Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010

Deloitte 2010 Tech Predictions Every year, Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry group publishes a set of predictions for the coming year.  So I was interested in taking a look at what was on their list for 2010 predictions. 

High on the list of predictions is the continued impact of the consumerization of IT, especially the trend where employees want their consumer devices to be able to access the corporate network.  Other hot trends include the rapid rise of mobile VOIP, mobile search, and advances in green technologies.

The Deloitte TMT team actually provides prediction lists in each of the three areas (Technology, Media & Telecommunications.  In this post I will focus on the predictions for Technology and save the media and telecommunications predictions for a potential future post.

Here’s a summary of Deloitte’s technology predictions

  1. Smaller Than A Netbook And Bigger Than A Smartphone: Net Tablets Arrive:  While the buzz last year was on netbooks, Deloitte says tablets will be the big story of 2010
  2. Moore’s Law Is Alive And Well In 2010.  Deloitte predicts the focus will be on developing chips that use less electricity, cost less, and are smaller.
  3. Cloud Computing:  More Than Hype, But Less Than Hyper.  Deloitte says growth will be strongest in consumer and SMB segments and has advice for cloud providers trying to reach large enterprise and government clients.
  4. Thinking Thin Is In Again:  Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) Challenge The PC.  Deloitte says 2010 could be a breakout year for VDI, with over 1million seats going thin.
  5. IT Procurement Stands On ITs Head.  IT will need to be more flexible as employees want their consumer devices to be able to access the corporate network.
  6. CleanTech Makes A Comeback, But Solar Stays In The Shadows.  Deloitte says Cleantech investments will grow in 2010, thanks in part to government spending.
  7. From Gray To Green:  Technology Reinvents Cement.  IT’s impact on reducing global CO2 emissions and construction costs can be significant.

With the Apple announcement looking like it is going to happen this week, I guess prediction number one is all lined up and ready to be realized.  The other 6 are good predictions/trends to highlight.   Numbers 6 and 7 are important, but I’m not sure our governments will continue to plow stimulus dollars into the economy.

For more information, you can access pdf reports of the technology predictions.  Deloitte offers both a summary report  and a longer detailed report.   For more on the Deloitte TMT predictions, check out the Deloitte Predictions website or listen to the 12 minute podcast

I’ve embedded the summary report mentioned above that I found out on slideshare.

IDC Insights: 10 Predictions for the North American Utilities industry

 IDC Energy 2010 PredicitonsIDC Energy Insights held its webinar “Top Ten Predictions for the North American Utilities Industry” today.   Rick Nicholson, Vice President of Research at IDC led the call.

During the call the analysts reviewed the important driving forces impacting impacting technology investment within the Utilities Industry for 2010.   Driving forces include energy efficiency and demand response programs, smart metering and the smart grid, renewable and distributed energy and other relevant technologies.

IDC mentioned that energy usage is expected to rebound in 2010 after a down year in 2009 which had an impact on industry-wide revenues.  Also, investments in cleantech is expected to rebound as access to credit improves in 2010.  A big factor in that will be the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Here’s my summary of the top ten predictions reviewed on the conference call:

  1. Energy Efficiency and Demand Response:  will continue to be the “first fuel” choice for electric utilities
  2. Renewable Energy:  Renewable capacity additions will exceed natural gas plant additions
  3. Energy Storage:  Utility-scale stationary energy storage will have its coming out party
  4. Intelligent Grid:  North American intelligent grid ICT spending reaches $18 billion by 2013
  5. Electric Vehicles:  First wave of electric vehicles and accompanying charging infrastructure will emerge
  6. Energy Commodity Trading:  Trading of energy commodities requiring IT support will recover and grow
  7. Sustainability:  Traditional generators will focus on managing their portfolio for sustainability
  8. Water Management:  Scarcity of clean water and availability of new technology will awaken the sleeping water market
  9. Smart Cities:   Smart cities will emerge as proving grounds for the intelligent economy
  10. IT Spending:  U.S. utility industry IT spending growth will accelerate dramatically

I remember back in the 90’s this industry was one of the lackluster (perhaps boring?) industries to be involved with from a technology perspective.  Nothing was really happening back then.  Today it is 180 degrees opposite.  There is so much going on right now to bring technology to this industry.  This is one exciting industry today….and I expect it will be that way for another decade or two.

For more information, IDC Insights has a bunch of resources for you.

NVCA: Venture Capital 2010 Predictions

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is out with its 2010 predictions, and the tone is cautiously optimistic.  The NVCA recently released its Venture View 2010, the annual predictions survey.  The NVCA survey was conducted from November 30 – December 8, 2009 and includes responses from more than 325 venture capitalists across the United States. 

  1. 2010 Investment: More Dollars into More Companies.  Sixty-three percent of all respondents expect venture investment dollar levels to remain the same or increase from 2009 with 44 percent forecasting a level between $21-25 billion.
  2. Clean Technology Continues to Garner Optimism.   Clean Technology is the industry where most VCs predict growth with 54 percent forecasting higher investment levels in 2010.
  3. Web Investments.   Nearly half of respondents expect Web investments to increase in 2010, with 15% betting on a decrease. 
  4. More Venture Dollars to Flow to Asia.   A majority of respondents believe that there will be more investment in Asia with 70 percent of VCs anticipating growth in China-based investments and 58 percent seeing greater investment levels in India in 2010.
  5. Later Stage Investment Predicted to Increase.  According the survey, most VCs expect the Growth Equity stage of development to increase with 55 percent of all respondents predicting increased investment there in 2010.
  6. Improving Exit Signs.   74% of the respondents believe there will be more than 20 IPOs next year with the average forecasted IPO volume at 26.3 offerings. Only 10 percent of VCs predict more than 50 IPOs.
  7. A Contracting Industry.  An overwhelming percentage of VCs (90 percent) predict that the number of venture capital firms will decline over the next five years

More information

Cleantech Group: 10 Cleantech Predictions for 2010

Cleantech090224_041 Cleantech Group has been providing a list of predictions for a number of years now.  Of course the predictions have to do with the Cleantech industry.  In this year’s version, Chairman Nicholas Parker ‘pens’ the list of ten trends to watch for in 2010. 

Here is the list.

  1. Private capital growth will recover.  The CleanTech Group believes that the amount of money from global venture capital and private equity in clean technology in 2010 will surpass that in 2009 “by a healthy margin” and could be a record year.
  2. Clean economies become the new space race.  Some countries / cities will lead the pack, others will wait and implement later. Greater protectionism surrounding the industry will be a drawback.
  3. Electric cars take the back seat to smart mobility.  The electric car trend will eventually influence urban design and planning. Governments’ tax incentives and budgets will be impacted.
  4. Resource constraints beyond carbon rise to the fore.   Watch for price spikes that impact clean technology sectors as the economy picks up.  This will push companies to use resources more efficiently in order to maintain or boost their profitability.
  5. Commodity trade-off debates intensify.  Look for trade-off debates in the areas of water and energy; land and energy; land and water and carbon and water.   The Cleantech Group predicts that more environmentalists will object to wind and solar projects because of how they use up swaths of land and obstruct the landscape views.
  6. Energy efficiency eclipses solar.  Innovations in information and communication technology, along with more policy support, will help create a boom in energy efficiency.
  7. Marketing suddenly matters. Cleantech Group says that branding will become more important as clean technology goes mainstream.  Marketing campaigns are likely to target more consumers instead of just businesses.
  8. Buffett leads the super rich into cleantech.  Cleantech Group points out how U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett has made plays in clean tech-related companies, including GE, Goldman Sachs and Chinese electric car battery maker BYD Co Ltd.  
  9. Acquisitions and consolidations accelerate.    Cleantech Group looks for the pace of consolidation to accelerate in countries with overcapacity like Germany and China.   
  10. The rise of waste-to-energy, geothermal and aquaculture, as part of a shift to more sustainable agriculture and food production.

For more detail, check out the full article Ten Clean Technology Predictions For 2010

From old to new, and a smarter planet


Found this interesting video on the IBM developerworks site. The title, "From old to new, and a smarter planet" describes not only the scene we see, but what we don't see.

developerWorks' Scott Laningham is our host for the less than 2 minute video which plays out on the roads of West Texas. He just couldn't pass up the symbolism of the setting — old oil wells rimmed by miles of wind turbines.

This past weekend, I was driving from St. Louis to Chicago and also saw miles and miles of wind turbines off in the distance. To some these are an eyesore, but to me they represent our future.

At the end of the video, Scott makes a plug for the Smarter Planet demo series on developerWorks.

House Passes Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2009

Wind energy currently makes up 2% of the total energy generation in the United States, but there is the potential for it to provide up to 20% with the right improvements in turbine technology, forecasting, energy storage, and expansion of transmission systems.

So it is great to see that the U.S. lawmakers are starting to focus on this area.  Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2009.  The bill, if eventually signed into law, would authorize a comprehensive program to improve the efficiency, reliability and cost effectiveness of domestic wind energy systems.

The bill would authorize the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program of research and development to improve the energy efficiency, reliability, and capacity of wind turbines; optimize the design and adaptability of wind energy systems; and reduce the cost of construction, generation, and maintenance of wind energy systems.

Specifically, this program would include:

  • Examination of new materials and designs to make larger, lighter, less expensive, and more reliable motor blades
  • Technologies to improve gearbox performance and reliability
  • Technologies to improve transmission from remotely located renewable resource rich areas
  • Low-cost transportable towers greater than 100 meters in height
  • Advanced computational modeling tools, control systems, blade sensors and advanced generators
  • Wind technology for offshore applications
  • Automation, materials, and assembly of large-scale components
  • Methods to assess and mitigate the effects of wind energy systems on radar and electromagnetic fields
  • Wind turbines with a maximum electric power production capacity of 100 kilowatts or less

The bill authorizes $200 million dollars per year from 2010 through 2014 for these programs.

Let’s hope this bill, or something like it, makes it way into law.

For more information

How Electric Utility Companies Are Adapting to Climate Change

I caught some news that the IBM Electric Utilities team is having a web-launch of an IBM sponsored report that reveals how electric utility companies around the world are adapting to climate change, based on their responses to the Carbon Disclosure Project 2008 questionnaire.   Sounds like an interesting report.  Find out how to attend the web-launch below.

The launch event explores the actions taken by electric utilities to assess and manage the risks brought about by climate change, whilst also identifying the opportunities that a changing climate will have on their business models.   It analyzes the current energy challenges, specific drivers for adaptation and provides senior executive level guidance on the actions needed to adapt and build business resilience to the impacts of climate change.   The report also recognizes that adaptation is an increasingly critical issue for governments, regulators, investors and the financial markets.

This unique event will also give the audience an opportunity to ask key questions to our expert panel. The report will address:

  • The Energy Revolution: this century will see unprecedented urbanization and intense competition for scarce resources, driven by population growth and economic development. A changing climate will exacerbate these challenges.
  • These climate impacts add up to significant changes in the demand for electricity against a backdrop of supply challenges, ageing assets, new technology, prescriptive regulation and impacts on asset performance and efficiency.
  • What will a successful electricity company of the future look like? Companies need to act upon the clear signals that climate change is already underway.
  • Consumer preferences and needs will also change; markets will open up in new locations and for new products and services. Those businesses that do not react fast enough will lose out to their competitors, whilst those that recognize the opportunities will gain competitive advantage and become electricity sector leaders.

As each year goes by and action is delayed, the direct and indirect costs arising from changing climatic conditions will increase, threatening the sustainability of those companies that are slow to react.

: At the launch event, the authors of the report will highlight the key points from the report and in the final session will form a panel to take questions from the audience.

  • Welcome address – Graham Butler, Executive Partner, Energy and Utilities Industry Leader, IBM UKISA
  • CDP context – James Howard, Project Director, The Carbon Disclosure Project
  • Introduction to the report – Michael Valocchi, Partner, Global Energy & Utilities Industry Leader, IBM
  • Building business resilience – John Firth, Chief Executive Officer, Acclimatise
  • IBM viewpoint – Graham Butler
  • Question and Answer session – Panel

TO REGISTER :  You can register to attend the launch by clicking at this link
Those not attending should register to access the replay easily.

8 Emerging CleanTech Investment Areas

A new report is claiming that, with an aggressive infrastructure investment, eight emerging technologies could meet 60 % of new energy demand by 2020.  It is also claiming that we could abate more CO2 than is necessary for climate stabilization in just 10 years.  

The report, titled  "The Gigaton Throwdown", was developed with the support of many, many people who are tied to the cleantech industry.  The effort was led, in part, by Sunil Paul, who is a founder of Silicon Valley’s Spring Ventures.

The report estimates that if annual global private investment in cleantech tripled between now and 2020, clean energy investments would be in line with fossil-fuel investments.   It is a lofty goal, but the authors say that if we are able to shift investment into ready cleantech solutions, the results would be world changing:  climate mitigation, energy security and 5 million new jobs planetwide.

The report highlights the eight emerging clean technology solution areas that are ready for investment and could yield the stated goals.

  1. Biofuels
  2. Building Efficiency
  3. Concentrating Solar Power
  4. Construction Materials
  5. Geothermal
  6. Nuclear
  7. Solar Photovoltaics
  8. Wind

According to the report each of the eight solutions listed above could feasibly deliver one giagaton of global energy, and each could avoid one gigaton of emissions from being discharged into the atmosphere by 2020, thus the idea for the name of the report.

Apparently the authors considered plug-in electric vehicles , but the projected adoption of this technology is predicted to be too slow to have an impact by 2020.

For more information:

2009 Venture Capital Investment Survey by Deloitte and NVCA

Deloitte and the NVCA  released their annual Venture Capital global survey findings last month.  The report found that (not surprising) VC firms have been cutting back in their funding of startups.   While it has been a difficult recession, the industry is making some adjustments.

Some summary findings

  • Portfolio Pruning.  51%  are decreasing the number of companies in which they plan to invest and just 13 percent are increasing this activity.
  • Cleantech:  The clean tech sector is poised to become the leading investment category.  Overall 60% of respondents say that cleantech investments are on the rise.  Among U.S., UK and Israeli investors, about half expect to increase their investments in cleantech, while about seven out of 10 AP respondents and European respondents expect their cleantech investments to increase.
  • Globalization:  Globalization of the venture capital industry will intensify in coming years, posing significant competitive questions for the United States, and opportunities for emerging markets such as China.
  • Regional Investments:  Investment levels are more likely to increase in countries outside the United States.  Governments of all countries have a crucial role to play in fostering competitiveness and innovation.  Specific findings include that 52% of the survey respondents are currently investing outside their home countries.  19% of respondents expressed that investment levels will rise in Israel,  50% believe that investment will increase in Asia (excluding India); 43% in India; 36% in South America; 25% in Europe and the UK; and 17% in North America.
  • Government:   66% of venture capitalists would like a tax break from their respective governments. 40% believe that government support for entrepreneurial activity is important; 31% would like governments to encourage more active public markets; and 29 percent believe improved access to private capital sources will help better support innovation.
  • Investment Timing:   According to 51% of the VCs, now is a good time to invest. Only 6 percent believe that it is not a good time to make investments.

The 2009 Global Venture Capital Survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2009 and measured the opinions of more than 700 venture capitalists worldwide.  To view the full survey results visit: 2009 Global Trends in Venture Capital

L’Aquila G8 Meeting and Climate Change

Earlier in the year, I blogged about Climate change, so the G8 meeting last week in Italy gives me an opportunity for some updates, but I should add that these remain rather disappointing. 

Last week, G8 leaders made an agreement that sounds great – by 2050, they’ll cut the number of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by half. It’s an improvement to Kyoto Protocol, at least, but it does not set short term objectives which limits its impact.  The statement on climate change approved by summit participants also includes a promise of an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the world's richest countries, however, developing nations, including China and India, were quick to criticize the accord, insisting that the G8 cut their emissions by more.  The G8 declaration leaves it to individual nations to decide their emission baseline and the G8 countries also could not agree on a pledge to help fund poorer countries moves toward cleaner energy.

G8 leaders also agreed to restrict global temperature rises to no more than 2 degrees (Celsius) above pre-industrial levels – which had long been resisted by the US.  But the G8’s consensus is hardly airtight – it’s not yet legally binding, and no one has thought of a good way for rich and poor nations to share the burden.

The world leaders said they were determined to reach a comprehensive deal at a United Nations summit in Copenhagen this December, to reach agreement on a successor treaty to the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.  Despite promises from G8 leaders on climate change, concerns were raised that other countries invited to attend the summit would not commit to some of the provisions.

Stockholm: 2009 Intelligent Community of the Year

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) recently named Stockholm, Sweden the Intelligent Community of the Year for 2009.  The Scandanavian community, known for its prowess in innovative technologies and its quality of life won the 2009 award.  A detailed profile of Stockholm and why it was selected for the award can be found at this ICF website.

It’s nice to see Stockholm get this award, especially since IBM has been deeply involved in the city’s Intelligent Transportation initiatives.

Since 1999, ICF has presented awards to honor the achievements of communities tackling the complex task of building and maintaining competitive and inclusive local economies in the global Broadband Economy.   The ICF is a think tank that “focuses on the creation of prosperous local economies and robust societies in the broadband economy of the 21st Century”.  The goal of the yearly awards is to increase awareness of the role that broadband and information communications technology (ICT) play in economic and social development at the community level worldwide.

Earlier this year, the ICF had announced their annual list of The Top Seven Intelligent Cities of 2009.  These seven finalists were selected based on analysis of their nominations by a team of independent academic experts.  The academic team  conducts a thorough review of the nominations and generate quantitative scores during the selection process.   These cities have proactively re-engineered their economies and social networks to make them more flexible and adaptable, which gives them a powerful competitive advantage.  The top seven communities are chosen, not because they excel in all areas of ICF's Intellligent Community Indicators, but because each demonstrates excellence in at least one. 


The Top Seven cities of 2009 were:

  • Bristol, Virginia, USA. Bristol has made an impact after taking on incumbent telcos in court and the state legislature to win the right to deploy a fiber network called OptiNet.  OptiNet will become a fiber-to-the-premises network for business and residents in Bristol and four neighboring counties.  It has attracted more than $50 million in private investment, including the region's first technology employers, and improved rural education and healthcare by connecting local providers to leading institutions.   
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands.  Established a public-private collaboration called Brainport. Among more than 40 public-private projects are an award-winning coop that has brought FTTP and a broadband culture of use to the suburb of Neunen, and the SKOOL outsourced IT management system for public schools.
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.  When it could not get broadband from the private sector, Fredericton founded the e-Novations co-op, which deployed a fiber ring that spurred competition, giving the city a 70% penetration rate at speeds of up to 18 Mbps.  The next step was the Fred-eZone wireless network, which provides free WiFi service across 65% of the city.  The combination of broadband, entrepreneurship and Fredericton's universities has powered the creation of over 12,000 jobs.
  • Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.  Beginning in 1980, a visionary mayor focused policy on creating an innovative, IT-based knowledge economy, implementing e-government, outsourcing IT needs, and taking advantage of liberalization to attract competitive fiber carriers deploying cost-effective broadband.  Public-private innovation includes a cyber-kindergarten for children, cyber tearooms for older citizens, citizen e-participation in decision-making, a successful business incubator and ICT-based real estate projects.
  • Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. This bilingual community has become a major Canadian customer contact and back office center, and built a "near-shore" IT outsourcing industry.   Private-sector carriers have collaborated in the city's growth as a telecom-centric economy, and helped power the addition of 20,000 new jobs since the early 1990s.  
  • Stockholm, Sweden. In the mid-90s, Stockholm, the economic and political capital of Sweden, established a company called Stokab to build an open-access fiber network.  Today, the 4,500 km network connects more than 90 competing service providers to government and business customers.  Though the city already has a 98% broadband penetration rate, Stokab will also provide FTTP access to over 95,000 low-income households in public housing by the end of 2009.  Stockholm also manages KISTA Science City, housing more than 1,400 companies, plus a support program for start-up and early-stage companies.  
  • Tallinn, Estonia.   Making creative use of people and funding, Tallinn computerized its schools and deployed widespread WiFi as well as nearly 700 public access kiosks.  The city also developed a large-scale digital skills training program, extensive e-government, and an award-winning smart ID card.  Through partnerships, it developed high-tech parks including Ulemiste City, Tallinn Technology Park and Cooperative Cyber Defense Center. 

For more see this ICF website.  Also check out the videos here View Top7 Video

For those of you working on projects related to Smart Cities, you might also want to spend time reading the 49 page white paper “The Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2009”

Shifts in Cleantech Financing

This blog brings significant updates to my previous two blogs on Cleantech showing (1) that after a strong 2008, 1Q09 Cleantech investments have dropped and (2) the important role of Cleantech in the stimulus plans.

  1. The Cleantech Group released 1Q09 VC investments in Cleantech which show a 45% drop compared to the previous quarter and a 48% drop compared to 1Q08.  The average round size dropped from  $20M in 3Q08 to $12.3M in 1Q09.  The report underlines that “Cleantech financing is moving into a new phase characterized by diversified funding sources as global recession and liquidity issues impact venture investors.  Venture funds continue to invest significant sums, albeit at a slower pace and scale”.  Utilities and corporations are increasingly playing a leadership role in developing the sector. 
  2. Meanwhile governments globally are allocating historic amounts of capital to clean technology through stimulus packages.  I should have added to my blog last week that the report “Towards a Green recovery” estimates that $400M  of  $2.6T spent in economic stimulus by G20 are earmarked for clean tech such as renewable energy, improved grids and cleaner cars. In the US, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill places Cleantech as a key driver of economic stabilization and job growth.  The measures (Over 10% of the total spending) target doubling renewable energy generating capacity (wind, solar, and geothermal).  Provisions also target efficiency, expanded electricity grids including advances metering, energy management SW and usage monitoring sensors.

The credit squeeze has challenged sectors such as wind and solar, stalling new and expansion projects.   The industry is still looking for clarity on how a new Treasury grant program will work.  Financing of projects slated to go forward is still taking extra time to get done.  The stimulus has generated more activity if not yet money for the renewable s sector.