We're focusing our attention on four well-documented ICT trends - cloud, social applications, mobility and big data - which are converging to both drive and enable innovation.
The uptake of cloud services globally has been phenomenal - Cisco has forecast that global cloud traffic will increase 42-fold by 2016 and that the cloud will account for 71 per cent of total global mobile data within the same timeframe. However the cloud is only one way of delivering flexible services that can be rapidly deployed. Its real value lies in the quality of the delivered services, and the financial elasticity promised by the "as-a-service" model.
Social applications represent an opportunity to engage with staff and customers in a new and exciting way, and also to quickly increase a customer base. This potential growth opportunity is unprecedented and provides New Zealand businesses with a chance to break geographic boundaries and be exposed to the global marketplace.
Mobility extends the office environment, enabling businesses to connect, share and create without the traditional boundaries. And though the Bring Your Own Device and Bring Your Own Application trends raise security issues that need to be addressed, enabling employees to work flexibly using a mobile device can increase productivity and deliver cost savings.
The concept of "big data" is receiving a huge amount of attention. IBM has estimated 90 per cent of the world's data has been created in the past two years, and this trend is accelerating. For business, the relevance lies in the capture of data, and the use of that data for business benefit.
These global trends are reflected in the services we're choosing to bring to market, and the uptake of those services. We've seen a dramatic increase in mobile data usage over the Telecom network in the past two years, and steady uptake of Gen-i ReadyCloud services. Significant investments in Telecom's Smartphone Network and a new trans-Tasman telecommunications cable will ensure we continue to deliver world class capabilities for our clients as data consumption grows, workforces become even more mobile and businesses expand into international markets.
Investments include an upgrade to our core infrastructure (Optical Transport Network), dual carrier HSPA+ delivered to 50 per cent of our 3G network and customer trials for a new 4G LTE network, with a commercial service initially available later this year.
Tim Miles is CEO of Telecom's ICT business unit Gen-i