Why Forward-Looking Companies are Planning for Greater Growth

Those of us in Silicon Valley continue to be amazed at the growth of our local tech industry. Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and most of the tech companies here are still hiring and their campuses are bursting at the seams.

In fact, Apple is getting closer to opening its spaceship campus in Cupertino and even that will not be enough to solve their current and future staffing problems. They recently purchased another large property in north San Jose and I am told they are looking for more just north of their new campus in Cupertino. Google and Facebook are also looking to expand and every week I hear of a company or two that is looking at trying to find more space to house a growing tech staff.

With all of these companies betting big on their future, one has to wonder if they know something we don’t. Sure, Apple, Google, Facebook, and the rest are growing right now but, as you probably know, the tech world has also had some major downturns. But this strong expansion from the major tech companies appears to suggest they understand we may be about to enter an even stronger growth cycle and want to be prepared to for it.

We have been spending a lot of time researching this question and I believe there are seven major reasons for these tech stalwarts to believe a sea change is about to happen and demand for tech-related products and services could perhaps triple in the next five to ten years.

The biggest thing I see coming is in the form of a major move to build out broadband wireless networks that will provide the underlying communications layer critical for future communications, IoT and self-driving automobiles. This will be done with the build out of 5G networks over the next 5-10 years and deliver a wireless mesh around cities and communities that will drive what we believe will be a new wave of innovation.

Every major telecom company is working hard to build out 5G and telecom equipment makers as well as important semi-conductor companies like Qualcomm and Intel are betting their futures on 5G networks. They are also creating the kind of devices and endpoints that can take advantage of wireless broadband. The amount of money being spent on this build out will be staggering and it means more tech jobs and more tech growth, not only in Silicon Valley but all over the world.

One needs to think of 5G as the next big enabler of tech growth. Once a mesh of broadband wireless networks becomes available, it will have a dramatic impact on all aspects of our lives and makes it possible for IoT to become a bigger reality.

Business Insider recently created a special report called the “Internet of Things Ecosystem Research Report” in which they created an infographic about how “the Internet of Things will be as transformative to the world as was the Industrial Revolution.” I suggest you peruse it when you can as it lays out a pretty strong case for this premise.

A few highlights from the report state:

– $6 trillion will be invested in IoT solutions over the next five years

– There will be 24 billion IoT devices installed by 2020

-Close to $3 trillion will be spent on application development, device hardware, system integration, data storage, security and connectivity between now and 2020

If these numbers are true, you can see why Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Qualcomm, et al, are getting ready for explosive growth.

A third growth factor that is related to IoT will be the the build out of smart cities and smart automobiles in the next 10 years. We are already seeing major moves to put sensors and wireless cameras in light poles, embedded in streets, inside and outside of buildings around a city, etc. While these will be important for city management and services, some of these sensors and cameras will also be critical for use by autonomous vehicles, too. Over the next 5-15 years, the automotive industry will transition to various forms of self-driving vehicles and cities around the world will be putting sensors and cameras all around their communities that will talk to these automobiles to enhance their navigation within city limits as well as help with crash avoidance systems. These infrastructure build outs will take time and cost a lot of money and demand the help of a lot of engineers and specialty personnel.

The fourth growth area will be in data centers and include various types of data mining and data analytic skills and data specific engineers. At this time, almost every company is in need of more staff to deal with these disciplines, especially the data analysis aspect. Each day, these companies are collecting terabytes and petabytes of data of all types that needs to be searched, analyzed, and used to enhance their ability to create products and services for their customers.

The fifth area I unfortunately see as having huge growth is in security technology and a demand for security experts. In year’s past when I have been asked for career advice, my stock answer had always been to become an IT professional or a hardware or software engineer. Now my answer is to become a security expert.

This is an area that will only grow and will become much more important to companies as hackers and rogue nations try to infiltrate every industry and company and steal the identity of individuals. Demand for security experts is at an all-time high and will only grow in the future. I sense this will be an area where job security will be great.

The sixth comes with the advancements in VR and AR or, more likely, a mix of the two called mixed or merged reality. There is no doubt VR and AR will revolutionize the computing experience and offer new ways to interact with technology as well as with each other. These technologies are in their early stages but they will bring new jobs and new levels of innovation to the computing experience over the next 5-7 years.

And the seventh area is the digitization of the health market and how health trackers and smartwatches will link a person to their health professionals so they can be proactive in their patient care. At every level of the health care system, digital technology will become more important to diagnosis, management of patient records, the prevention of disease, and getting people to be more active and report their various health issues and conditions directly to their health care professionals in a more timely matter.

As one who has tracked the tech market for the last 35 years and seen its tremendous growth as well as it ups and downs, I am excited about what I think will be the most explosive era of tech growth over the next 5-15 years. I think tech growth will triple and I consider that a conservative estimate.

Clearly, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Qualcomm, the telecoms and many others have a glimpse of this vision and are getting ready for this next era in which technology will have its greatest impact on our market and the world.

Published by

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.

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