in the sale of its all in one video appliances, and orders for the further period are estimated to triple.
  • Based on its this colossal growth rate, the company's revenue projection is estimated to be five times higher than its original projections.

Zoom

  • In an overnight, Zoom's stock value increased by 58% as it gained a high installation rate, specifically in school and college students, church and concert-goers, and families and friends looking to connect amid social distancing.
  • As per the data released by Apptopia, On March 11, 343,000 people globally downloaded the Zoom app, 60,000 in the U.S., compared to 90,000 people worldwide.
Conclusion

Due to the diverse nature of growing businesses, there has been a challenge in face-to-face collaboration. Thus, there is a pressing need for highly flexible collaboration software.