By Richard Golding, Head of Global Occupier Services, UK & Ireland
A few years ago the phrase ‘TMT’ was beginning to look slightly outmoded – a useful category to lump any business doing something vaguely IT-related into, but hardly a meaningful term that captured the diversity of the businesses it was used to refer to.
This is no longer the case. Powerful changes to the way consumers and enterprises interact with technology, consume media and communicate have focused the sector around providing the infrastructure, apps and content that we use or take advantage of every day. Broadly speaking, TMT sector companies are those that are involved in the provision of both the software and hardware consumers and enterprises use to access content, work and communicate; they provide the media, apps and content accessed on computers, smartphones and tablets; and power the networks that enable the delivery of data and information to these devices. They are the companies at the frontier of the digital economy, making possible advances like self-driving cars, intelligent software and smart cities.
The lines between technology, media and telecoms are, however, becoming increasingly blurred as players in the sector vie to keep pace with the changing demands of customers and identify similar opportunities for growth. This is leading to a considerable degree of overlap between companies in the space. Facebook, a technology company, last year acquired smartphone messaging app WhatsApp for $22 billion, an app that telecoms companies had complained was dissuading users from sending text messages. AOL, a media company which operates online outlets including the Huffington Post, Techcrunch and Engadget, was recently acquired by American telecoms giant Verizon for $4.4 billion. Elsewhere, telecoms company BT announced in early 2015 that it will acquire mobile network EE, with reports that it intends to bundle mobile deals with its home broadband and TV packages, including access to the sports and film networks it operates.
Over the course of the next ten years, not only will the distinctions between the different parts of the sector fade, but leading TMT companies will come to transform industries beyond their own. Google X, the secretive subsidiary of Alphabet, is working on drones and robotics technologies with applications in logistics and defense. Apple is rumored to be working on an electric, semi-autonomous car that the firm will unveil in 2019. The pervasive nature of technology ensures that new opportunities will be created for TMT players across all sectors of the economy. Successful TMT firms will, therefore, come to play a critical role in all industries.
The above is an excerpt from our newest GOS report, The Future of the TMT Workplace, which can be downloaded here.
Richard has over 20 years of Corporate Real Estate, Strategic Portfolio Management & Agency experience, supporting client to develop portfolio strategy & deliver major projects. Richard is Head of Global Occupier Services UK & I for Cushman & Wakefield, taking responsibility for all occupier activity managed within the UK and is part of Cushman and Wakefield’s Global TMT group, coordinating Cushman’s capabilities, expertise and delivering research and sector trends.