International Data Flow

The World Wide Web. A decentralized network of data stored on servers all around the world. But many countries—China, Russia, Germany, and Belgium, to name a few—are enacting laws requiring multinational companies to store and process country-specific data on local servers. According to the source, relaxing such restrictions has become a priority of President Donald Trump’s administration as they negotiate trade agreements, including the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA.

Proponents of these laws say that having their users’ data stored locally aids in cyber security. Opponents say that storing data on local servers is more expensive, especially for small to medium sized companies. High tech companies worry about having their source codes stolen. Some companies worry that governments or political groups will use the data stored on these servers for illegitimate reasons. And many argue that limiting data flow also limits job growth and innovation. According to Nigel Cory, a trade policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, “data needs to flow to create value.”

Today’s market size is the estimated value of data flowing through international borders in 2014, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2014
Market size: $2.8 trillion
Sources: Yu, Roger, “More Firms Push Back on Foreign Data Rule,” USA TODAY for the Lansing State Journal, August 13, 2017, page 4B
Original source: Manyika, James, et. al., Digital Globalization: The New Era of Global Flows, McKinsey Global Insitute, February 2016 available online here.
Image source: Geralt, “Binary-hands-keyboard-tap-enter-2372131,” Pixabay, June 2017 available online here.

Automotive Semiconductors

Semiconductors—the essential foundation upon which modern electronics rest—are found in all electronic devices as well as many products that one would not initially think of as electronic, such as greeting cards with embedded audio chips in them to produce music upon opening. The use of semiconductors in the automotive industry has made the modern car/truck one of the most advanced electronic devices most people own, often without even knowing it.

Semiconductors are, in the simplest terms, elements like germanium and silicon that conduct electricity at only moderate rates, thus they are “semi” conductors. These elements are used to make the semiconductor chips that are embedded in electronic devices to allow the use of electrical currents as a signal. All cybernetics rely on this type of signaling.

Today’s market size is the estimated value of the automotive semiconductor market, worldwide, in 2012 (when it represented 8.1% of the total world semiconductor market) and a projection of the market’s value in 2020.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012 and a projection for 2020
Market size: $23.4 billion and $33.5 billion respectively
Sources: (1) Gary S. Vasilash, “The Supercomputer in Your Garage,” Car and Driver, December 2013, page 34. (2) Monique D. Magee, editor, “Semiconductors,” Market Share Reporter: Trends Over Time, GALE Cengage Learning, 2012, page 553.
Original source: Strategy Analytics
Posted on November 15, 2013


Over the last decade bioinformatics has been characterized by the mapping of many genomes. This has fueled explosive growth in the field generally, growth which is anticipated to continue into the future.

Bioinformatics, in the most basic sense, is the application of information technology to the life sciences to increase the understanding of biological and chemical processes. It is the study of the methods for storing, retrieving and analyzing biological data, a wealth of which is growing rapidly and thus feeding demand for more bioinformatics. Fields that benefit from the output of bioinformatics are many, including especially agricultural biotechnology, pharmaceutical research and development, and medical and clinical diagnostics.

Today’s market size is the estimated value of this hybrid industry in 2012 and a projected value for 2018.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012 and 2018
Market size: $2.3 billion and $9.1 billion respectively
Source: “Global Bioinformatics Market is Expected to Reach USD 9.1 Billion in 2018: Transparency Market Research,” The Herald, November 28, 2012, a link to which is here.
Original source: Transparency Market Research, whose study on this industry may be purchased on their website here.
Posted on November 28, 2012

Home Wireless Routers

Many people who own tablet computers, laptops, and e-readers own wireless routers. Wireless routers allow them to connect to the Internet through these devices from anywhere in their homes. Data show sales of home wireless routers in 2005 and 2011.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2005 and 2011
Market Size: $700 million and $1.3 billion respectively
Source: Tamara Chuang, “When the Home’s Most Important Internet Device Fails,” The Street, September 17, 2012, available online here.
Original Source: Dell’Oro Group
Posted on September 26, 2012

Data Loss

That sinking feeling… we have all probably been there, face to face with a computer we count on that has begun to act up. The loss of data resulting from computer hardware failure, software corruption or even human error, is painful and costly. Measuring the loss is a difficult task but one that was undertaken by Dr. David M. Smith and reported on in the article from which we source today’s market size post. A full citation is below.

Specifically, the market size presented here is the estimated annual loss to businesses in the United States due to data losses on PCs and laptops. It dates back to 2003 but it provides us with a scope for the problem and a scope that we know has only grown. For further details, check the source article which defines things clearly.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2003
Market size: $18.2 billion
Source: David M. Smith, “The Cost of Lost Data,” Graziadio Business Review, 2003, available online here.
Original source: Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University
Posted on December 1, 2011

Computers in the U.S.

The steady rise in demand for computers and electronic computing devices in the United States appears, when charted, as a line moving in exactly the opposite direction as the domestic production and shipments of these same products. This is an industry (NAICS 334111) that highlights a trend towards increasing consumption of a product and declining production of the same which feeds the U.S. trade imbalance. But that leads us to complex questions we don’t really want to address here. Here, we present market sizes and today’s is based on the value of Electronic Computer Manufacturing in the United States in 2000 and 2010 as well as the value of net imports of the same products in 2000 and the forecasted value for 2010.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2000 and 2010
Market size: U.S. manufacturing $69.3 and $27.9 billion
Market size: Net imports $89.4 and $199.3 billion
Source: Computer value of shipments from Annual Survey of Manufactures 1997, and the 2002 Economic Census. Net imports of Electric and Electronic Equipment from Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2000. Net imports of Computers and Electronic Products from Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012.
Posted on November 29, 2011

Compact Discs

US Production of CDsCompact discs, or CDs, appeared on the recording media scene and rapidly became the standard, demand for them growing in leaps and bounds. But their position as market leader was a passing thing. As digital recording media they are still used but in ever smaller numbers, as the graphic shows. Part of the decline in production is the result of production going overseas. But a shift in how we record and store digital information is the primary cause for the decline of CDs.

Today’s market size is the value of U.S. manufacturer shipments of CDs in 2009. These values refer to blank CDs, to the storage media and not products later sold and distributed on that compact disc media.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2009
Market size: $4.27 billion
Source: “Table 1139. Recording Media—Manufacturers Shipments and Value: 2000 to 2009,” Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011, January 20, 2011, page 716, available online here.
Original source: U.S. Census Bureau

The Public Cloud

Cloud computing is, in the simplest terms, the use of a remote location, accessible through the Internet, to store the data and applications used on a computer. We discuss this market in more detail in a post from May 3rd. Today’s market size is the size of the public cloud which is defined by the source as a service that is commercially offered to an “unrestricted marketplace of potential users.”

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2010 and forecast for 2015
Market size: $21.5 and $72.9 billion respectively
Source: Larry Dignan, “IDC: Public Cloud Market Will Hit $72.9 Billion in 2015,” ZDNet, June 20, 2011, available online here.
Original source: IDC

VOIP Providers

Today’s market size is based on the revenues earned by Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) providers in 2010. VOIP saw a tremendous 194 percent growth from 2000 to 2010. This industry is expected to grow another 17.4 percent from 2010 to 2016.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market size:: $12.5 billion
Source: Phil Izzo, “Top 10 Thriving Industries,” The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2011, available online here
Original source: IBIS World

Cloud Computing

A term we hear quite often these days is cloud computing. The personal computer revolution was, in part, a step away from what were then the large, centralized mainframe computers on which data was stored and accessed through workstations. With a personal computer, one had everything on his or her own device. Now, in a way, there is a decoupling again of the data from the device. Cloud computing is, in the simplest terms, the use of a remote location, accessible through the Internet, to store the data and applications used on a computer—instead of a hard drive on the local computer or local network of computers.

This is a growing business but one whose boundaries are still being defined, which makes it difficult to measure. It is hard to keep the image of a person trying to measure a cloud from coming to mind. Consequently, one can find many different size estimates for cloud computing, the differences usually having to do with how the market is defined. What we present here is an estimate of the revenue from business cloud services—hardware and software infrastructure as well as the leasing of space—so it does not include, for example, the services provided to people wishing to back-up their family photo albums. Cloud computing services to the individual is another large business and one that may be included in other estimates of the nebulous cloud computing market.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2010 and forecast for 2014
Market size: $22.2 billion and $55.5 billion respectively
Source: Lohr, Steve, “The Business Market Plays Cloud Computing Catch-Up,” The New York Times, April 15, 2011, page B16
Original source: IDC