Information Technology Foresight

The latest thinking on creating competitive advantage through information technology.

Current issue

Tomorrow’s Data Heroes

Consumer data has become the coin of the digital realm. Just about every company now collects, buys and sells as much of it as possible, at little or no cost to themselves. It makes many people anxious, but imagine a future in which consumers gain control over the vast quantities of data they produce. What companies will help them – and thus prosper accordingly?

4,900: the number of data points every person in the world will produce daily by 2025.

It could be telecom operators. The current issue of IT Foresight features “Tomorrow’s Data Heroes,” an in-depth analysis of the many new opportunities that will become available by 2025 in a new world of data proliferation and dwindling privacy. This article argues that forward-thinking telecom companies stand the best chance of capturing a significant share of the new value to be created—but only if they play their cards right.

Featured Foresights

Tomorrow’s Data Heroes
s+b article
This article offers a hypothetical view of what the data economy might look like in 2025. By then, concerns about how personal data is collected and used—and abused—could lead to regulations giving consumers far greater control over the personal data they generate. Telecom operators, the article argues, are well positioned to be the mediators between consumers and service providers looking to make use of their data. The data platforms they could create would allow consumers to share their data with whomever they see fit, and to profit from it, too. Unrealistic, you say? We think it’s a viable strategic direction.
Making 5G Pay
Strategy& viewpoint
Telecom operators around the world are preparing to invest as much as US$28 billion on 5G services over the next five years. But if the previous shift to 4G is any indication, they will struggle mightily to earn back that investment, especially if they hope to recoup it directly from consumers through higher prices. Instead, they will need to develop a range of so-called business-to-business-to-customer, or B2B2C, business models in which they partner with firms (such as media, virtual reality, and data-reliant manufacturing companies) to offer data services built on faster speeds and greater flexibility to their own customers.