The Fastest Growing Markets in IT

What are the fastest growing markets within IT?

 In this brief report Aaron Davies, Founding Director of start-up focused Talent Acquisition company Jurupa takes a closer look at 4 of the hottest industries within IT right now.

 

–          Online video

–          Software Defined Networking

–          eCommerce

–          AdTech

 

Online Video

Internet traffic has exploded. This is largely thanks to the growth of video streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, & Twitch.

Video files are massive in data terms, and rather than traveling over the open web unaided they often require sophisticated infrastructure to get them from content providers to audiences.

As a result, the ever changing landscape is creating insatiable demand for an innovative stream of start-ups companies that provide real life solutions to a whole range of real world challenges.

Indicative of the perceived long term value in this rapidly expanding market is the fact that many such start-ups are being acquired by major blue chip corporations, such as Comcast Inc. Such major corporations see the proven value in which these smaller and more disruptive companies are offering and view a typical acquisition of such targets as adding vital products or services to their already established portfolios.

The way we are watching television has changed immeasurably leading many industry analysts to suggest that we are entering a new “golden age” of viewer experiences. Viewers across all demographics are being “liberated” from broadcasters’ schedules, meaning that it is no longer necessary to sit down at a specified time to watch your favourite movie or TV programme. Instead, you can stream/download, watch anywhere on multiple devices at your leisure. In short, this is an industry that has been ripe for disruption for many years and with innovative & fresh ideas appearing all the time, this has become a highly attractive marketplace for talented professionals to build careers in.

If any proof were required, here is a selection of statistics to underline just how important this industry is:-

–          By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco

–          Video-on-Demand traffic alone will have almost trebled

–          YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month

–          Live viewing is on course to be up 201% YoY compared to the same period in 2013

 

Software Defined Networking

Although the concept has been around for a while without taking a firm hold, SDN is effectively the future of networking and a way of bringing the cloud to the network. It is expected to drive significant changes in how networks are built and operated.

SDN places more control of network configuration and state in the hands of logically centralised software—putting greater control of network-based innovation & differentiation in the hands of network operators. It leverages global views of network resource and service demand information, promoting operations, automation, and resource optimisation—while liberating and accelerating new service creation.

A survey of 200 IT decision makers found that 40% of businesses are planning to deploy SDN, which promises to make the network more flexible, easier to manage and more secure, within the next five years.

Another 34% said they are planning to adopt Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) during the same period, with 27% keen to do so before 2018.

However, 37% of decision makers admitted that they did not fully understand the concept of SDN, while 45% said the same about NFV.

So what do these stats tell us? Well, it would appear that whilst the technology has its’ obvious benefits, adoption is not proving as smooth as it should be. Whilst SDN will likely be a major force in the years to come, buying signals would suggest that the market is not entirely ready just yet. Watch this space!

 

e-Commerce

Following the lead of pioneering e-commerce company Amazon, this is a sector which is not only alive and well, but thriving. For evidence of this, you need only consider the recent IPO of AliBaba. At $25 billion, this was the world’s biggest ever IPO – even more staggeringly, for a company which many in the west hadn’t even heard of.

At the other end of the scale, Jurupa have been working with a handful of interesting smaller start-ups such as Flubit, a UK based company that work on behalf of the customer to get them a better deal by negotiating directly with a panel of online merchants. All of which indicates the insatiable appetite for purchasing goods and services online – the same is true of software companies that are far down the track of providing their solutions via a SaaS (software as a service) model. The many benefits equate to lower operating costs, speed of delivery, rapid processing time and an unrivalled choice.

The effects of e-commerce has been seen also in negative terms – for example, the decline of the typical high street with its make-up of shops & stores selling all kinds of wares is often linked directly with the rapid switch to purchasing goods online with much greater ease and convenience. Technology companies who have been able to offer SDKs and APIs to business owners looking for an e-comm channel have proven to offer a vital piece of the jigsaw. One highly compelling aspect of selling via online channels has been the ability to utilise big data and therefore gaining a greater understanding and insight into consumer spending habits, trends and crucially how to spot additional sales opportunities for those consumers.

It’s difficult to predict how this market will evolve over the coming years, but it’s likely to continue enjoying rapid growth and adoption throughout all sectors. This is a $220 billion industry with YoY growth of around 20%. Clearly, e-commerce is here to stay.

 

AdTech

The whole concept of advertising and indeed, technology driven advertising has developed tremendously over the last 10 or so years. The game has evolved considerably from a system where vendors allocated a marketing budget in the hope of attracting “customers” to a modern day situation where it is possible to utilise a range of advanced techniques to identify trends, spending habits, consumer behaviours and then turn that collective goldmine of data into monetized returns.

Various companies have come up with extremely innovative concepts which are constantly moving the technology forward.

The digital advertising industry is growing rapidly as consumers spend more time online via mobile and social channels. Media research firm Magna Global expects mobile ad spend to increase at 35 percent year-over-year through 2018.

The overall global advertising market grew 5.3% in 2014, up from 3.9% in 2013 according to the latest ZenithOptomedia Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.

Growth will remain strong over the next two years, staying at 5.3% in 2015 and rising to 5.9% in 2016.

ZenithOptimedia’s new forecasts predict that global adspend will grow 5.3% to reach US$523 billion over the course of this year. Internet advertising is by far the fastest growing medium, which is forecast to expand by 17.1% this year, as improving digital advertising technology makes internet advertising cheaper and more effective.

The growth is being driven by a wider spectrum of companies than just traditional media, including digital specialists, tech companies, and direct advertisers.

The findings demonstrate how new technology is improving most areas of internet advertising. Improved advertising formats – such as the ‘Rising Stars’ identified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the US – are making internet display more interactive and attention-grabbing, with consumers more likely to view, remember and interact with them than older formats.

Meanwhile programmatic buying is evolving to allow more sophisticated and efficient targeting of display audiences, and is becoming better at delivering premium, brand building experiences.

From the perspective of a recruitment professional, all 4 of the above growth markets are set to expand significantly during the remainder of 2014 and well into 2015. This will translate into a high demand for specfic skill-sets and highly specialised staff. Globally, our habits are changing; the way we watch television (or to use more modern terminology “consume entertainment”) continues to evolve. The way we make purchases and in particular the buying process is evolving to become faster, more streamlined, more efficient and with clever psychology built in (think consumer data, analytics and recommendations.)

The technology industry moves quickly not only by reputation, but also by necessity. It’s likely that we will see newly defined roles appearing in order to deal with the ever changing face of the industry. For example, in recent years there has been a move toward providing exceptional levels of customer service, hence the creation of Customer Success themed roles.

Amazon’s incredibly slick logistics operation has created a warehouse environment where armies of employees identify, pick out and prepare items ready for immediate dispatch.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) looks set to fundamentally change IT, affecting everything from provisioning processes to workflows, asset management and even careers in IT. People with DevOps skills are likely to be best positioned to handle the new programmable networks.

The services that are being provided by discovery & comparison engine Funderbeam have appeared on the market in timely fashion – VCs will utilise the search engine to identify new investment opportunities, potentially employees will map out target companies that appear within their chosen field of expertise, whilst entrepreneurs can take a view of both existing and trending technology in order to stay head of the game.

All 4 of the markets discussed above carry strong global relevance and will continue to stay at the forefront of technologies to watch over the coming years.

For further information on the services that Jurupa provide, visit www.jurupa.co

Aaron Davies, Founding Director