Deloitte has published a new report outlining what it sees as the key technology trends of 2017. The sixteenth edition of the company’s annual Technology, Media and Telecoms Predictions report (TMT) covers a range of technologies, from biometrics and cyber security to 5G networks and IT as a service.
Among its predictions are an increase in the use of fingerprint reader-equipped devices, mainly smartphones and tablets, to more than one billion units early in 2017. Each sensor will be used, on average, 30 times a day, resulting in more than 10 trillion aggregate uses globally.
Nine out of 10 fingerprint-enabled devices will be smartphones or tablets: around 40% of all smartphones in developed countries are predicted to incorporate a fingerprint reader by the end of the year, up from 30% in mid-2016.
Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte, said: “Billions of smartphones and tablets are expected to be capable of processing and collecting multiple types of biometric inputs, including face recognition, voice pattern and iris scan in 2017, but usage of fingerprints will lead the way.”
He added: “The fingerprint has proven to be the most popular form of biometric security on smartphones and the concept of fingerprint security is becoming increasingly normalised. As fingerprint security becomes more common, consumers will find it easier – and be more willing – to pay for goods and services using their smartphones.” A second key trend is the growth of IT-as-a-Service, with worldwide spending expected to grow by more than 50%, from $361 billion in 2016 to just under $550 billion worldwide by the end of 2018.
IT-as-a-Service’s flexible consumption model appeals to businesses of all sizes for many reasons: it provides the hardware, software and support needed based on the requirements of the business; is scalable if these needs change; and has a regular, predictable expense. By 2021 or 2022, it is expected to account for more than half of IT expenditure.
This year should also see significant strides towards the launch of 5G, the fifth generation of cellular networks, with commercial availability of enhanced 4G (or 5G-lite) services, including LTE-Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro. Deloitte predicts that by the end of 2017, one quarter of the world’s carriers (200 out of 800) will be offering LTE-A across some of their network; over 20 should have LTE-A Pro networks.
These will have many of the core 5G network components and will acquaint users, businesses and operators with several of the most important features of 5G networks, including significantly higher speeds in the 100s of Mbit/s, lower latency and support for low-power IoT devices and sensors.
Unfortunately, 2017 will see no let up in cyber security risks. Indeed, Deloitte warns that Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are likely to become larger in scale, harder to mitigate and more frequent. It is expecting more than 10 million attacks this year, with junk data being sent at an average of between 1.25 and 1.5 Gbit/s (gigabits per second).