The "most difficult year" for TMT Predictions: Deloitte

Deloitte predicts that around 5% of all patient visits worldwide may be done by video in 2021, compared to under 1% in 2019. Shutterstock

Deloitte predicts that around 5% of all patient visits worldwide may be done by video in 2021, compared to under 1% in 2019. Shutterstock

Whether as a result of new work environments, homeschooling or personal ways to switch off, Deloitte predicts several of the covid-19-related trends linked to tech, media and telecom (TMT) will likely continue into 2021. 

During a presentation of the 9th edition of its TMT Predicitions report, Deloitte partner - TMT leader David Osville called the sector “at the heart of the transformation” linked to the pandemic in 2020, one which will undoubtedly affect business decisions in the year ahead.

“This year was the most difficult to make predictions because there are so many unknowns,” UK manager Cornelia Calugar-Pop said during Tuesday’s press conference. Nevertheless, the predictions are “underpinned with conversations throughout the year with industry leaders”. 

Among the trends Deloitte forecasts is for cloud revenue to grow around 30% annually in 2021-25, as companies move or upgrade to the cloud to be more agile, drive innovation and work remotely. The forecast is “cloudy with a chance of cloud”, Calugar-Pop explained. “As a result of covid, expectations have been revised up.” The consultancy firm anticipates this trend could even become the dominant one across all businesses, driven by the pandemic. 

Intelligent edge for industry 4.0 is also on the horizon: Deloitte predicts this global market will reach $12b. Intelligent edge brings together cloud computing, data analytics and AI physically nearer where data is generated and requires response. Use cases include the allowance of defects or outlier data, for example from a factory floor, to be caught in the cloud so that it can be immediately captured and dealt with. “In 2021, a lot of the focus will be on establishing those use cases, developing those pilots which can prove to deliver those returns,” Calugar-Pop stated, adding that the challenge ahead will be how to get companies to work together in this realm. 

Video for health, VR not at full potential

As a result of covid-19, health visits via video have increased, with Deloitte predicting that around 5% of all patient visits worldwide may be done by video in 2021, compared to under 1% in 2019. “There was a deep need for healthcare systems to embrace that digital revolution and make more efficient use of time,” Calugar-Pop stated, adding that this trend could serve as a catalyst to drive broader telehealth. 

For VR, Deloitte anticipates a $4bn entreprise spend by 2021--doubled compared to 2020--although there’s a slower uptake in education. In conversations with education content creators, Calugar-Pop says that VR tends to be “about 10 times more expensive to create than more standard, traditional models”. When it comes to headsets, “the market is very, very small,” with Deloitte predicting maximum 200,000 units to be sold in 2021, given that they tend to be shared amongst users. This is an area the firm does not see reaching its full potential in the year to come. 

5G myth-busting

Among its predictions also includes the fact that “in 2021, nobody’s health will be adversely affected by 5G radio waves,” says Calugar-Pop. “This may sound trivial, but we felt the need to [state] this.”

According to a global survey the firm conducted, up to one-third of adults in advanced economies believed there were 5G-related health risks--anything from radio sickness, to weaker immune system, to towers spreading covid--although the highest proportion of believers were amongst younger age groups. “There’s a high proportion of non-regulated sources of media among those age groups,” she added. And, although there has always been a certain worry, “what’s different now is how fast information can travel.”