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By Pete Balmforth, Deloitte Technology Risk Specialist based in the North East

Can you predict the future?  What are the technologies of the future?  What advances will be made in the next 12-18 months?  See the 17th edition of the Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) predictions for our thoughts.

The Deloitte TMT Predictions report is the result of over 100 interviews with industry executives and more than 10,000 online interviews.  The aim is to look at the trends that are most likely to shake up the industry globally over the course of the next 12 to 18 months.

While the research primarily looks at the TMT sector, I have found that the predictions can be applied more broadly across other sectors – so please don’t just look at this from a TMT standpoint only.

There are nine predictions this year, summarised below, and more information can be found about each of these in the full report that can be downloaded here.

The nine predictions are as follows:

  1. Augmented Reality (AR): We predict that tens of thousands of apps incorporating AR capability will launch this year and over one billion smartphone users will create AR content at least once!  AR is likely to be used increasingly by businesses for a variety of applications, including instruction manuals, technical support and public service announcements.  AR will also be a differentiator for applications and a reason to upgrade or change completely.
  2. The future of the smartphone: Employers will have the opportunity to leverage the invisible innovation in smartphones to transform the way we work across services and processes, whilst the number of smartphone users will continue to increase to 96% by 2023. Smartphones will be the primary way of accessing digital services and content.
  3. Machine learning next generation chips: By the end of 2018, over 25% of all chips used to accelerate machine learning in the data center will be FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits).
  4. Live events in an online world: Streaming and live TV has not substituted live events but it generates new revenue for organisations.  This sector is expected to generate £400 billion in 2018 globally and whilst almost all revenue from live events is being generated by traditional formats, new genres, primarily live streaming and eSports, are enjoying surging revenue.
  5. Machine learning enterprise adoption: Enterprise machine learning usage is set to double by 2018 and double again by 2020.  The possibilities are huge in this area and no doubt you’ll have your own examples of machine learning being trialled and developed today.
  6. Digital-only media subscriptions: By 2020, Deloitte predict that 50% of adults will have at least 4 media subscriptions. The total number of online media subscriptions, as well as the average number of subscriptions per individual and household, should grow by at least 20 percent in 2018 and continue to increase in the medium term, which in turn will have an impact on advertisement.
  7. TV Viewing trends for 18-24 year olds: TV viewing by 18-24 year olds will decline by 10-15% in 2018. Although younger viewers may be less likely to watch traditional TV, they are more likely than other demographics to consume on demand services and are more likely to subscribe to multiple services.
  8. Mobile-only home internet: A mixture of cellular and fixed wireless access technologies could lead to 30-40 percent of the population relying on wireless for data at home by 2022, an increase from only 10 percent in 2013. A short-term implication of the prevalence of mobile-only access is for all firms doing business with consumers over the internet. Any application that involves large images or videos might not be feasible for mobile-only customers with low data caps. We are already seeing the 100GB packages for mobile data.
  9. In-flight Wi-Fi: It is predicted that 25 percent of passengers will be on planes with in-flight connectivity in 2018. That’s a 20 percent increase from last year! Airlines will have to consider how much of this service they wish to manage themselves and which services to leave to the vendor.

Hopefully, this gives you a taster for the predictions of the year to come. To learn more about the TMT Predictions 2018 then please visit: and join the conversation using #DeloittePredicts. 


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Pete Balmforth
Pete is a senior manager in our Leeds office. He has worked with the firm for over 11 years where he helps public and private organisations to understand and manage technology risks. Born in Bradford, and now living in Leeds, Pete joined the firm from university and predominantly works in the North East.

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