Category Drivers & Trends

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Telecommunications Industry STEEP Analysis

Some internal factors that will impact the future of the telecommunication industry in the US are the 5G wireless technologies, the working relationships that youth-adult demographics tend to have with the Internet, the fact that investments in telecommunications are considered to be risky, the use of renewable energy sources, and the implementation of data sigils. Some external factors are global aging and the growing elderly public, the advancement of IoT, Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda that will stimulate the industry, the global need to adopt a policy of minimizing environmental damage, and the privatization and deregulation of the sector.

#1) Social

External:
Internal:
  • There are 2.5 billion digital customers globally who are under 25 years of age. What characterizes this group is the fact that they are “always on” and that they show a different usage behavior compared to that of the traditional “analog” consumer. On average, these young digital users spend 315 minutes online each day.
  • The digital environment is an instrument that helps this young-adult demographic “take care of business,” with 45 percent using social media as their primary platform for customer service. In addition to that, younger generations have started using the mobile Internet access considerably more in the past few years.
  • This new social reality is a trend that has been growing and is one that directly impacts the American telecommunications market and must be taken into account for decision-making.

#2) Technological

External:
  • IoT is emancipating communication customers. However, it can also create a lot of new business opportunities.
  • Technology investments using telecommunication automation to communicate with smart cars, HD aero imaging, remote surgery, and adaptive traffic control have also recently increased. Connecting telecommunication to these external factors of technological development is vitally important to the growth of the US industry.
Internal :
  • 5G wireless technologies will be gaining ground quickly, unleashing the full potential of augmented and virtual reality, smart cities, and IoT.
  • The demand for an increase in the capacity and the speed of data transmission would allow larger contracts with streaming companies to be closed, a tendency that has only seen an increase in the US.

#3) Economic

External:
  • President Donald Trump's proposed policy changes have made the overall economic outlook fairly bullish. The two pro-growth agendas, namely, the significant cut in corporate taxes and the deregulation of different industries are major catalysts to the US economy. It is believed that the U.S. telecommunications industry is going to be a major beneficiary.
  • The proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent faced by telecom operators would immediately add to the cash flow. Trump's tax proposal will result in big gains for telecom operators. Operators can use this money for research and development of the 5G network and its deployment, a very strong trend in the future of the telecommunication industries.
Internal:
  • The pricing competition resulting in lower ARPU (average revenue per user) and margins, the massive investment for upcoming 5G wireless network and fiber optic build-out resulting in low free cash flow, and the intense competitive pressure shifted investors' focus toward other growth-oriented industries.
  • This directly influences the future of the telecommunication industries in the US because all the three major telecom sectors present a greater risk to investors, with stocks registering anywhere from 7% (for services) to 24% (equipment) more volatility than the broader market. Investors with heavy exposure to telecom can expect stronger-than-average gains during bull markets. During a more bearish period, however, losses from this sector can be severe.

#4) Environmental

External:
  • Smart phones make up a large part of the e-waste products. Due to the electronic waste generated by service and equipment providers, the industry's focus has been on managing its waste and minimizing its environmental impact. More and more suppliers are investing in reducing their carbon imprint.
  • Globally, telecommunication companies that have been dedicated to the collection of smartphones used for recycling have had a good return from consumers from developed countries.
  • This demonstrates that in the future of the telecommunication industry, companies that do not focus on minimizing their environmental impact will not be competitive on the world stage.
Internal:
  • The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency — US) offers benefits to industries that are pro-active in increasing the use of renewable energy sources. Among the American telecommunication industries that have adopted this position, the combined use of green energy from these organizations reaches almost 26 billion of KW/h per year, which is equivalent to the use of electricity of nearly 2.4 million average American households per year.
  • In addition to the enormous financial savings, due to the substitution of the energy source, experts predict an increase in the collection of environmental attitudes on the part of the end users, which means that the US telecom industry needs to set sustainable targets to keep growing.

#5) Political drivers

External:
  • One factor that worked in favor of the US telecommunications industry was privatization and deregulation. For some time, the telecommunication industry has enjoyed relative freedom based on its importance in the process of globalization. However, several threats have emerged in recent years, which may mean that political risks are rising again. The biggest focus is on growing markets such as China and India. However, the level of government control in these markets is high.
  • Political risks rooted in national security and human rights issues are another important source of political pressure for the telecommunications sector. Because of this, governments around the world have launched measures to monitor and control communications. These measures have become tighter after the terrorist attacks and the hacking threats against the US government.
  • These factors show that political risks will put the future of the US telecommunication industry at risk, especially in regard to the export of products.
Internal:
  • On December 14, 2017, in a landmark ruling, the US telecommunications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), repealed the net neutrality laws imposed by the Obama presidency. The ISP (Internet Service Provider) industry will be the primary beneficiary after the dismantling of net neutrality by the FCC.
  • The FCC's current restrictive regulatory stance may also pave the way for new mergers and acquisitions between ISPs and online digital media companies.
  • This subject, which is still under discussion, will directly affect the growth of the telecommunication industry in the US because it is a major concern for the online service users.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Automotive Industry STEEP Analysis

Some of the STEEP drivers that will impact the future of the US automotive industry are the following: social - people will want immediate access to a vehicle whether as its driver or passenger; technological - innovations such as shared mobility models and connected vehicles will dominate the future of the industry; economic - the adoption of vehicles that are equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) will cause the value of used vehicles to drop; environmental - fuel economy standards of the future is expected to reduce emissions and decrease US dependence on oil; and political - increase in tariffs and other international trade conditions can impact the future of the industry.

FINDINGS

Automotive Industry STEEP Analysis

Social

Internal

  • The automotive industry is gearing for the future as it performs some studies to determine how people would perceive autonomous cars.
  • In the future, people will not just want to own a vehicle. They would also want to have a vehicle at their disposal whether they want to be the driver or just a passenger.
  • Charging time will be further brought down to cater to more people especially those who don't have the luxury of waiting for their car to be fully charged before they can use it.

External

  • The cost of the EV battery needs to be brought down further to make this innovation more accessible to people of all means such as those who do not have two-car garages.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation has drafted a policy that will help drive the adoption of "vehicle-to-vehicle" connectivity in the future. This is expected to elevate road safety levels.
  • The "new mobility business models" are set to transform the current setup in vehicle ownership, personal mobility, and transportation.

Technological

Internal

External

Economic

Internal

External

Environmental

Internal

  • Given the threat of new entrants such as Uber and Tesla, the major players in the automobile industry are moving fast to create their own innovative products such as the "zero-emission electric engines."
  • Consumers are also expected to want more fuel-saving cars in the future. They consider this option as good for their wallets and nature.
  • As more consumers become more aware of their environment, the need for more fuel-efficient and environmentally-sustainable cars is seen to further increase as well.

External

  • Increasing adoption of EVs in the future will also be driven by stricter policies in the 177 states that adopted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations.
  • Environmentalists are going against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to its regulations that can negatively impact the "fuel economy standards" for light vehicles in the future.
  • The automotive sector is asking the government to re-assess the "EPA's Final Determination" that placed a 51.4 mile per gallon (MPG) average threshold for passenger vehicles that will be manufactured in 2025. The industry deemed this to be too expensive.
  • Hopefully, the new EPA chief mentioned that he intends to work on changing these policies to pave the way for better "fuel efficiency standards" in the future.
  • From 2022 to 2025, experts hoped that the fuel efficiency regulation results will compensate for the usage of 1.2 billion oil barrels, stop "half a billion metric tons of CO2 emissions," decrease consumer oil consumption and provide a $100 billion health and environmental-related cost savings for Americans.

Political

INTERNAL

EXTERNAL

  • The following are the details of the internal and external drivers of each STEEP area that will impact the future of the US automotive industry:
  • EVs are predicted to expand faster in Europe and China as compared to the US.
  • The US automotive market is expected to be heavily impacted by the upcoming increases in tariffs on the imported materials coming in from China.
  • Proposed tariffs on cars that were bought from the EU can also affect the industry.


Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Telecommunications Industry Trends

Some current trends in the US telecommunications industry are the development of 5G, the decline of the old telephone systems, and the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

DEVELOPING OF 5G

OVERVIEW

  • 5G is expected to bring more efficient and faster connectivity, along with low latency and capability in terms of virtualization and cloud technology.
  • 5G will also impact the Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • 5G and intelligent connectivity can open new opportunities for businesses and end-users.
  • Companies all over the world are already in the process of enhancing their infrastructure and working on the technical aspects of 5G.
  • Seventy-two operators are currently testing the network, and 25 operators out of the 72 are expected to launch the service by the end of 2019, and this is likely to double by 2020.

WHAT'S DRIVING THIS TREND

  • Everyday tasks like paying for bus rides, getting live traffic updates, information about congested routes, or planning doctor's visits with a scheduled need seamlessly 5G networks.
  • The pressures of IoT and the use of streaming video will decimate 4G LTE.
  • The increase is the number of YouTube live streaming up to 3.25 billion hours each month is a driver of this trend. Video streaming needs a fast and seamless network.
  • "According to Gartner, 20.8 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. The 5G network is projected to be ten times faster than 4G, and its download speeds will be around 10 GBPS."

COMPANIES AT THE FOREFRONT

  • In May 2017, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Cisco, and Verizon deployed the first multi-vendor end-to-end 5G trial network in the field, which took place in Ann Arbor, (Detroit, Michigan).
  • Verizon deployed smart policies to render 5G for US consumers. Verizon positioned themselves at the forefront of 5G technology because they are building modern infrastructure all over the country.
  • It's expected for Verizon to leverage its FiOS network covering 14 million homes, and AT&T to build off its fiber network to 14 million planned customer locations by 2019. Also, Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile US and Sprint may be looking for a partnership with cable operators for the fiber network connections to enable 5G.

DECLINE OF THE OLD TELEPHONE SYSTEM (LANDLINES AND POTS)

OVERVIEW

  • "Replacing POTS with new technology has become equivalent to replacing a typewriter with a laptop." POTS stands for "Plain old telephone service." (source 5)
  • Telecom companies are losing the old telephone systems: AT&T is losing revenue on legacy voice POTS lines at 13% YoY (36% drop in revenue in the last four years for their business segment).
  • According to a report by The National Center for Health Statistics, the use of landline phones for communication has dropped significantly over the past 12 years, with 53.9% of all U.S. households now depending on cellphones for their communication.
  • Business owners tend to run into security risks if they depend on mobile lines. Hence, they are beginning to seek for different communication options and cloud-based VoIP systems are being considered as the future for large and small scale business communications.
  • A cloud-based phone system for small business allows entrepreneurs to remain in contact with business associates, implement the newest technology, and save money.
  • A VoIP setup for small business gives entrepreneurs phone systems with the latest technology and at the lowest price (reported savings are between 20–50% on phone bills every year).

WHAT'S DRIVING THE TREND

  • "New technologies in the market like VoIP and wireless can now offer telephone services at a much lower cost than POTS."
  • The cost per month for POTS is more expensive. For instance, "in some areas of California, prices for POTS have risen by five times in the last 24+ months; in the Midwest, at least two times the original price;" and in the Northeast, the price has doubled.
  • As POTS subscribers decline, the costs of maintaining the existing infrastructure will fall on very few companies, which will lead to higher POTS service costs.
  • In 2018, 55% of households owned wireless communications (this was up from 7% in 2006), 36% own landline and wireless communications (up from 46% in 2006), and only 5% owns landline communications (up from 34% in 2006).

COMPANIES AT THE FOREFRONT

CONNECTING THE IOT

OVERVIEW

  • "TechTarget defines IoT as The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction."
  • In 2019, IoT will begin to deliver on its full potentials and new applications will only be possible using 5G’s higher speeds and ultra-low latency.
  • The IoT will become a complete ecosystem that connects everything people do, connecting every aspect of their lives, including their homes, workspace, and everyday tasks.
  • According to a recent study by IDC, Internet of things spending in the United States is expected to reach $194 billion this year.

WHAT'S DRIVING THE TREND

  • Intelligent homes will slowly become mainstream in real estate along with energy efficient building concepts. IoT with AI will bring a whole new area of opportunities in this aspect.
  • Data generated by connected devices is helping businesses run more efficiently, gain insight into their processes, and make real-time decisions.
  • For consumers, they are informed about the status of households, vehicles, and family members as well as their health and fitness, thanks to this access to data.

COMPANIES AT THE FOREFRONT

  • Verizon’s recent investments in telematics show a commitment to powering automotive IoT and the intention of establishing location services.
  • Deloitte recently joined with AT&T to accelerate the adoption of smart city technology across U.S. cities.
  • Also, AT&T created a new report to share how businesses can utilize the IoT. "They can predict, learn and make near real-time decisions and that can create a distinct competitive advantage, said Chris Penrose, vice president of AT&T.
  • "AT&T is introducing LTE modules to meet the needs of a range of IoT applications to simplify and lower the cost of IoT device designs and improve device performance." AT&T worked with Wistron NeWeb (WNC), a module and device manufacturer, to design the new LTE modules.
  • Ericsson joined activities with Verizon for the development of cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking for IoT applications.
  • Verizon’s LTE network supports the acceleration of IoT applications, and Ericsson’s software will enable to expand Verizon's coverage of low-cost IoT devices while supporting years of battery life.

RESEARCH STRATEGY:

We first made general research on renowned technology and telecommunication industry portals, where we found information on the general trends on telecommunications in the US nowadays. We then selected the trends that were more cited by these portals and further did deep researches on each of those trends, collected data, and built a general overview of each trend. Also, we were able to gather information about what is driving them and who the major players involved in these trends are. We have backed up our choice by showing in our findings how those trends are popular among customers or companies. We also showed with numbers how the companies are investing in these trends or customers are choosing them, and also how these trends are changing the game in the telecommunication industry.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Automotive Industry Trends

Current trends in the US automotive industry include a preference for used cars, alliances and mergers between automakers, autonomous vehicles and ridesharing, and growing demand from millennials. A detailed overview of noteworthy issues, activities, and events in this industry have been highlighted in this research.

Preference for Used Cars

  • Currently, there is an increase in US buyers' preference for used cars. The most prominent types of used cars being demanded are those recent vintage vehicles which have the latest or recently implemented features like safety and other features.
  • According to Eisenstein, a typical new vehicle in the US now costs within the range of $35,000 and $40,000, which is a relatively high increase from the previous price range. He further stated that even buyers who can afford new vehicles at the recent prices are consistently considering used cars.
  • Usually, the vehicles demanded are off-lease; this guarantees that the previous owners maintained them properly to avoid being penalized when the cars are returned. These used vehicles are mostly a year or two old, and they appear just like the models being displayed in showrooms.
  • By the end of this year, it is expected that about 40 million units of used cars would be sold in the US; this sales volume is more than twice the market size of new-vehicles. Leasing accounts for 30% of all new vehicle sales in the US. This has provided an abundant supply of used cars to last for the next three years.
  • According to an Automotive News report, 2019 is expected to witness a drop in the sales of new vehicles to less than 17 million. An Edmunds report shows there has been a consistent increase in used vehicle sales over the past three years. In 2016, 38.6 million used cars were sold in the United States, while 2017 recorded sales of 39.2 million; this trend continued in 2018 with a record high sales of 40.4 million used vehicles. Cox Automotive is a notable company at the forefront of this trend.


Alliances and mergers between automakers

  • Several automakers in the United States are forging new alliances and merging with other companies in order to share costs, leverage unique business capabilities, and explore new technologies. The automotive industry is quickly evolving and car makers are trying to ensure long-term success by positioning themselves strategically through these mergers.
  • According to PwC, by the end of the third quarter of 2018, the value of M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) deals signed in the automotive sector was $59.3 billion. This figure was the highest recorded in the last ten years. The United States is a major contributor to this global trend. Other factors such as increased interest rates and import tariffs on vehicle parts are also influencing these new alliances.
  • Ford and Volkswagen have signed a partnership aimed at making commercial pick-up trucks and vans. Toyota and Mazda are currently in a joint venture, while Honda and General Motors are also collaborating to make autonomous vehicles. Also, in order to develop electric batteries, Toyota has recently signed a partnership deal with Panasonic.
  • Tesla is one of the few companies who are yet to take advantage of the automotive partnership trend; this has led to its inability to develop and market new vehicles quickly. Consequently, the company has not benefited reasonably from recently increased US vehicle sales.
  • In order to recover from a great plunge in its US operating profits, Nissan is also strongly considering mergers and structural integration.

Increased Experimentation in Autonomous Vehicles and Ridesharing

  • As the concept of ridesharing and autonomous vehicles grows in popularity, key players in the US automotive industry are beginning to experiment more in this aspect. It is expected that US regulatory agencies would soon approve the use of driverless vehicles; this is a major contributor to this trend in increased experimentation.
  • The desire to increase safety and reduce accidents is a major reason behind these experiments. Currently, many newly manufactured vehicles in the United States are using ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) technology. Autonomous vehicle makers hope to improve public perception and ensure the acceptance of driverless cars by resolving the safety and security challenges associated with them.
  • In California alone, 52 companies had received autonomous vehicle test permits as of March 2018. In the past year, BMW also planned to have over "40 test vehicles" on US roads.
  • Uber, Waymo One and Lyft are major companies influencing this trend. If these cars no longer require a driver, the operational costs become lower; consequently, the cost incurred by users would reduce, thereby creating room for millions of new customers.

Growing Demand from Millennials

  • In the past, millennials have been perceived to be more interested in gadgets and other technology products than vehicles; however, recent car sales statistics have indicated that millennials are now a major demographic contributing to vehicle sales volumes.
  • A major reason for this trend appears to be the fact that members of the millennial generation are getting older and earning more. As a result, they are now getting married, having kids, and buying cars with their increased income. Millennials prevented the US automotive industry from experiencing a second successive decline in car sales in 2018.
  • In 2018, millennials were responsible for the sales growth of all new vehicles in North America. According to Experian data, the market share of millennials increased to 29.7% during the first quarter of 2018, from 27.9% in the first quarter of 2017. After experiencing a boom for eight years, U.S. car sales began to level off in 2018. During this time the market share from all other generations was relatively unchanged while millennials significantly gained stakes in the industry.
  • There is a significant growth in traffic on automotive websites due to millennials' high mobile engagement rates. In Texas, for instance, millennials now account for 34.4% of the automobile market share.
  • Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) like the recent Ford Expedition, as well as pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 are among the most demanded vehicles by this generation. This category of automobiles is used mostly for business purposes.


Research Strategy

In order to identify current trends in the US automotive industry, the research team searched for industry publications, articles and news reports with information on the most repeated issues, events, actions, or activities within this sector. We were able to identify an expert-backed trends report in the online business journal of the University of Pennsylvania.

The authors of the trends report used in our research are Paul A. Eisenstein and John Paul MacDuffie. Eisenstein, besides being a CNBC contributor, is also the publisher of thedetroitbureau.com. For over 30 years, he has consistently covered the auto industry. MacDuffi, on the other hand, is a professor of Management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. At the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, MacDuffi is the "director of the Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI)". From 2001–2012, he co-directed the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP), which is an M.I.T. research network dedicated to studying the automotive industry.

Having verified the credibility of the authors of the trends report found, we went further to search for news reports and articles with evidence to validate the authenticity of the claims made by these experts. Our focus was on finding information relating to the number of companies currently driving certain trends, as well as the frequency of occurrence of identified issues and events.
For each trend identified, we found at least three corroborating sources, with data presented in our key findings, to prove that it is indeed a recent issue or event that is being mentioned repeatedly on authoritative industry publications, expert reports, and credible news platforms. Our findings were then compiled and presented accordingly.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Online Privacy

The 7 key topics of online privacy are healthy privacy habits, how to define online privacy, big data and privacy, the privacy paradox, data breaches, facial recognition, and IoT devices.

Healthy Privacy Habits

Forbes Technology Council suggests 12 tips for healthy privacy habits:
Additional privacy advice:
  • Avoid posting personal data on websites with lower security levels, make sure websites use "https", instead of "http," clear browsing history and cache regularly, and avoid shopping on unreliable websites.
  • ZDNet's suggestions begin with phone user's and suggest turning off fingerprint security because federal agents can force you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint (but cannot force your to turn over your password.) Next be mindful of the apps you install because they may ask for permission to all data on your phone, use a strong passwords, keep everything up-to-date, remove your data online from data broker websites, think about encrypting your text messages, and be mindful of police intercepting your phone calls and texts with "stingrays", which force your phone to connect to 2G. Further, be careful of what you store in the cloud and on servers and delete accounts that are no longer used.

Definition of privacy in the digital age

  • The user definition of privacy is the ability to determine who can access what specific data about the user, where, when, and for what purpose.
  • The user should be able to decide when they are okay with someone gaining financially from their information.
  • The other side of the definition is the company's ability to protect the user's personal information from a data breach.
  • The definition of online privacy from a legal perspective is the amount of privacy protection a user has while connected to the internet.
  • Online privacy refers to the "amount of online security available for personal and financial data, communications, and preferences."
  • Internet privacy or online privacy, "involves the right of personal privacy in regards to the repurposing, storing, provision to third parties, and display of information relating to you via the internet."

Big Data and Privacy

  • Big data comes with its own privacy issues. Big data leads to the reuse of data in ways that may not have been intended. Anonymity is eroded because even data with the personal information stripped can be linked back to the individual's identity.
  • A large privacy issue facing big data are breaches where personal information is stolen. Another privacy issue is how much personal information these companies know.
  • One solution to big data and privacy is transparency for the people they "study."
  • Transparency should guide companies to tell users what information is being gathered from them, so they can determine what they might want to share.

Privacy Paradox

  • The privacy paradox observes that users care about protecting their information and feel uncomfortable about giving away, but do it anyway.
  • A recent study found that 54 percent of Americans believe companies do not have their best interest at heart, but still give up their data to them if they get some benefit.
  • A possible explanation for the privacy paradox is that users understand that there is a trade off between losing privacy and the benefits they get from using websites and application that undermine it.

Data Breaches

  • A data breach is where sensitive information is extracted from a data source by a cybercriminal.
  • The biggest breach incidents were Yahoo, Equifax, eBay, Heartland Payment Systems, and Target.
  • The information that is valuable to cybercriminals is name, date of birth, social security number, member identification number, email address, mailing address, telephone number, bank account number, and clinical and claims information.
  • Companies that collect consumer data when breached are not held accountable.
  • Consumers who lose their privacy from the data breach have to pay to protect their privacy, rather than the company who failed to protect their data, as in the case of Equifax's data breach.

Facial recognition

  • Biometric data is slowly becoming common place in airports, store aisles, and on the roads.
  • Like any other data shared on the internet, peoples facial data can be packaged and sent or sold to other companies, stored for long periods of time, or be used by the government to track people.
  • During a data breach depending on the data all it takes is for the user to reset their password to protect their information, but a facial data breach would be detrimental as people cannot change their faces to protect their identity.
  • Facial recognition software may also come with some hiccups such as false positives or misidentified people.
  • Like the privacy paradox mentioned above privacy advocates worry that users are willing to accept the convenience of facial recognition for their loss of privacy.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union says people should be able to walk down the street without being watched by the government through the use of this technology.
  • The trend with facial recognition is that the more common place it is the more privacy people will lose as they become more and more on display.

IoT devices

  • IoT devices rarely have security integrated.
  • Hackers do not want to remote hack IoT devices. They want to use the LAN that is connected to the devices with sensitive data, such as laptops and desktops.
  • Suggestions: put all devices behind a firewall, apply patches for devices as needed, and segregate the IoT devices on their own VLAN with a dummy email account.
  • The Internet Society found that 69 percent of participants in a survey owned at least one connected device and 63 percent of participants described the data collection process as "creepy."
  • Manufacturers and retails need to be held accountable for security and privacy issues and if they are not the IoT industry could have stalled growth due to consumers fearing IoT security and privacy issues.

Research Strategy:

In order to identify key trends/hot topics of online or internet privacy in the US, we focused on well-regarded news and technology media sources such as Forbes, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Entrepreneur, and their peers. To resolve a comprehensive picture of the topics, we did expand the initial scope of 2018 and 2019 only out to include a few sources from late 2017, but still stayed within the past 24 months.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Artificial Intelligence

Key topics/areas of discussion around artificial intelligence are natural language generation, speech recognition, virtual agents, machine learning, biometrics, robotics, deep learning, and computer vision.

Artificial Intelligence


1. Natural Language Generation

  • One artificial intelligence (AI) topic is the use of natural language generation (NLG) to produce written or spoken narrative from a dataset. NLG is related to computational linguistics and natural language processing; NLG provides personalization in scaling the data. As a result, NLG improves communication with the customer and their experience.

2. Speech Recognition

  • Closely related to NLG, the topic of speech recognition involves programs identifying spoken words and phrases. The Acoustic or Language models are used to covert these elements of speech to a machine-readable format for AI applications.

3. Virtual Agents

  • The topic of virtual agents (better known as chatbots) involves the creation of AI programs that primarily provide automated customer service. Virtual Agents are well-known for making business more reliable and easy through the automation of some elements of CRM.

4. Machine Learning

  • The topic of ML involves providing AI systems with the ability to self-learn and self-improve through experience instead of explicit programming. The latest focus in ML is the development of programs capable of accessing and learning from data on their own.

5. Biometrics

  • The topic of biometrics involves a discussion of using the technology not only as an advanced layer of security but also to provide more natural machine-human interactions; such as image matching as well as touch, voice, and face recognition.
  • There are many conferences this year on the subject of AI and ML vis-à-vis biometric applications. For example, the LDV Vision Summit in May of this year.

6. Robotics

  • The topic of robotics deals with the classic effort to utilize AI in the study and creation of intelligent, efficient robots. Using the latest advancements in ML, AI robotics completely automates the processes of decision-making, storage, and computation.
  • There are many conferences this year on the subject of AI and ML vis-à-vis robotic applications. For example, the Consumer Electronics Show in January of this year.

7. Deep Learning

  • All the preceding topics build on deep learning's foundation. Deep learning combined with neural network-based algorithms and ML has been a driving force for many AI applications like object recognition, speech, language translation, and many others.
  • There are many conferences this year on the subject of deep learning vis-à-vis AI, ML, and many other applications. For example, the Deep Learning Summit in January of this year.

8. Computer Vision

  • There are many conferences this year on the subject of AI and ML vis-à-vis computer vision. For example, the LDV Vision Summit we previously mentioned involved discussions on the topic.

Research Strategy:

We began our investigation with a search of industry databases and news sites (e.g., Kedjja, Forbes, and Analytics Insight) to determine the latest topics in the area of artificial intelligence. This inquiry yielded information on topics of discussion from as recently as 2018. Our next step was to look for conferences from 2018-2019 with related topic sessions. Our logic was that subjects in industry articles and conference sessions would be considered key areas of discussion on the subject of AI in the United States. We assembled this list using entries identified through this method.
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Global Aging

The two key topics / areas of discussion identified around global aging are "Decline in fertility rates across the Globe" and "Increase in life expectancy."

Fertility rate

  • Population aging is driven by the reductions in fertility and improvements in survival that occur during the demographic transition.
  • Declining fertility is the key driver of population aging globally.
  • For the first time in history, there are more elderly people in the world than young children, according to the United Nations.
  • In 1960, the world's fertility rate was almost five children per woman, according to the World Bank.
  • Almost 60 years later it has halved to only 2.4.
  • The aging population problem is sharper in developed countries.
  • They tend to have lower birth rates for a number of reasons mostly linked to economic affluence: child mortality rates are lower, birth control is easily accessible and raising children can be relatively expensive.


Increases in life expectancy

  • Increasing longevity plays an important role in global aging.
  • People live longer and are healthier.
  • Despite what one may think, the life expectancy for both men and women in the developed world generally increases.
  • Globally, people are living much longer than previously in recorded human history.
  • The United Nations has projected that global life expectancy has gone up from 47 years in 1950 to beyond 65 years of age in 2010 and projects that it will reach 75 years by 2050.
  • The increase in life expectancy can be rooted in declining infant mortality rates as well as the decreasing number of children deaths from childhood diseases.
  • While this means that more people will be able to enjoy what life has to offer, it also means that the number of elderly will see a substantial increase.

Global sentiments towards aging:

Some sentiments related to global aging are:
⦁ Global aging is dangerous.
⦁ Global aging is epidemic.
⦁ Global aging needs to reform.
⦁ Global aging has opportunities.
⦁ Global aging is incredible.

Expert opinions:

⦁ Global experts on aging discussed on four important topics during a three-day conference in Toronto in 2018.
⦁ The four topics covered were combating ageism, healthy aging, age-friendly environments and addressing inequalities.
Christoph Conrad, a global aging expert, analyzed that global aging will have tremendous implications for aspects of society: labor, housing, transportation, social protection, and family structures.

Additional info:

Three key factors contributing to population and workforce aging are continuously low or declining fertility rates, steady increases in life expectancy, and the aging of the large post-World War II baby boom.
⦁ Population aging is set to become one of the most consequential social alterations in the age of humankind.
⦁ While aging is a worldwide issue, the process is at a more advanced stage in some countries of Europe and Asia than that in the United States.
Regardless of the region, population aging affects various aspects of daily life like healthcare, pension, retirement, housing, transportation and so much more.



Research Strategy

As global aging is often a policy issue, we began our research with major government and non-profit sources such as Nia.nih.gov, un.org, g2aging, GCOA, and the International Federation of aging. While these sources provided numerous statistical and descriptive overviews of the topic, none provided a clear understanding of "key issues and topics of discussion."

We tried scoping out to general media sources and trending issues trackers and aggregators like Google Trends and general media sources like the New York Times, Forbes, and their peers. While we found consistent references to the two topics highlighted above, we could not isolate the requested 5 to 7 key topics.

Next, we sought expert and academic opinions from well regarded scientific sources like ResearchGate, NYU.edu, McMasterOptimalAging, and HackerNoon[2], etc since these sources had topics or articles related to the subject. This strategy was no more successful.

In the end, we only clearly uncovered two major areas of discussion related to global population aging, as well as a few relevant additional findings provided above that we hope will provide some insight into the topic.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

Modern Global Workforce

Some key topics / areas of discussion around the modern global workforce are the diverse workplace design, a borderless workforce, increased cyber security threats, having robots as coworkers, a shorter life cycle for the modern global workforce, longer careers due to improved life expectancy, and generation Z making up a bigger percentage of the modern global workforce.

diverse workplace design

  • Workplace design and an environment that is inclusive is a major area of discussion when it comes to the modern global workforce.
  • The modern global workforce is witnessing 4 generations working together for the first time in history. These generations think and act differently. They are also different in terms of what they like and prefer when it comes to workplace design. When designing work environments, these differences are being taken into consideration by employers.

Borderless modern global workforce

  • For the modern global workforce, where one is located has become less important when it comes to being able to work. Internet connectivity has made it possible for workers to access the same information and people from anywhere in the world just like they were working in an office building.
  • The focus for companies today is on identifying talented workers and keeping them wherever they are found, no matter their gender, age, or culture. Workers being able to collaborate and work together at any time, from anywhere, has become smoother and simpler, impacting the way work stations and buildings are designed.
  • Cloudless technology has made it easy for the modern global workforce to work remotely and access information through the virtual cloud. The technology is being used in things such as worker collaboration, storing data, and software systems.

cyber security threats

  • Improved internet connectivity and the increased number of remote workers means that the number of devices used by companies to connect businesses has gone up. The devices heighten the threats from cyber attacks that companies face today.
  • Cyber security technology is being used to mitigate cyber attacks but will need to evolve to deal with sophisticated attacks.

working with robots as coworkers

generation z workers make up a big percentage of the workforce

  • Generation Z is growing as a modern global workforce and is estimated to amount to about 36% of the total global workforce by the year 2020. This is the first generation to grow up in an internet world all their life, and they are used to modern technology. Generation Z has started getting into the workplace and employers need to adapt the workspace and workplace to attract and retain this generation.

shorter life cycle for employees

longer careers due to improved life expectancy in developed countries

RESEARCH STRATEGY:

To determine some of the key topics / areas of discussion around the modern global workforce, we began our research by looking for the key topics / areas in publicly available lists of credible industry databases and publications. We were able to find multiple lists of key topics / areas from credible sources such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Cio, Hacker Noon, and Kinnarps. We studied these lists to locate topics within them that were repeated the most, and were able to find seven key topics and included them in our findings.
Sources
Sources

From Part 04
From Part 08
Quotes
  • "Looking into the future, design equality and inclusive environments will be a matter of course in all workplaces."
Quotes
  • "... the use of the cloud continues to grow and permeate technology as we know it today. This is seen in many different aspects throughout our offices — including data storage, collaboration, software and cloud-based phone systems. All these things are continually growing more sophisticated, with no end in sight. "
Quotes
  • "It’s no secret that many companies are seeing turnover increase. Between low engagement in many companies and younger employees who more likely to leave within five years than to stay beyond five years, it is evident that businesses must respond."
Quotes
  • "One of the most immediate and impactful outcomes of technological evolution is the vast advancement in automation. Every day, more manual processes become automated, and as technology continues to accelerate, so will automation."
Quotes
  • "These technological displacements will require that we upskill and learn to work with machines in order to stay relevant to the job market."
Quotes
  • "Organizations have incredible amounts of employee data available — why not use it to identify who’s most likely to leave, why, and then take steps to prevent that.."