‘So much for modern technology!’ exclaimed the cashier, neatly encapsulating our ongoing love / hate relationship with modern techno gadgetry. I’d just failed (again) to pay for my shopping using the Wave and Pay contactless payment technology.
Disappointed, but not discouraged, I gave it another go this morning – and success! With a deft wave of my card over the scanner, I noticed a green light flash – and a pain au raisin was mine. Effortless. In this one innovation, everyday life has changed and become a little bit more congenial.
This is perhaps what is so exciting about technology – its potential to change our habits and ways of working and interacting with each other, even the way we that we think – both individually and collectively.
A great many of us (both businesses and individuals) are reaching out for and embracing new technologies and this is clearly the primary driver of UK and global TMT sector (broadcasting, publishing, new media, advertising, marketing, PR, information technology, telecoms and media) growth.
From a property perspective, this growth has fed into market dynamics strongly over the last few years – with a large increase in demand and competition from TMT companies for office space in the Central London market. TMT accounted for 22% of all Central London office take-up in the first half of 2012, up from a 20% share in 2011 and a mere 13% share as recently as 2010. Indeed, this sector has overtaken the banking and finance sector to become the new driving force in the market. Over the next few years we anticipate the importance of the TMT sector to continue, driven by increased tech sector demand, investment and anticipated jobs growth.
It seems as if the only way is up. As the economy recovers, businesses will start to spend more on IT. Consumers are also likely to spend more on the latest smart phones, tablet devices and apps as connectivity becomes ever more critical in our working and personal lives and we continue to see increasing convergence of business, media and social interests.
The evidence is clearly there for all to see (in London). Every morning last week as I walked past the Apple Store in Regent Street I couldn’t help noticing the growing number of enthusiasts camped out – eagerly awaiting the release of the new iPhone 5. They’ve received a record two million pre-orders, whilst some analysts predicting they could sell between 50 to 60 million by the end of the year.
It’s clear that the pace and passion for technological change is unabated. This will reflect in real estate market dynamics. Those interested in these dynamics might wish to consult our forthcoming TMT digest.