Predictions: Key Trends in the Mobile Computing Space for 2014November 13, 2013 No Comments
In the article below, CEOs from four Scandinavian high tech companies offer their predictions for 2014.
Jerker Hellström, CEO, Handheld:
“Ruggedness and durability increasingly important for mobile devices – but continued uncertainty over operting systems”
- Ruggedish smartphones is a global trend – and traditional rugged computer makers are best equipped to supply truly rugged smartphones and tablets. The cracked display is a common sight these days. Due to consumer demand, the large cellphone and computer manufacturers are increasingly launching smartphones and other mobile devices that are rugged, or rather “ruggedish” – more durable but not truly rugged. This trend will continue but although the mass market devices will be more durable (more water and dust resistant) they will not be truly rugged (not shock resistant nor able to handle extreme temperatures). The traditional rugged computer makers will still be best positioned to supply professional field workers – and anyone who wants a really rugged device – with mobile computers and smartphones due to e.g. their competence and experience of manufacturing rugged mobile computers, their comprehensive service and support plans, and their focus on life cycle management.
- Powerful means durable. The definition of a ‘powerful computer’ will shift from having significant processing power to having power over the elements that they need to operate in. Computers and smartphones are increasingly mobile and are used in different places, and exposed to different elements. For instance, a smartphone is taken out of a pocket every six minutes. This means more frequent exposure to the elements. So there will be a higher demand for environmental specifications rather than technical specifications.Continued uncertainty over operating systems. Although the industry is increasingly supporting Android for future PDA devices, the uncertainty will remain over which operating systems will provide the best combination of enterprise and personal computing. Microsoft windows mobile or windows embedded used to be the one, but now it can be Android or iOS as well. Google now owns Motorola’s mobile device entity and Microsoft owns Nokia… while Apple has all the time been both about operating system and hardware. So none of the corporations that develop the major operating systems are uncommitted or impartial. A perfect scenario for ongoing changes and disruption.
- Continued uncertainty over operating systems. Although the industry is increasingly supporting Android for future PDA devices, the uncertainty will remain over which operating systems will provide the best combination of enterprise and personal computing. Microsoft windows mobile or windows embedded used to be the one, but now it can be Android or iOS as well. Google now owns Motorola’s mobile device entity and Microsoft owns Nokia… while Apple has all the time been both about operating system and hardware. So none of the corporations that develop the major operating systems are uncommitted or impartial. A perfect scenario for ongoing changes and disruption.
Jerker Hellström is the founder and CEO of Handheld, a fast-growing manufacturer of rugged mobile computers, PDAs and smartphones. He is a pioneer and industry veteran in the mobile rugged computer industry. In both entrepreneurial and managerial positions, he has more than 25 years of experience from developing, designing, manufacturing and marketing rugged computers globally. Jerker´s educational background is in engineering and computer science. See http://www.handheld-us.com/regions/us/.
Sven Hammar, CEO,Apica:
“A new faster Internet – with optimized protocols”
- A new faster Internet. Internet giants like Google, AWS and Apple are investing in making the Internet faster. A faster web serves more content, adds and searches, which by end of the day, means revenues for companies like Google, Apple and many e- retailers etc. Applications and the protocols need to be made more efficient to avoid a painfully (for users) slow web. So, in order just to keep up with the traffic, web sites need to improve its speed by 25 to 50 per cent. HTML5 by itself is good, but the big upside comes with the use of the different binary protocols and content optimization tools. By the end of 2014, the use of optimized protocols like WebSockets, SPDY, Protobuf, and content optimization will become mainstream.
- Cloud downtime online showstopper for business. With even giants like Amazon and Google experiencing web outages, we are likely to see more setbacks during 2014. The increasing traffic volume and much more complex applications will become a challenge even for the big web sites. We will see some real and quite humiliating showstoppers in 2014 for on-line business. E-commerce companies need to start preparing for 2014 with real outside testing failover between data centre and vendors, recovery time, trigger validation, data consistency and fall-back procedure.
- Overload traffic. Content delivery network (CDN) gets a new angle. Social media has brought a new level of risk to IT departments as a new type of traffic spike emerges. Now, in addition to traditional hacking, websites need to be aware of social media driven ”attacks” that can change traffic levels of 100 Gb/s or more from real users. Regardless of whether the attack is a malicious hack, or a Facebook post or, an organized tweet – very few enterprise infrastructures can handle this load. Normal DDoS protection will not work. Only large CDN providers will be able to absorb the load without caving in.
- Mobile hacking. With new and much improved services for mobile such as banking, gaming etc., hackers have found new targets. The combination of traditional web hacking and knowledge about apps and mobile operating systems will create a new battleground. There are no new crimes, only new venues. And with the explosive growth of mobile services, it would be naïve to think that this field will remain unobserved by the criminal hacker networks.
Sven Hammar is founder and CEO of Apica, a provider of load testing and performance monitoring for cloud and mobile applications and one of Europe’s fastest growing technology companies (Deloitte’s ”Fast 500” list). Mr. Hammar is a serial entrepreneur who has founded several successful IT companies. See http://www.apicasystem.com/
David King, CEO, Flexenclosure:
“Increasing global interest for prefabricated modular data centers”
- Increasing interest for prefabricated modular data centres to cope with the expected data boom in developing countries. Developing countries are next in line for a data boom, but infrastructure is a big challenge. High quality, efficient data centres are essential to house and power all the equipment needed for transmission of data, but traditional brick and mortar data centres take a lot of time to plan, co-ordinate and construct in most developing countries. Instead, many operators are choosing pre-fabricated modular data centres. They are flexible, energy efficient and much quicker to deploy and will in most cases save considerable time and money compared to brick and mortar buildings. We will see an increasing number of mobile operators, ISPs and other companies owning their own data centres choosing prefabricated modular data centres in 2014 – and not only in developing countries.
- Tower companies focusing on reliability and OPEX. Specialised tower companies taking over ownership and/or management of telecom sites from mobile operators is already a very strong trend that will accelerate yet further in 2014. Providing fully managed sites to operators on a leased basis as its core business, tower companies will put renewed focus on the reliability of power equipment and lowering the cost of operations – with green power solutions reducing diesel fuel consumption in an ever-increasing number of location.
- Tower companies will evolve beyond telecom sites. Without being fully established in all markets, tower companies are set to transform themselves into another breed of infrastructure owners. During 2014, especially in emerging markets, we will see tower companies taking broader ownership of ICT infrastructure, such as data centres. In principle there is little difference between being a tower company renting out space at a telecom site or being a hosting company providing rack space and power in a data centre. Some tower companies will consequently take advantage of the accelerating growth in data traffic and simply evolve to become ICT infrastructure owners.
David King is CEO of Flexenclosure, a specialist developer of hybrid power systems and pre-fabricated data centres for the ICT industry. Mr. King has decade-long experience from C-level work with many international high-tech companies, many in emerging markets. See www.flexenclosure.com.
Torbjörn Sandberg, CEO, Netadmin Systems:
“Broadband has become a utility – and Internet of Things will change the playfield”
- FTTH is a utility. With the emergence of Next Generation Access (NGA) networks soon being on a global scale, different strategies and business models are continuously developing. A high speed Internet connectivity is nowadays often regarded as a must-have for households and businesses alike. Many players are now regarding FTTH more as a utility and encourage the local community to co-invest in the future telecom infrastructure. With a long term approach, investment in new NGA infrastructure such as FTTH becomes increasingly interesting for investors. FTTH is more than just a commodity service – it’s a utility.
- The Internet of Things. More and more people are getting access to high speed broadband. It is clear that we are moving towards a scenario where close to everybody is connected with broadband. Traditionally operators have regarded their subscriber base as directly related to the number of connected consumers. The next big step will be the application of ICT in a range of different industries where machine-to-machine interaction will play a big role. Estimates point at a 30:1 ratio between devices and people which can be connected, thus enabling huge opportunities in what is often referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’. With home networking, e-Health and other machine-to-machine dependent markets emerging the playfield is changed again.
- Operational cost efficiency. These are challenging times for telecom operators, and driving operational cost efficiency will be one of the primary goals for the operators both today and tomorrow. With new, and innovative, NGA players entering more and more markets we see a higher competition for market shares as well as shrinking margins on broadband services. We also see OTT providers taking a substantial portion of the consumers’ budgets. The industry will undergo a transformation which is not far away from what has happened in the airline industry the last ten years. In this new reality operators needs to focus on providing faster and faster Internet connectivity, on a tight budget. This requires a renewed focus on operational cost efficiency, on many levels of the business; one being cost efficient support systems where the traditional end-to-end approach have proven to be a big risk as well as cost for many operators. One successful strategy in mitigating these risks and costs is by using standardized, flexible and easy-to-use Best of Breed systems, thus avoiding being fully dependent on a single support system provider.
Torbjörn Sandberg is CEO of Netadmin Systems, a market leader in OSS systems. He has more than 15 years of experience from leading positions in the data and telecom industry. See http://www.netadminsystems.com/.APPLICATION INTEGRATION, MOBILE