How long have you been working on the predictions and what has changed most since the beginning?
Deloitte started publishing Predictions in 2001, and I joined the team in 2008, so this is my tenth year! In the beginning we focused mostly on trends around phones, but since then we have expanded to cover all of tech, media and telecom. How have they changed? They have become more accurate: we do a report card every year, and we have gone from 60% accuracy in 2008 to 90% accuracy in 2017. Part of that increase is due to our methodology becoming ever-more broad: for the 2018 Predictions we interviewed hundreds of companies globally and commissioned consumer surveys interviewing more than 50,000 people in dozens of countries, including France.
You'll be in Rennes with us Feb 1st and without revealing too much, what are the main trend for 2018?
Our biggest trend for this year is around machine learning and the growth in that space, partially powered by new chip architectures. Not only is that the most important this year, it may be the most important Prediction I have ever written! Other key areas are around 5G wireless technologies and trends around ad blocking. We have French data on adblocking that we think will be fascinating!
What was your best prediction in the last 10 years?
Tablets! Both ways: in 2010 we predicted that tablets would see 10-12 million units in the next year, and they sold 12.1 million. Consensus was 5 million, so we were far and away the most accurate. In 2017 we predicted tablet sales would decline to 165 million, and the actual number looks like it will be 164.8 million. So we’re pretty close.
What do you prefer most in this TMT roadshow?
After ten years of road shows, I am sure there are many stories… but they all blend together. Instead, my best memory is how I like to learn about France! Over the years we have been to Paris more times than I can count (bien sûr !) but have also presented in Lille, Marseille, Nice, Grenoble, Lyon, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Metz, Nancy, Angers, Nantes... Some of my French colleagues joke that I know France better than they do! It is a privilege to have a job that lets us experience my favourite country in a way that most “mere tourists” could never hope to match.
Why Rennes for this year?
Rennes is an important digital and media hub in the western region. Home to many globally known large companies as well as small and mid-sized players. Deloitte thinks that as part of our annual tour, Rennes is an “incontournable!”.