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Home >> Dec 2009 >> IN FOCUS >> Figures at your finger tips >>

Figures at your fingertips

Forecasting is hardly an exact science, but research into historic trends can provide insight into the direction markets may take. International and local research houses share their predictions for what the future holds.

BY  Kimberly Guest , 2 December 20090 comments

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Internet banking embraced

In 2009, 100 percent acceptance of the internet as a banking platform was achieved among local corporate companies. So says local research and analysis firm BMI-TechKnowledge in a report entitled Electronic banking in the business and corporate sector.

The once-doubted technology has now become an essential part of business, with benefits including more control, immediate access, faster services, higher levels of convenience, and faster clearing of funds. Nevertheless, the question of cyber security will always be widely discussed, says BMI-T. Banks have invested millions in internet banking and security around it and are continuously upgrading their systems to ensure minimum loss to their customers. Cyber criminals also upgrade their knowledge, however, making this a perpetual game of catch-up.

Kenya eyes mobile entertainment

Mobile entertainment content and services have become a key growth driver for many Kenyan carriers, says a JBB Research report, especially when it comes to mobile web, mobile payment services, and ringtones. The report estimates that by the end of 2013, the total number of Kenyan mobile entertainment subscribers is expected to more than double. Revenue from this market is expected to reach a total of $165 million, up from $46 million in 2008, JBB says.

Kenyan mobile entertainment has also become more competitive with new entrants – e.g. Orange Kenya, and Essar Telecom Kenya – making inroads into the market. Safaricom’s M-PESA mobile payment system, used by seven million Kenyans, remains the uncontested leader; however, the level of competition in this arena has increased dramatically over the past few months, with five mobile payment services now available.

Activating citizens

By 2014, “citizen developers” will build at least 25 percent of new business applications, according to international research firm Gartner. This environment should both enable end users and free up IT resources; however, IT organisations that fail to capitalise on the opportunities that citizen development presents will find themselves unable to respond to rapidly changing market forces and customer preferences, the organisation says. Gartner defines a citizen developer as a user operating outside of the scope of enterprise IT and its governance, who creates new business applications for consumption by others either from scratch or by composition.

Financial sector leads IT

Companies in the financial, business and other services sectors are seen as forward-looking technology players. Not surprisingly, these industries make up around 35 percent of the total ICT expenditure in South Africa, according to BMI-T. This is followed by the trade sector, which makes up 19 percent, and the overall government sector, which makes up just over 16 percent of the total.

The financial industry also leads the way when it comes to [implementing] ICT technologies, including mobile, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Process Management (BPM) and next-generation self-service tools.

European CxOs big on mobility

European C-level executives all use or own notebooks or laptops, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan. The research showed that European CxOs prefer laptops/ notebooks over desktops due to advantages like portability and travel convenience.

According to the survey, smartphone ownership/usage increased dramatically from 2008 to 2009, as nearly twice as many European CxOs now own a smartphone.

This is likely due to smartphones’ advance of various applications. Nearly all European CxOs perceive smartphones to be strictly business phones, while standard phones are perceived as personal use phones.

Server virtualisation less widespread than thought

Although server virtualisation is not currently as widespread as many presume, the market is growing rapidly, according to Gartner. Only 16 percent of workloads are running in virtual machines today, but Gartner predicts that this will rise to around 50 percent of x86 architecture server workloads by the end of 2012, representing approximately 58 million deployed machines.

The fastest growing market for virtual machines is the small business sector, says Gartner. Tom Bittman, Gartner VP and analyst explains: “For years, the entry point was simply too high for small businesses, but increased competition by server vendors has enabled smaller fi rms to embrace virtualisation.”