Deloitte Technology Predictions for 2013

The state of PCs, whether they are going the way of the dinosaur, is one of the areas covered in Deloitte’s latest survey of major trends in Technology, Media and Telecommunications. The report, available on the Deloitte website at deloitte.com, covers all three areas because they consider the three areas are so interrelated that they are better considered separately. Indeed, one of the macro-trends of recent years has been the continuing merging of technology, media and telecommunications.

There has been much written on the demise of PCs, largely because of the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. The Deloitte report puts this issue in perspective, pointing to recent surveys of users, who tend more often to prefer PCs for a lot of the work they do. Also, the report points out that tablets and smartphones are not substitutes for PCs. They just don’t have the functionality to, for example, prepare complex spreadsheets or even write long reports. Smartphones, of course, even less so.

The report also points out that while the rate of sales of tablets and smartphones is growing faster than PCs, that is at least partially because the installed base of PCs is a great deal larger. The result it that Deloitte predicts the continuing usage of PCs and characterizes the current era as the “PC Plus” era and not the “Post PC” era as some (many?) have suggested.

Another interesting topic covered in the report is the use of passwords and the fact that current hacking technology has far outstripped the traditional username/password configuration for access security. One of the problems is that people cannot remember all the passwords they are supposed to remember. And therefore they have the habit of reusing the same passwords many times. Deloitte puts the striking observation that of six million user generated passwords, the 10,000 most commonly used would provide access to 91.8% of all their accounts.

They don’t offer up a solution to this dilemma, but point out that the age of simple user IDs and passwords is probably at an end and that an age of multi-factor security is beginning. This means that passwords will continue but will be augmented by additional process, such as biometrics, or add-ons of random characters to a standard password, or having passwords sent to a smartphone owned by the user as needed and other provisions.

The report makes a good read for anyone wanting to understand more about the current trends in technology, media and telecommunications.

There are numerous other trends discussed, including the “Bring you own device” phenomenon, the rise of enterprise social networks, the pending release of 4D High DefinitionTelevisions, which offer four times the level of current high end HD systems. Also the report covers the developments around internet connected TVs.

Definitely worth a read.