Welcome to “Ones and Zeroes,” the feature where Crain Communications sorts out Silicon Valley’s winners and losers by the numbers. Just like the binary code that forms the basis of all computer technology, positive developments earn a “One,” while negative news gets a “Zero.”
One: Clouds are building—in a good way
The cloud services business has been billowing in recent years, but in 2017 it will hit an apogee of sorts, with growth reaching its highest annual level for the foreseeable future, according to a report from Gartner Inc. The global business will rise by 18 percent in 2017 to reach $246.8 billion, up from $209.2 billion in 2016, the market research firm announced.
"The overall global public cloud market is entering a period of stabilization, with its growth rate peaking at 18 percent in 2017 and then tapering off over the next few years," said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, in a press-release statement.
Nag said that many organizations are still trying to determine how cloud services fit into their larger information technology (IT) strategies. Nonetheless, Nag added that cloud services can deliver cost optimization and transformative capabilities for companies that outsource their IT operations.
Zero: India provides more evidence that we’re in the post-PC era
It’s a tough time to be in the PC business, with global shipments on a long-term decline amid rising competition with mobile devices. The latest proof that age of the PC’s dominance of the tech market has passed comes from India, where sales fell by double-digits in 2016.
PC sales in the country in 2016 amounted to 8.6 million units, down 15.2 percent 2016, according to an announcement from International Data Corp. The market was stymied by a weak performance in the first half of the year due to subpar consumer demand, IDC said. But it was a tale of two very different halves for the Indian PC business, with conditions improving during the last six months of the year because of holiday purchasing and the impact of seasonal buying patterns.
However, factors including declining inflation, rising salaries for government workers, low commodity prices and government spending on rural infrastructure helped improved economic conditions and boosted PC sales in the second half, said Manish Yadav, associate research manager, client devices, IDC India, in a statement included in the IDC press release.
One: Shoppers go mobile
Perhaps the only thing that Americans love more than their mobile phones is going shopping. So, it’s no surprise that mobile online shopping is all the rage in the United States.
A total of 60 percent of U.S. consumers now use their mobile devices for shopping, according to a research finding from the Consumer Technology Association. Furthermore, nine out of 10 mobile device owners subscribe to services that offer shopping-related incentives like coupons, promotions and special discounts, the CTA said.
“Every step of the consumer’s path to purchase has dramatically changed with the use of smartphones, from triggering interest in considering technology products to purchase and sometimes post-purchase behavior that includes posting online reviews,” said Steve Koenig, senior director, market research, at the CTA, in a press-release quote.