Published Dawn, Sci-Tech, January 3rd, 2010
With growth expected to return to the global IT industry in 2010 with 3.2% expected increase for the year, returning the industry to 2008 spending levels of about $1.5 trillion (Source: Gartner), BRIC countries growing 8–13% and Pakistan’s GDP crossing the US $160 Billion mark, technology industry will do well for 2010.
The upcoming year appears poised to build on the strength of trends already in place: greater mobility, greener technologies, mobile technologies, more powerful hardware and web-enabled products and applications that focus on collaboration and interoperability. Here’s what we think is in store.
Hardware Gets Smaller, More Powerful and Greener
This is a no brainer. Intel Pakistan has announced that its new 32nm architecture codenamed Sandy Bridge will arrive in 2010. It will succeed the 45nm Nehalem architecture and will have up to eight cores on the same die, 512KB L2 cache and 16MB L3 cache. Also new will be the addition of Instruction AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) which might be as significant as the introduction of SSE in 1999. To complement this Intel will also introduce the new Clarkdale family across the mid-range segment. With clock frequencies from 3.2GHz up to 3.46GHz, It will be Intel’s first 32nm processor and will grab the baton from the Core 2 Duo/Core 2 Quad series. This will bring a revolution in gaming, applications, HD & multimedia and at a price that is really sweet.
Online Reaches Critical Mass
Pakistan is among the five dynamic economies of developing Asia in terms of increased penetration of mobile phones, internet and broadband says the Information Economy Report, 2009 published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). In the area of internet penetration, Pakistan is placed at the third position and for broadband penetration the country is at the fourth position in Asia. With Wimax taking off and providers such as Wateen already boasting of 100,000 connections, we can safely predict that internet in Pakistan will reach critical mass this year (up from its current 11.6% penetration) and move from being a niche channel to figure more prominently in our lives.
The Year Of The Mobile: m-Commerce, Mobile Web and Micro-lending
Expect the mobile phone to further its hold over our lives. 2010 will see it being used for micro-lending, micro-payments, reporting violence and human rights abuses and crowd-sourcing crisis information.
It will also become the default charity tool. For a while now, we’ve been able to leverage the immediacy of being able to donate instantly to a cause through SMS text to give campaigns. Expect NGOs to further improve these platforms in 2010, allowing you to donate instantly.
The mobile Web is also starting to emerge in Pakistan as a low-cost way to deliver simple mobile applications to a range of devices. Expect more financial institutions to take initiatives in this field and more consumer oriented ventures such as music platforms to be announced this year.
The next big thing in mobile however will be location based social networks (marriage of mobile and social networks) and real time web – also known as cloud computing. We’re expecting some company to announce a venture in this field this year.
Enterprise Computing: Green IT & Sustainable Computing
Rising energy costs, the rise of the carbon credits market and pressure from the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference will make sustainability a source of opportunity for the Pakistani IT industry in 2010 locally and globally. We predict that new IT companies dealing with Carbon Management Software will be setup and existing enterprise software vendors will announce forays into the field. This market stands to become bigger than the global financial software market, so it’s impossible to think firms will not take advantage of this.