Deloitte Global has released its annual Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions for 2023.
The consulting giant forecasts major strides in machine learning for the enterprise, a worldwide appetite for digital subscriptions among consumers, and ongoing smartphone dominance—along with eight additional predictions—as part of the 17th edition of their TMT Predictions.
Among the findings pertaining to the enterprise, this year’s report indicates that business organizations will likely double their use of machine learning technology by the end of 2018. TMT Predictions highlights five key areas that Deloitte Global believes will unlock more intensive use of machine learning in the enterprise by making it easier, cheaper and faster.
The most important key area is the growth in new semiconductor chips that will increase the use of machine learning, enabling applications to use less power, and at the same time become more responsive, flexible and capable.
We sat down with Duncan Stewart, Director of TMT Research for Deloitte Canada, to learn more about Deloitte’s predictions and what they mean for Canada.
What is the overarching theme of this year’s Deloitte Global TMT predictions for 2023?
DS: “Doing more with less.” Everybody is tightening their belt these days. Consumers are cutting back on video streaming spending by switching to ad supported services and buying 5G phones for less than US$100. Meanwhile, at the enterprise level, chip companies are designing next-gen chips with new AI tools and film and TV companies are moving to virtual production technologies. Cheaper doesn’t always mean worse… but saving a few bucks, or even a few million bucks is driving a lot of innovation in 2023.
Which prediction is the most shocking or controversial?
DS: Ad supported video streaming. In the early days of streaming watching “what you want when you want” always meant ad free, and mounting monthly subscription costs. We’re now learning we can have our cake and eat it too…for about 5-10 minutes of ads per hour. Personally, I lean towards being “adlergic”, and would never choose a version with ads. But I’m not everyone, and a shocking 2/3 of Canadians are willing to watch some or even lots of ads.
Is there a prediction that is projected to have a particular impact on Canadian consumers?
DS: Sticking with video streaming, I think the growth in live sports streaming is going to be a (pun intended) game changer for Canadian viewers. Like a lot of countries, we’ve seen traditional TV viewing in Canada decline, especially among younger audiences… except live sports.
Viewing numbers for hockey, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, the World Cup, the Olympics, etc. are solid, and doing much better than non-sports programs for the desirable 18-34 demographic. Seeing the various streaming companies step up to the plate and pay up for coveted live sports rights is a new trend, and it’s almost certainly just getting started.
Which prediction will most impact Canadian businesses?
DS: This question’s harder: there is no single topic which will affect all Canadian businesses. But every company is affected by at least one prediction! My own personal favourite is around new kinds of semiconductor materials and technologies for EVs, space and nuclear industries. Back around 2000, the area around Ottawa was not-so-jokingly called Silicon Tundra. It might not quite have been Silicon Valley, but there were dozens of real players in the chip space, both up in Ottawa but also in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Most of those companies are gone now – acquired, mainly.
I’d love for some Canuck engineers to make the Next Big Thing in chips, and if we can save the planet or conquer space at the same time, that would be pretty cool. Canada already has some great know-how in these specialized chip technologies, so we’ve got a head start.
You’ve been doing these predictions for many years, how would you describe the period we’re in right now? What are the defining variables impacting the direction of TMT in this time of economic and global uncertainty?
DS: Famously, a 1992 political slogan said that the single most important issue was “It’s the economy, stupid.” Most years, there are various currents pushing, pulling, and shaping each batch of TMT Predictions. We haven’t had economic factors be this dominant since 2001… which was the very year Predictions first launched. With any luck, we can get back to focusing on innovation and not worry about inflation or interest rates until the 2040s.
Care to give us a sneak peek at what 2024 Predictions might look like?
DS: We’re already making our long list of topics for 2024. Definitely something on chips, and on 5G. I think we’ll take a look at some media topics we’ve neglected since the pandemic: live music, movies in theatres, newspapers and magazines, even radio. Also podcasts – we’re seeing some signs that although the percentage of people listening to podcasts is flat, the number of hours per month they are listening has started declining. It will be interesting to see if that trend persists!