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Home >> Nov 2011 >> 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 of what the future holds.

BY  Tamsin Cracknell , 1 November 20110 comments


Social media revenue $29.1 billion by 2015, says Gartner

According to Gartner, worldwide social media revenue will amount to $10.3 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 41.4 percent over 2010.

Gartner’s research predicts growth to escalate through to 2015, when revenue will top $29.1 billion.

Neha Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner, explains: “Social networking sites, with the help of social analytics firms, are able to unlock the interconnected data structures of users, mapping lists of friends, their comments and messages, photos and all their social connections, contact information and associated media.”

For the purposes of this research, Gartner’s definition of ‘social media’ included websites where:

1) content is created, consumed, promoted, distributed, discovered or shared for purposes primarily related to communities and social activities, rather than functional, task-oriented objectives;

2) content usually takes the form of words, pictures or videos;

3) the website may be a closed or open platform; and

4) the flow of expression can be unidirectional or multidirectional.

Several revenue streams are identified as main contributors to the total, the largest of which is advertising, forecast to grow from $5.5 billion in 2011 to $8.2 billion in 2012. This includes display advertisements, as well as digital video commercials, on any device.

Social gaming is identified as another significant contributor, and is predicted to reach $3.2 billion in 2011, and $4.5 billion in 2012. This category includes games that are native to the website, as well as games from developers and publishers using the website as a platform.

Ad-led and ‘freemium’ models are highlighted as the dominant monetisation models in social gaming, with wall advertisements, in-game branding and in-game monetary or ‘virtual wallet’ transactions being the most common revenue streams.

Gartner also highlights social media subscription revenue, although its contribution is limited by the small number of social sites that charge subscription fees for enhanced services. Nonetheless, revenue is forecast to reach $236 million in 2011 and $313 million in 2012.

Says Gupta: “Market participants need to build new business models to tap into this increased usage and users’ increased level of engagement.”

Mimecast predicts mass e-mail migration

Mimecast’s Great E-mail Migration Report survey has revealed that 77 percent of IT managers plan to upgrade their e-mail systems in the next two years, and 57 percent in the next 12 months.

Mimecast calculates that if the average mid-sized business needs to migrate approximately 100GB of data in order to switch e-mail systems, this will translate into a total of 6.36 petabytes of data movement in the next 12 to 18 months – the equivalent of 127.2 million four-drawer filing cabinets of text.

“E-mail is the cornerstone of modern business communications, and a critical part of day-to-day workings for organisations of all types and sizes,” says Alan Kenny, GM for Mimecast UK and Ireland.

Five hundred IT and e-mail system decision-makers were surveyed by Mimecast. The most common reasons for e-mail migration are listed as exceeding storage limits (58 percent of respondents), time-consuming administration (47 percent) and uptime maintenance (42 percent). Eighty-six percent of respondents using Microsoft Exchange reported having version 2007 or older, indicating that renewals and upgrades are a driving force behind migration.

Mimecast cites the most common concerns over email migration as potential data loss (52 percent), e-mail downtime (44 percent) and managing the sheer volume of data (41 percent). Time investment is a concern, with 48 percent of respondents expecting migration to take longer than a day, and nine percent expecting the process to take a week or longer.

Cost is not a major concern, with 73 percent of respondents expecting to recoup their investment within a year.

Sixty-two percent of IT managers planning to upgrade within the next year will move to Microsoft Exchange 2010, and 21 percent are choosing hosted Microsoft Exchange.


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