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Tech, Media and Telecom (TMT) Predictions 2021 – Thematic Research

In this report, the top 30 themes that will impact the technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) sector in 2021 has been identified. For each theme, it offers a series of predictions, identify winners and losers, and point you to further reading.

Which are the major technology themes impacting the TMT sector?

Few of the major technology themes impacting the TMT sector in 2021 are artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and quantum computing.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is one of the most hyped technologies, with reality often falling short of vendors’ world-altering promises. However, 2021 will be less about making bold statements and more about delivering tangible benefits. The industry will focus on business use cases that deliver rapid operational improvements.

Cybersecurity

The number and severity of cybersecurity attacks will only continue to rise. Phishing is the most common attack type, ransomware the most lucrative. Ransom demands appear to have no ceiling, as evidenced by the ransom demanded from Software AG in 2020. Data privacy breaches are an ongoing concern. Business email compromise (BEC) will be one of the biggest threats in the coming year.

Quantum computing

While widespread enterprise use remains years away, the hype around quantum computing (QC) continued to build in 2020, and with good reason. More people than ever are getting to grips with QC, with many companies now offering quantum cloud experiences for beginners and developers alike. Two separate organizations, Google and the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), have claimed the quantum advantage, but practical use cases need to be proven in 2021 for the field to continue to attract investment.

Which are the major macroeconomic themes impacting the TMT sector?

The major macroeconomic themes impacting the TMT sector in 2021 are COVID-19, sustainability, the future of work, geopolitics, social media, M&A, and Generation Hashtag.

COVID-19

Local companies in countries with vaccine access will be able to restart business in 2021. However, companies with global supply chains and workforces will have to adapt. Even companies that emerge relatively unscathed from COVID-19 will seek greater flexibility in their supply chains. Relying on a single country (i.e., China) for production will no longer be considered sustainable.

Sustainability

Sustainability will be a key theme in 2021. Many factors will push this topic to the forefront: increasingly frequent extreme weather events, a new US president committed to tackling climate change, the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), and growing pressure from investors and consumers.

The future of work

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes to the way that people work around the globe and across industries. Some degree of remote working will become permanent in office jobs, and industry will build more resilient supply chains. The inexorable rise of the gig economy will lead to further legal battles in 2021, at a time when fundamental shifts in the labor market will force governments to plug holes and write new legislation. Automation will continue to rebalance the labor market, with smarter robots decreasing the need for in-person attendance.

Geopolitics

The open internet continues to be undermined by trade disputes, most notably between the US and China. A Biden presidency will prompt increased cooperation with the EU and other international bodies, which will weaken China’s technological reach and improve regulatory processes. However, non-democratic regimes will also restrict access to the open internet and further tie their tech companies to political structures.

M&A

Despite the global pandemic, total M&A activity in the global technology, media, and telecom sector reached a significant value in 2020. The top three themes that drove M&A activity across the TMT industry in 2020 were connectivity, big data, and cloud.

Social Media

Anyone born between 1991 and 2005 is a member of Generation Hashtag. The priorities and preferences of this demographic, which incorporates younger Millennials and older members of Generation Z (Gen Z), are reshaping the corporate world. At a rough estimate, Generation Hashtag makes up one-quarter of the global population, and its influence will increase as its members continue to enter the workforce.

Which are the major regulatory themes impacting the TMT sector?

The major regulatory themes impacting the TMT sector in 2021 will be data privacy, antitrust, and misinformation.

Data privacy

EU plans for a Digital Single Market (DSM) are coming to fruition, causing stricter regulations, particularly for messaging providers such as Microsoft (Skype) and Facebook (WhatsApp). US federal data protection legislation will also be debated in 2021. Consumer data privacy regulations will limit Big Tech because vast data stores equate to market power.

Antitrust

The tide is turning for Chinese Big Tech companies, with fintech regulations proposed after years of freedom for companies like Tencent and Alibaba. Meanwhile, in the West, landmark antitrust cases such as the US Department of Justice (DoJ) lawsuit against Google, launched in October 2020, will set a precedent for future cases against internet giants. The proposed EU Digital Services Act will provide specific regulations for online platforms.

Misinformation

Big Tech will continue to self-regulate harmful content in 2021. Potentially divisive events like the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and President Biden’s inauguration will increase the necessity for self-regulation of misinformation. However, this will not be enough for Big Tech to avoid official regulation.

Who are the key players in the TMT sector?

Some of the key players in the TMT sector are Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Baidu, Apple, Tencent, Facebook, and IBM.

For further insights on themes impacting the TMT sector, download a free report sample

Market report scope

Major technological themes Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity, and Quantum Computing
Major macroeconomic themes COVID-19, Sustainability, The Future of Work, Geopolitics, Social Media, M&A, and Generation Hashtag
Major regulatory themes Data Privacy, Antitrust, and Misinformation
Key players Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Baidu, Apple, Tencent, Facebook, and IBM

 Scope

  • We classify our top 30 themes for 2021 into three groupings. Few of the major technology themes impacting the TMT sector in 2021 will be: artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, quantum computing
  • The major macroeconomic themes impacting the TMT sector in 2021 will be: COVID-19, sustainability, the future of work, geopolitics, social media, M&A, and Generation Hashtag.
  • The major regulatory themes impacting the TMT sector in 2021 will be data privacy, antitrust, and misinformation.

Key Highlights

This TMT Predictions 2021 report identifies the top 30 themes that will impact the TMT sector in 2021. For each theme, we offer a series of predictions, identify winners and losers, and point you to further reading.

Reasons to Buy

  • Companies who invest in the right themes become success stories; those who miss the big themes end up as failures. Given that so many themes are disruptive, it is very easy to be blindsided by industry outsiders who invade your sector.
  • So, to help our clients gain competitive advantage, we have developed GlobalData’s thematic research ecosystem, a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors.
  • This report is a multi-theme report organized by theme. It covers 30 themes, drawn from technology, macroeconomics, and regulation. It should be read in conjunction with another multi-theme report, Tech, Media, & Telecom Themes 2021, which is organized by sector.

Key Players

Alphabet

Amazon

Microsoft

Alibaba

Baidu

Apple

Tencent

Facebook

IBM

Darktrace

Fortinet

Palo Alto Networks

Intel

Honeywell

D-Wave

Vmware

Oracle

HPE

Salesforce

ServiceNow

Huawei

Ericsson

Nokia

Samsung Electronics

Qualcomm

AT&T

Verizon

SK Telekom

KT

T-Mobile USA

China Mobile

Comcast

Digi

Cox

Lumen

Bharti Airtel

Charter Communication

SAP

Fanuc

Siemens

OSISoft

Schneider Electric

ABB

PTC

Yokogawa Electric

Rockwell Automation

Danaher

Software AG

Garmin

Huami

Fitbit

Bose

GN Group

Fossil

Sony

Lenovo

Sennheiser

Ecobee

Tado

LIFX

Nvidia

Ubisoft

Perfect World

Electronic Arts

Valve

Nintendo

Vivendi

Activision Blizzard

Netmarble

Nexon

Square Enix

Take-Two Interactive

Krafton

Modern Times Group

NetEase

IGG

Konami

Sega Sammy

iQiyi

Disney

ByteDance

Comcast

Rakuten

M6

Mediaset

TF1

Cineworld

Cineplex

ProSiebenSat.1

AMC Networks

Atresmedia

Discovery

ViacomCBS

Grupo Televisa

RTL

Lionsgate Entertainment

ITV

Zee Entertainment

Cisco

Arista Networks

Broadcom

Xilinx

Ant Group

TransferWise

Fiserv

Square

Stripe

PayPal

Robinhood

Klarna

Adyen

Revolut

ASOS

AO.com

Delivery Hero

DoorDash

JD.com

Meituan Dianping

MercadoLibre

Netflix

Ocado

Pinduoduo

Shopify

Spotify

Suning

Vipshop

Walmart

Zalando

Vuzix

Magic Leap

HTC

Tesla

General Motors

VW

Daimler

BYD

Great Wall

SAIC

Geely

CATL

LG Chem

Panasonic

Samsung SDI

Tenneco

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Didi Chuxing

Yandex

Velodyne Lidar

LeddarTech

Uber

BMW

Mercedes-Benz

Accenture

EY

Teladoc

Amwell

Orexo

Pfizer

BioNTech

Moderna

AstraZeneca

Boeing

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp

Northrup-Grumman

Airbus

SpaceX

Lockheed Martin

Blue Origin

Virgin

Waterstones

Casino Guichard

Greene King

Wetherspoons

Renren

Yelp

Yahoo! Japan

New Work

Mixi

Parler

Just Eat Takeaway

Match Group

Weibo

Gannett

New York Times

News Corp

Daily Mail & General Trust

Lagardère

Quebecor

Wiley

Wolters Kluwer

Schibsted

Meredith

Sina

AMS

Qorvo

Ambarella

Cognex

Graphcore

Cambricon

Microchip

NXP

Semtech

Infinera

NeoPhotonics

Nippon Ceramic

Omron

Harmonic Drive

Nabtesco

3D Systems

Stratasys

Autodesk

PTC

Dassault Systèmes

Splunk

Alteryx

Domo

OpenText

Cornerstone OnDemand

Workday

Paylocity

Cloudera

Citrix Systems

SecureWorks

FireEye

Varonis

Box

Dropbox

Twilio

Zoom

Criteo

ChannelAdvisor

Marchex

Table of Contents

Executive summary

2021 theme map

Technology themes

Macroeconomic themes

Regulatory themes

Glossary

Further reading

Thematic methodology

Frequently Asked Questions

Artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and quantum computing are the major technology themes impacting the TMT sector.

COVID-19, sustainability, the future of work, geopolitics, social media, M&A, and Generation Hashtag are the major macroeconomic themes impacting the TMT sector.

Data privacy, antitrust, and misinformation are the major regulatory themes impacting the TMT sector.

Some of the key players in the TMT sector are Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Baidu, Apple, Tencent, Facebook, and IBM.

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