Cloud infrastructure spending grew last year by more than 45%. More women would like jobs in tech. Europeans are buying smart-home systems. And augmented reality is catching on with consumers.
These are some of the latest insights from top market watchers. Here’s your tech provider’s roundup.
Cloud infrastructure services: sky high
Spending on cloud infrastructure services is soaring. According to the latest figures from market watcher Canalys, worldwide spending on cloud infrastructure services rose last year by more than 45%, reaching an estimated $80 billion. That figure could rise as high as $143 billion by next year, Canalys predicts.
Four vendors together control about 60% of the market: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud.
Of these 4, Google had the fastest growing year, increasing its global market share from 6% in 2017 to 8% last year. A 2% gain may not sound like much, but when the market is worth $80 billion, each of those percentage points is worth an impressive $800 million.
The channel is playing a big role, too. Canalys estimates that 30% of all cloud infrastructure services, or about $24 billion last year, was sold through IT distributors, resellers, service providers and systems integrators.
“The channel,” says Canalys analyst Alastair Edwards, “will play a vital role for the cloud-service providers.”
Women in tech: mind the gap
Women make up only 17% of the global tech workforce. Yet 70% of young women in the U.K. said they’d be interested in a tech-sector job, finds a recent survey.
The survey, commissioned by HP and conducted by OnePoll, also found that nearly half (45%) of the women would be willing to get retrained.
The survey reached 1,000 women in the U.K. aged 20 to 32 years. All respondents had at least a secondary-school degree.
Another gap exists in education. Nearly all (97%) of the women surveyed agree that technology is key to the U.K. economy’s success. Yet among those who did not take STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) courses, 1 in 5 said it was because they didn’t know anything about it.
Smart speakers get heard across Europe
Europeans are snatching up smart-home devices. In the fourth quarter of last year, reports IDC, smart-home sales rose 15% year-on-year, as nearly 33 million units were shipped.
For the full year 2018, European shipments of smart-home devices rose by an even higher 23%, hitting a full-year total of 88 million units. IDC’s figures include markets across western, central and eastern Europe.
Looking ahead, IDC expects no slowdown. It’s predicting a 5-year CAGR of about 16%. If that’s right, total European sales of smart-home devices should reach 187.2 million units by 2023.
By product category, IDC adds, the biggest sellers are lighting, smart speakers, and video entertainment. Top vendors are Amazon, Google, Samsung, LG and Sony.
Consumers warming up to AR
Augmented reality is really catching on with consumers.
The latest report from ABI Research predicts that sales of consumer AR software and content will reach $8.5 billion by 2023.
By that same year, ABI expects, shipments of AR smart glasses will reach 4 million units.
Consumers will be attracted to greater mobile capacity, more smart glasses, and a maturing AR ecosystem, ABI says. Among the companies offering AR smart glasses for consumers are Bose, Nreal and DigiLens.
AR systems should also benefit from gains in AI, machine learning, digital cameras, 5G connectivity and mobile SDKs, the analyst firm says. Prices should come down, too — always a big draw for consumers.