Legal Technology – the future of legal services – Legal Futures

Lawtech: enabling lawyers to deliver “more for less”

One way of viewing the current legal services market is that the legal profession is locked in a race to the death with non-qualified providers, tempted by the lucrative chunk of legal work that is not reserved to qualified lawyers and which forms a big part of their income.

Legal technology (legal tech or ‘lawtech’) is playing a huge part in this battle. It is the enabler of the new providers to compete on equal or more favourable terms than the law firms which have been doing the work since the year dot. It is also helping lawyers provide reserved activities and black letter law better, more efficiently and cheaper, to service clients’ insatiable appetite for ‘more for less’.

Legal tech has certainly excited the imagination of lawyers and non-lawyers alike as to its possibilities, with a “tipping point” being forecast as on the horizon for the legal sector. The prospect of doing the same things cheaper is attractive both to the would-be competitors of lawyers and government ministers looking for areas to save public money.

The Legal Tech Debate

‘Old school’ lawyers point out – with some justification – that legal problems affecting vulnerable and poorer clients are just as pressing as they always were. Face-to-face consultations with an expert used to navigating bureaucracy are still the most effective way of levelling the playing field in a world in which the odds are heavily stacked against the disempowered, they argue.

A section of the profession – just how big is open to debate – is alive to the challenge. Far-sighted law firms have sought to steer, invest in or advise lawtech start-ups that they think will succeed in the new environment.

Even the Law Society, no doubt keenly aware that the regulatory direction of travel is to foster competition and do away with uncompetitive practices, has partnered with an incubator to make it easier for law firms to support these legal tech disruptive providers and hopefully benefit as they achieve traction in the market.

Apprehension about a coming wave of technology-led transformation in legal services has led to calls for The Law Society to provide an electronic platform for legal services to help smaller firms, along the lines of the French Bar’s Jamais sans mon avocat (Never without my lawyer). The failure to deliver successful society-driven profession-wide tech solutions in the past makes this eventuality improbable.

But it seems likely that at least some of the existing market – within it traditional law firm partnerships – will not share if the technological future comes to pass; firms that currently do well and have good relationships with local businesses often do not see a pressing need to engage in the tech-led future.

Some partners clearly hope they can bow out of legal services before having to come to grips with a technological future and younger partners or associates may not have the clout now to follow their instincts.

What’s on the Horizon for Legal Tech?

Young lawyers are likely to be tech-savvy when they arrive in the law by virtue of their familiarity with consumer technology. It also seems probable that increasingly the training of lawyers will have a lawtech component, and law firms will insist on general legal tech competence.

At least one collaboration between law firms and a university has as an aim to “produce future graduates with the skills to utilise the legal technology and platforms within the sector”.

Already there are signs of what the future holds – and in some areas of law particularly susceptible to automation, legal tech is already the only way to compete on price and quality.

So embedded has technology become that calls are being made for the adoption of ‘cyber ethics’ to monitor the very different impacts that the growing use of technology is having on the practice of law. Issues raised include the individual responsibility of a user who depends on an algorithm that incorporates a false statement, made automatically on their behalf.

Legal AI

The big promise is that artificial intelligence (AI) will assist lawyers to practice, if only they can remain its master and not find themselves summarily replaced. For now, legal technology such as machine learning and predictive coding have taken root, particularly in digesting huge amounts of information, such as contract review for electronic disclosure.

Most major City law firms have adopted AI software to a greater or lesser degree and many with a big impact on their daily practices. Equally, without exception large commercial firms have set up teams to exploit the opportunities that technology law presents. For example, Clifford Chance’s Tech Group has over 400 lawyers globally. Allen & Overy’s Fuse ‘tech innovation space’ services global tech companies.

As well as document review, a likely candidate for technological innovation is conveyancing, where clients can relatively easily be given enhanced access to the process, in particular real-time information about the progress of their transaction.

Legal Technology in the Courts

Even senior judges are anticipating that eventually they will have to depend on the help of legal AI technologies to crunch data to support their decisions, or otherwise lose credibility with the parties they are judging.

Also in the courts, video is set to be used much more frequently to save money on physical hearings and avoid parties and witnesses travelling to a diminishing number of court centres. But concerns have also been raised about the problems of this technology, including the biases that it apparently entrenches in the minds of juries and sentencers, compared to live testimony.

The use of technology to help predict which way judges will rule on a case is being developed but the consensus seems to be that lawyers will still play a significant role in litigation, perhaps supported by this predictive technology, for some time to come. Whether this is unreasonably hopeful remains to be seen.

Equally, the role of humans in making delicate judgements, such as judicial rulings – also known as ‘non-automated dispute resolution’ – has been talked up as essential to keep humanity in the process. This also may be overly hopeful in the long term, given the high cost of human judges, especially in low-value cases.

Blockchain in the Legal Sector

The other big technological unknown is how far the security inherent in blockchain technology will eat into lawyers’ traditional sources of income. At the moment consortia of big law firms are exploring common standards for blockchain-backed smart contracts which ‘self-activate’ when verifiable milestones are reached.

But if blockchain and similar distributed ledger technologies – in which identical copies of the ledger are maintained on multiple computer systems – are really as versatile and secure as we are led to believe, they could be used to ‘cut out the middle man’ – in this case the lawyer in a variety of legal scenarios.

Academic futurologists have mused that blockchain could even be the basis for law firms to operate as “distributed entities” in which the current centralised command structure of law firms would be made redundant .

Already legal technology is being used to simplify conveyancing. HM Land Registry is trialling the use of blockchain and has already made slow but steady progress with digitising the local land charges register.

Another example of the security blockchain provides is the way it is being used to safeguard digital trial bundles and prevent them being altered after entering the system.

Robot Lawyers and Legal Chatbots

Where once it was enough for law firms to have an attractive website to compete for online interest, a new generation of tech-savvy customers – an ever-growing army of ‘digital-born natives’ – want a lot more. They increasingly expect to interact with their lawyer 24/7, be serviced immediately, and – used to switching utilities to avoid ending up on ‘legacy’ pricing schemes – are not averse to moving to a provider who can satisfy them if their needs are not met.

Existing technologies can help lawyers keep ahead of this newly-demanding client. Chatbots can help deliver quick answers to their enquiries, and hopefully stall them long enough to set up a face-to-face meeting where personal relationships can be established and loyalty built.

The potential for chatbots to bridge the gap between online consumers wary of lawyers and law firms may be much greater than just the offer of ‘human’ help you often see at the bottom of webpages. Joshua Browder, the young founder of the ground-breaking DoNotPay chatbot – created to help people challenge parking tickets – told the Legal Futures Innovation Conference in 2017 that up to 70% of the law could be carried out by robots and all legal documents will be automated within a decade.

In October 2018 he helped advance this view as a reality by launching – initially in the US – his chatbot as an app with 15 different services, including bringing a small claim and even, in the words of its creator, generating “an entire strategy for when the defendant tries to challenge you”.

Legal Tech for Operational Efficiency

Software developers focused on the smooth running of law firms have been busy in recent years. There is a bewildering range of applications aimed at improving case management, marketing and similar law firm internal operations and services.

With the right software, the data that law firms collect and process about their clients and their legal matters can be ‘mined’, subject to complying with data protection laws. Other data about the firm’s functioning can be used too. There are signs that law firms are already exploiting this information to better serve their clients and stay ahead of the competition.

Will Writing and Legal Technology

One area considered to be ‘low-hanging fruit’ for law firm competitors keen to use technology to take a slice of the pie traditionally enjoyed by solicitors and other law professionals is will writing – a field so temptingly susceptible to automation that a pioneering technologist lawyer tried to come up with an appropriate algorithm all of 20 years ago.

Some businesses see wills as the ideal loss leader for law firms to offer as an inducement to potential paying clients.

Alternatively, wills are an obvious fit for a business specialising in probate and funeral services.

One business that sees digital wills as a huge untapped market and offers online wills that are examined for accuracy by a solicitor-led team, is Farewill. The company claims it has established itself as a runaway market leader, with the help of external capital investment.

Legal Tech Early Adopters

Backing lawtech start-ups with money, expertise or other support is a key way law firms have sought to position themselves in relation to technological innovation. Behind the thinking is a realisation that today’s start-up is potentially tomorrow’s global mega-business and joining it at the ground floor makes good commercial sense.

London-based firm Mishcon de Reya was quick off the mark and its MDR LAB technology incubator has completed the second year, with 11 start-ups in total having successfully passed through a beauty parade process.

Companies qualifying for Mishcon’s advice and mentorship include:

  • Thirdfort
  • DealWIP
  • LitGate
  • Ping
  • io

Thirdfort is a UK-based web-hosted software platform facilitating exchange of money in property transactions.

DealWIP isa US legal workspace platform for transactional lawyers, LitGate is an Israeli AI-backed ‘arguments analysis solution for dispute resolution’, which seeks, in MDR LAB’s words “to revolutionise the conduct of litigation by delivering contentious legal services faster, at less cost and with improved accuracy”.

Last year’s MDR LAB cohort included Ping, a US company founded in 2016, which automates timekeeping for lawyers and provides data analysis for law firms. Mishcon also mentored German start-up, which aims to “provide a secure cloud service to automate the negotiation of contract terms, allowing customers to draft, negotiate and sign contracts without redlines or email”.

Other innovative start-ups supported by the firm include Orbital Witness, which uses satellite imagery to give conveyancers historical images of a site. Also, former US litigators founded Everchron, which produces collaborative litigation management software. Indian company Surukam uses AI to automate contract management, while Belfast-based SaltDNA aims to provide absolute privacy in mobile communications.

Law firm DLA Piper, also with a keen eye on emerging tech disruptors, has created what it calls the NEST, to provide fast-growing companies with access to legal services, while its Accelerate online platform seeks to give entrepreneurs business materials. Since 2008 the firm has sponsored a global technology summit – a two-day event focusing on emerging technology trends.

Encouraging tech innovation within large firms has spawned a modern twist on an older industry technique for rewarding bright ideas – which Japanese auto manufacturers were building into dialogue between management and employees decades ago. Global law firm Eversheds Sutherland, which has 66 offices in 32 countries, has rolled out IdeaDrop, a crowdsourcing web and mobile app to capture good ideas among its staff.

Legal Technology – Just the Beginning?

The explosion of tech-based innovation within the legal sector, internally and in services to clients, is only likely to accelerate as non-lawyers snap at law firms’ heels. So varied are the developments already taking place that only a glimpse of what is happening at any one time is possible.

Perhaps the last word should go to Noah Waisberg, chief executive and co-founder of Kira Systems, an AI-driven contract analytics company and market leader in machine learning contract search. Mr Waisberg, a former corporate lawyer at US firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, said:

“Lawyers and alternative legal service providers, as well as corporates working directly, do the work they were already doing, but better.

“I believe the future will be about harnessing technology – as well as appropriate people and process – to solve new legal problems, problems which look now essentially unsolvable.

“I’m unsure who the winners will be here, but I think this work won’t be possible without aggressively embracing efficiency.”

Read the latest news stories on legal tech, AI, and block chain here:


  • blockchain
  • Lawtech
  • Legal AI
  • legal chatbots
  • legal tech
  • legal technology
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Miller Insurance Services LLP

National Accident Helpline

JLT Legal Practices Group


LEAP Legal Software

Temple Legal Protection



The Cashroom

Saunderson House

Legal Eye

Land Data


Share Data Limited

Certainty The National Will Register – Will Search

Bath Publishing


Aaron & Partners LLP

OneSearch Direct

Oyez Professional Services

DG Legal

The 5G Wireless Ecosystem: Technologies, Applications, Verticals, Strategies & Forecasts 2017 – 2030 – openPR

Researchmoz added Most up-to-date research on “The 5G Wireless Ecosystem: 2017 – 2030 – Technologies, Applications, Verticals, Strategies & Forecasts” to its huge collection of research reports.

Despite the lack of sufficient LTE coverage in parts of the world, mobile operators and vendors have already embarked on R&D initiatives to develop 5G, the next evolution in mobile networks. 5G is expected to provide a single network environment to deliver not only existing mobile broadband and IoT services, but also new innovations such as self-driving cars, cloud robotics, 3D holographic telepresence and remote surgery with haptic feedback.

In fact, many mobile operators are betting on 5G to diversify their revenue streams, as conventional voice and data service ARPUs decline globally. For example, South Korea’s KT has established a dedicated business unit for holograms, which it envisions to be a key source of revenue for its future 5G network.

To Get Sample Copy of Report visit @

At present, the 3GPP and other SDOs (Standards Development Organizations) are engaged in defining the first phase of 5G specifications. However, pre-standards 5G network rollouts are already underway, most notably in the United States and South Korea, as mobile operators rush to be the first to offer 5G services. SNS Research estimates that by the end of 2017, pre-standards 5G network investments are expected to account for over $250 Million.

Although 2020 has conventionally been regarded as the headline date for 5G commercialization, the very first standardized deployments of the technology are expected to be commercialized as early as 2019 with the 3GPP’s initial 5G specifications set to be implementation-ready by March 2018. Between 2019 and 2025, we expect the 5G network infrastructure market to aggressively grow a CAGR of nearly 70%, eventually accounting for $28 Billion in annual spending by the end of 2025. These infrastructure investments will be complemented by annual shipments of up to 520 Million 5G-capable devices.

The “5G Wireless Ecosystem: 2017 – 2030 – Technologies, Applications, Verticals, Strategies & Forecasts” report presents an in-depth assessment of the emerging 5G ecosystem including key market drivers, challenges, enabling technologies, usage scenarios, vertical market applications, mobile operator deployment commitments, case studies, spectrum availability/allocation, standardization, research initiatives and vendor strategies. The report also presents forecasts for 5G investments and operator services.

The report comes with an associated Excel datasheet suite covering quantitative data from all numeric forecasts presented in the report, as well as a 5G deployment tracking database covering over 60 global 5G trials, demos and commercial deployment commitments (as of Q1’2017).”

The report covers the following topics:

5G NR (New Radio) and NextGen (Next Generation) system architecture

Market drivers and barriers to the adoption of 5G networks

5G requirements, usage scenarios, vertical markets and applications

Key enabling technologies including air interface design, higher frequency radio access, advanced antenna systems, flexible duplex schemes, D2D (Device-to-Device) connectivity, dynamic spectrum access, self-backhauling and network slicing

Complementary concepts including NFV, SDN, hyperscale data centers, Cloud RAN, satellite communications and aerial networking platforms

Case studies and review of mobile operator 5G commitments

5G standardization, development and research initiatives

Analysis of spectrum availability and allocation strategies for 5G networks

Competitive assessment of vendor strategies

Review of investments on R&D and pre-standards 5G networks

Standardized 5G infrastructure, user equipment and operator service forecasts till 2030

Forecast Segmentation

Market forecasts are provided for each of the following submarkets and their subcategories:

5G R&D Investments

New Air Interface & Millimeter Wave Radio Access

MIMO, Beamforming & Advanced Antenna Technologies

Spectrum Sharing, Aggregation & Interference Management

Virtualization & Cloud RAN

Network Slicing & Other Technologies

Pre-Standards 5G Network Investments

Pre-Standards Base Stations

Pre-Standards User Equipment

Transport Networking & Other Investments

Standardized 5G Infrastructure Investments

5G NR (New Radio)

Distributed Macrocell Base Stations

Small Cells

RRHs (Remote Radio Heads)

C-RAN BBUs (Baseband Units)

NextGen (Next Generation) Core Network

Fronthaul & Backhaul Networking

Standardized 5G User Equipment Investments



Embedded IoT Modules

USB Dongles


5G Operator Services


Service Revenue

Regional Segmentation

Asia Pacific

Eastern Europe

Latin & Central America

Middle East & Africa

North America

Western Europe

The report provides answers to the following key questions:

How big is the opportunity for 5G network infrastructure, user equipment and operator services?

What trends, challenges and barriers will influence the development and adoption of 5G?

How will 5G drive the adoption of AR (Augmented Reality)/VR (Virtual Reality) applications such as 3D holographic telepresence and 360 degree streaming of live events?

How have advanced antenna and chip technologies made it possible to utilize millimeter wave spectrum for mobile communications in 5G networks?

How can non-orthogonal multiple access schemes such as RSMA (Resource Spread Multiple Access) enable 5G networks to support higher connection densities for Millions of IoT devices?

What will be the number of 5G subscriptions in 2019 and at what rate will it grow?

Which regions and countries will be the first to adopt 5G?

Which frequency bands are most likely to be utilized by 5G networks?

Who are the key 5G vendors and what are their strategies?

Will 5G networks rely on a disaggregated RAN architecture?

How will 5G impact the fiber industry?

Will satellite communications and aerial networking platforms play a wider role in 5G networks?

The report has the following key findings:

The Unites States and South Korea are spearheading early investments in pre-standards 5G trial networks, as mobile operators rush to be the first to offer 5G networks. SNS Research estimates that by the end of 2017, pre-standards 5G network investments are expected to account for over $250 Million.

Following completion of the 3GPP’s first phase of 5G specifications in March 2018, SNS Research expects that early adopters across the globe will simultaneously begin commercializing 5G services in 2019.

Between 2019 and 2025, we expect the 5G network infrastructure market to aggressively grow a CAGR of nearly 70%, eventually accounting for $28 Billion in annual spending by the end of 2025.

Although early 5G R&D investments have primarily targeted the radio access segment, network-slicing has recently emerged as necessary “”end-to-end”” capability to guarantee performance for different 5G applications which may have contrasting requirements.

In order to support diverse usage scenarios, 5G networks are expected to utilize a variety of frequency bands ranging from established sub-6 GHz cellular bands to millimeter wave spectrum.

Get Complete TOC With Tables and Figures @…

List of Companies Mentioned

3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project)

5G Americas

5G Forum, South Korea

5G PPP (5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership)

5G TSA (5G Open Trial Specification Alliance)

5GAA (5G Automotive Association)

5GMF (Fifth Generation Mobile Communications Promotion Forum, Japan)


5GTF (5G Technical Forum)

5GTR (Turkish 5G Forum)


Alpental Technologies


América Móvil

Anatel (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes)



ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Businesses)




AT&T Mexico

Athena Wireless Communications

ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions)

Avanti Communications

AVC Networks Company


Bell Canada

BMW Group

Broadband Forum

BT Group

C Spire


CAICT (China Academy of Information and Communications Technology)

CCSA (China Communications Standards Association)

CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission)

CEA Tech


CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations)

China Mobile

China Telecom

China Unicom

Chunghwa Telecom

Cisco Systems

CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunication Commission)

Claro Brasil

CMHK (China Mobile Hong Kong)

CMRI (China Mobile Research Institute)

CNIT (Italian National Consortium for Telecommunications)

Cobham Wireless

Cohere Technologies

ComReg (Commission For Communications Regulation, Ireland)

CpqD (Center for Research and Development in Telecommunications, Brazil)

CTTC (Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya)

Datang Mobile

Datang Telecom Group

Dish Network

DSA (Dynamic Spectrum Alliance)

DT (Deutsche Telekom)

Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)



EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)



ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research)

ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute)




FET (Far EasTone Telecommunications)

FiberTower Corporation

FICORA (Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority)

Fraunhofer FOKUS

Fraunhofer HHI

Fraunhofer IIS



FuTURE Mobile Communication Forum, China

GISFI (Global ICT Standardization Forum for India)

Globe Telecom


GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association)



Hiroshima University



Hughes Network Systems

i5GF (Indonesia 5G Forum)

ICASA (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa)

ICTA (Information and Communication Technologies Authority, Turkey)

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force)

IFT (Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones)

IIC (Industrial Internet Consortium)

IMDA (Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore)

IMDEA Networks Institute

IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, China

Inatel (National Institute of Telecommunications, Brazil)

Industry Canada


Intel Corporation


Istanbul University

ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute)

ITU (International Telecommunication Union)

JRC (Japan Radio Company)

Juniper Networks

KCL (King’s College London)

KDDI Corporation

Keysight Technologies


KT Corporation


Kumu Networks

LG Electronics

LG Uplus

Ligado Networks

Linux Foundation


MACOM Technology Solutions

Malaysia 5G Committee

MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission)

MCTIC (Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications of Brazil)



METU (Middle East Technical University)

MIC (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan)

Microsoft Corporation

MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China)

Mitsubishi Electric


MOEA (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan)


MOST (Ministry of Science & Technology, China)

MOST (Ministry of Science & Technology, Taiwan)

MSIP (Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, South Korea)

MTS (Mobile TeleSystems)

MTSFB (Malaysian Technical Standards Forum Bhd)

Murata Manufacturing

NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Thailand)

NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission, China)

NEC Corporation


NGMN (Next Generation Mobile Networks) Alliance

NI (National Instruments)

NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan)


Nokia Networks

NTT Communications


NYU (New York University)


OCP (Open Compute Project) Foundation

OFCA (Office of the Communications Authority, Hong Kong)


OMA (Open Mobile Alliance)

ON.Lab (Open Networking Lab)

ONF (Open Networking Foundation)




Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Panasonic Corporation



PTS (Swedish Post and Telecom Authority)





RF360 Holdings

Rogers Communications

Rohde & Schwarz


Rutgers University

Samsung Electronics

Samsung Group





SK Telecom

Small Cell Forum

Smart Communications


SoftBank Group


Sony Corporation

SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation)

Sprint Corporation


STC (Saudi Telecom Company)

Stromnetz Berlin


TAICS (Taiwan Association of Information and Communication Standards)

Taiwan Mobile

Taiwan Star Telecom Corporation

TCG (Trusted Computing Group)

TDK Corporation


Telecom Italia Group



Telia Company



Thales Group

TI (Texas Instruments)

TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association)

TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile)

Time Warner

Titan Aerospace

TM Forum

T-Mobile USA

Tokyo Institute of Technology

TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, UAE)

TSDSI (Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India)

TTA (Telecommunications Technology Association of Korea)

TTC (Telecommunication Technology Committee, Japan)

TU Dresden


U.S. Cellular

U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission)

U.S. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)

U.S. NSF (National Science Foundation)

UN (United Nations)

University of California San Diego

University of Edinburgh

University of Kaiserslautern

University of Oulu

University of Southern California

University of Surrey

UT Austin (University of Texas at Austin)

UTS (University of Technology Sydney)

Verizon Communications


Vodafone Australia

Vodafone Germany

Vodafone Group

Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Vodafone Qatar

Vodafone Turkey

VTT Technical Research Center

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)

WBA (Wireless Broadband Alliance)

Wi-Fi Alliance

WinnForum (Wireless Innovation Forum)

WWRF (World Wireless Research Forum)


XO Communications

xRAN Consortium

Yonsei University

Zain Group


Countires Covered







Antigua & Barbuda


















Bosnia Herzegovina



British Virgin Islands



Burkina Faso





Cape Verde

Cayman Islands

Central African Republic




Cocos Islands


Comoros Islands


Cook Islands

Costa Rica

Côte d’Ivoire




Czech Republic

Democratic Rep of Congo (ex-Zaire)




Dominican Republic

East Timor



El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea




Faroe Islands

Federated States of Micronesia




French Guiana

French Polynesia (ex-Tahiti)

French West Indies













Guinea Republic





Hong Kong








Isle of Man































Marshall Islands
















Netherlands Antilles

New Caledonia

New Zealand





North Korea

Northern Marianas







Papua New Guinea






Puerto Rico







Samoa (American)

Sao Tomé & Principe

Saudi Arabia




Sierra Leone


Slovak Republic


Solomon Islands


South Africa


Sri Lanka

St Kitts & Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent & The Grenadines












Make An Enquiry @


Trinidad & Tobago




Turks & Caicos Islands






US Virgin Islands









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This release was published on openPR.

60 Cybersecurity Predictions For 2019 – Forbes

Computer hacking conceptGetty

I’ve always been a loner, avoiding crowds as much as possible, but last Friday I found myself in the company of 500 million people. The breach of the personal accounts of Marriott and Starwood customers forced us to join the 34% of U.S. consumers who experienced a compromise of their personal information over the last year. Viewed another way, there were 2,216 data breaches and more than 53,000 cybersecurity incidents reported in 65 countries in the 12 months ending in March 2018.

How many data breaches we will see in 2019 and how big are they going to be?

No one has a crystal ball this accurate and it’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. Still, I made a brilliant, contrarian, and very accurate prediction last year, stating unequivocally that “there will be more spectacular data breaches” in 2018.

Just like last year, this year’s 60 predictions reveal the state-of-mind of key participants in the cybersecurity industry (on the defense team, of course) and cover all that’s hot today. Topics include the use and misuse of data; artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as a double-edge sword helping both attackers and defenders; whether we are going to finally “get over privacy” or see our data finally being treated as a private and protected asset; how the cloud changes everything and how connected and moving devices add numerous security risks; the emerging global cyber war conducted by terrorists, criminals, and countries; and the changing skills and landscape of cybersecurity.

It’s the data, stupid

“While data has created an explosion of opportunities for the enterprise, the ability to collaborate on sensitive data and take full advance of artificial intelligence opportunities to generate insights is currently inhibited by privacy risks, compliance and regulation controls. The security challenge of ‘data in use’ will be overcome by applying the most universal truth of all-time—mathematics—to facilitate data collaboration without the need for trust from either side. For example, ‘zero-knowledge proof’ allows proof of a claim without revealing any other information beyond what is claimed. Software that is beyond trust and based on math will propel this trend forward”—Nadav Zafrir, CEO,Team8

“IT security in 2019 is no longer going to simply be about protecting sensitive data and keeping hackers out of our systems. In this day and age of big data and artificial intelligence—where cooperation on data can lead to enormous business opportunities and scientific and medical breakthroughs—security is also going have to focus on enabling organizations to leverage, collaborate on and monetize their data without being exposed to privacy breaches, giving up their intellectual property or having their data misused. Cybersecurity alone is not going to be enough to secure our most sensitive data or our privacy. Data must be protected and enforced by technology itself, not just by cyber or regulation. The very technology compromising our privacy must itself be leveraged to bring real privacy to this data-driven age”—Rina Shainski, Co-founder and Chairwoman, Duality Technologies

AI is a dual-use technology

AI-driven chatbots will go rogue. In 2019, cyber criminals and black hat hackers will create malicious chatbots that try to socially engineer victims into clicking links, downloading files or sharing private information. A hijacked chatbot could misdirect victims to nefarious links rather than legitimate ones. Attackers could also leverage web application flaws in legitimate websites to insert a malicious chatbot into a site that doesn’t have one. In short, next year attackers will start to experiment with malicious chatbots to socially engineer victims. They will start with basic text-based bots, but in the future, they could use human speech bots to socially engineer victims over the phone or other voice connections”—Corey Nachreiner, CTO, WatchGuard Technologies

“While next-gen technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are transforming many enterprises for the better, they’ve also given rise to a new breed of ‘smart’ attacks. The ability to scale and carry out attacks is extremely enticing to cybercriminals, including use of intelligent malware. The rise in next-gen threats means that security professionals must be extra vigilant with detection and training against these threats, while also adopting new methods of automated prevention methods”—John Samuel, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer, CGS

“Cyber defenders have been researching and working on their machine learning/AI/deep Learning for a long time. We expect over the next 5 years that these technologies will also empower adversaries to create more powerful and elusive attacks through a new generation of tools, tactics and procedures. While AI/ML-savvy offensive cybercriminals are in their infancy, this is like any other business. They will invest in whatever provides them the greatest return. Unlike defenders, those on the offense are willing to collaborate and share innovation freely, which could increase rapid development and innovation”—David Capuano, CMO and VP Sales, BluVector

“Automation is the name of the game in security and machine learning is here to help. AI is all about automating expert systems, and security is all about experts answering some form of the question: ‘Does this matter? Does this alert matter? Is this vulnerability risky?’ Machine learning will help filter out the noise, so that the limited number of practitioners out there can use their time most efficiently”—Michael Roytman, chief data scientist, Kenna Security

“Recent updates to exploit kits, specifically natural language and artificial intelligence capabilities, has made the automation of highly convincing and unique social engineering emails a very simple process. Meaning, an attacker can upload a file with one million email addresses and can automate the creation of effective and unique phishing messages to send out to victims”—Brian Hussey, VP of Cyber Threat Detection and Response, Trustwave SpiderLabs

When it comes to using AI in cybersecurity, be wary. AI offers companies huge potential, but it is a largely untapped area. If you do plan to implement it, do a proof of concept to make sure that it integrates into your company’s environment, ensuring that you’re getting the maximum value”—Joan Pepin, CISO and VP of Operations, Auth0

“The focus on artificial intelligence in cybersecurity has led to an arms war, with vendors ratcheting up claims about the number of models or features to sensational levels. In 2019, the focus will shift from quantity to quality of features. Both vendors and their users will recognize that fewer, more precise features, can improve threat detection rates, while ensuring virtually zero false positives”—Adrien Gendre, North American CEO, Vade Secure

As AI-enabled apps continue to proliferate, companies will face a rise in accidental vulnerabilities. Expect to hear about more breaches that aren’t a result of a hack, but can be mapped back to developers leaving large data pools (which power AI-enabled applications) accidentally unprotected. Companies need to be vigilant when working with large data pools, especially customer data, that feed AI in services like Amazon, Facebook and Google, and always double check their configurations”—Alex Smith, Director of Security Products, Intermedia

“With fraud attack rates expected to continue to increase in 2019, costing e-commerce retailers billions of dollars, AI is poised to play a huge role in stopping bad actors in real-time before they strike. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, enhanced by human research, have the ability to protect online merchants from abuse at both the account level and the point of transaction. AI-driven solutions are becoming a necessity because they instantly prevent fraud, enabling retailers to scale and keep up with the e-commerce giants without sacrificing the consumer experience. Finally, fraud prevention models that use AI can be personalized based on a nuanced understanding of each merchant’s specific pain points and historical data”—Michael Reitblat, Co-Founder and CEO, Forter

The emerging global cyber war

Terrorist-related groups will attack population centers with crimeware-as-a-service. While terrorist-related groups have been tormenting organizations and individuals for years, we anticipate more potentially destructive attacks in 2019. Instead of breaking systems with ransomware, adversaries will leverage new tools to conduct harmful assaults on targeted subjects and organizations. From attacks on data integrity that essentially kill computers to the point of mandatory hardware replacements, to leveraging new technology for physical assaults such as the recent drone attack in Venezuela, attack surfaces are growing and enemies will take advantage. To combat this, organizations must take inventory of their attack landscape to identify and mitigate potential threats before they are exploited. Malcolm Harkins, Chief Security and Trust Officer, Cylance

“We expect nation-state threats to increase significantly in 2019, particularly targeting critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure systems are extremely vulnerable to both cybersecurity and physical security risks. State-sponsored threats and high-level hackers are constantly looking to gain access to the critical infrastructure of nations worldwide, with the intent of hitting some of our most valuable systems (national security, public health, emergency communications, and more)”—Mike McKee, CEO, ObserveIT

“The nature of cyberwarfare is changing. Russia has led the way in the use of targeted cyber actions as part of larger objectives, and now other nation states are looking to follow the same playbook. While a direct cyberwar is not on the horizon, there will continue to be smaller proxy cyber wars as part of regional conflicts where larger nation state actors provide material support to these smaller conflicts. These regional conflicts will be testing grounds for new tactics, techniques and procedures as larger nation states determine how cyber warfare integrates into their larger military objectives. Nation states will also start experimenting more this year in adding ‘disinformation’ campaigns as part of their cyber warfare efforts. These kinds of attacks will make true attribution more difficult”—Sean McNee, Senior Data Scientist, DomainTools

“As the cyber threat landscape intensifies, adversaries will continue to discover new avenues for attacks. Although satellites aren’t the most common attack surface, it is important for industry professionals to acknowledge the capabilities that threat actors hold over them. Security concerns continue to grow within the satellite industry, with execs even forming a government-backed clearinghouse to share information on cyber threats to space assets. From military satellites to GPS technology and even communication satellites, adversaries are able to conduct targeted attacks to gain access to these crucial systems—some of which are highly classified networks. As these threat actors refine their skills, we anticipate major attacks on satellite systems as a new form of nation-state warfare”—John Cassidy, CEO and Co-Founder,King & Union

The year of protected privacy, finally?

Managing privacy will be the new normal, like securing data or paying taxes. Privacy will continue on a similar path as the evolution of cybersecurity. The number of breaches and privacy-related incidents will continue to rise, up and to the right. This rise will be comprised of peaks and valleys. Like with security, a standard of constant privacy will become the new normal. For example, while many organizations treated GDPR as a project, with a finite end, compliance is a continuous exercise that requires the same focus and vigilance as security or taxes”—Chris Babel, CEO, TrustArc

Consumers will start to reclaim control and monetize their data. Ownership of customer data will transition away from businesses and back toward customers themselves, and new services will emerge that empower customers to even monetize their own personal data and rent it back to companies. Data is the fuel that powers AI, and customers will realize they have the power to drive their own AI-based experiences by reclaiming data control”—Dr. Rob Walker, vice president, decision management and analytics, Pegasystems

“GDPR was a great first step, but global regulation and governance still remain a complex web. The United States will continue to fall further and further behind in competency and international relations as our federal compliance efforts simply aren’t moving fast enough to meet worldwide requirements. Countries where privacy is prioritized and seamlessly integrated will see the most optimal growth”—Tomas Honzak, Chief Information Security Officer, GoodData

“Data protection legislation will continue to influence societal expectations on security, which will trickle down to companies and their supply chains. Consumers have always felt protective of their data, but with new legislation redefining the data landscape, consumers have grown more confident in demanding their data be treated with respect, that its uses are kept visible and clear, and that it is used only as they agreed. The pressure these new societal expectations will exert cannot be overstated, both on public-facing companies and through them all the way down their supply chains. Make no mistake, security and data handling are seen now by all successful companies to be as critical to business and contracts as confidentiality and liability limits have always been”—Geoff Forsyth, CTO, PCI Pal

There will be a lot more focus on privacy and security of connected cars. The information from the connected car is arguably more sensitive than our credit card information – where do we go, when do we go there, when are we home, where do we shop and work, where do our kids go to school and what locations do we go to at what time. There will be breaches of this personal information and bad things that happen as a result. There will be more of the takeover scenarios where an external (bad) actor can take over the technology. This too will result in backlash and involvement of political and legal entities to begin to make laws and precedents. What can law enforcement access and discover to use for investigation purposes?”—Todd Walter, chief technologist, Teradata

“As privacy concerns grow, there will be an increasing interest in privacy-preserving machine-learning techniques that are able train accurate models without compromising privacy”—Prasad Chalasani, Chief Scientist, MediaMath

The global regulatory environment will become more challenging as regulators and governments worldwide continue to strive to implement better data privacy protection as was done with GDPR. While this is a great progress, we’re going to see these governments counter to gain more access to information”—Phil Dunkelberger, CEO, Nok Nok Labs

“As governments implement new data privacy regulations, enterprises will increasingly adopt a ‘Privacy First’ approach to data management. However, the challenges these enterprises will face as they seek to integrate data privacy best practices into their existing applications, as well as new mobile, IoT and other applications, will be significant. Enterprises will need AI-powered, automated, outcome-driven data management solutions to address these challenges if they hope to implement strong data privacy policies without sacrificing productivity or agility”—Don Foster, senior director of worldwide solutions marketing, Commvault

“In 2019, the US government will NOT adopt any new digital privacy policies despite the recent congressional hearings with Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc.”—Kevin Lee, Trust and Safety Architect, Sift Science

The Cloud changes everything and everything is connected… and vulnerable

“Your smart fridge will start scamming you. IoT-connected appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines already produce unattended payments that the user cannot personally verify. Fraudsters see this vulnerability now and will begin to take advantage of it”—Uri Rivner, Chief Cyber Officer, BioCatch

“In 2019, the two main targets for cyber-attackers will be the cloud and user devices. Operating systems on user devices provide more functionality than ever before, making them more vulnerable and an easy target for attackers. At the same time, users will expect more flexibility and the ability to work with any OS, any application, and on any device. As organizations look provide security, privacy, and productivity, they will have to shift to a new, ‘zero trust’ device architecture”—Tal Zamir, CEO, Hysolate

“IoT, in its current state, is not secure. There are secure devices out there, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Perhaps more concerning is that there are no revolutions in IoT security on the horizon. IoT will continue to be vulnerable in 2019”—Erez Yalon, Head of Security Research, Checkmarx

“A marked shift from network security towards identity-based application security will take place next year. The cloud causes traditional control planes to become obsolete. From firewalls and IPS’s to host-based security tools, current technologies cannot be implemented in an effective and constructive manner. Application identities, in a similar process that user identity underwent in the last couple of years, will conquer the main stage”—Ran Ilany, CEO, Portshift

“With Waymo, Cruise, Uber and other autonomous vehicle industry players rushing to the market and expanding previously limited pilots to wider scale public deployments, we predict that a self-driving car used ‘in production’ will be hacked. The immediate implications are unlikely to be life-threatening, however, they will only strengthen concerns about a potential nightmare scenario like car ransomware”—Nir Gaist, CTO and co-founder, Nyotron

Teams will shift to prioritizing cloud-delivered security solutions over traditional appliance-based point products. In addition, teams will shift to simplifying security architectures by prioritizing solutions that provide consolidated feature sets that would have traditionally required numerous separate point products. This will be driven by a vastly expanded attack surface and necessary operational efficiency for understaffed teams”—Gene Stevens, CTO & Co-Founder, ProtectWise

“From Windows to IoTs, Apple and Microsoft have invested colossal amounts in information security to make it very difficult for attackers to enter. In addition, due the accelerated growth in the number of IoT vendors and a severe lack of regulation, significant investments are now being made in developing breakthrough attack capabilities in this field”—Eilon Lotem, CTO, SAM Seamless Network

IoT-enabled device innovation will continue to outpace the security built into those devices and Federal government regulation will continue to inadequately define the laws and fines required to affect change. State-level regulations will be enacted to improve the situation, but will likely fall short in impact, and in many cases, only result in a false sense of consumer confidence with respect to the security of these devices”—Carolyn Crandall, Chief Deception Officer, Attivo Networks.

Cyber breaches will have increased impacts on corporate stock prices, especially in the technology and cyber security sector. The rate at which we’re seeing attacks, and the breadth of the impact is alarming but as of yet haven’t had a large impact on stock prices. However, this will soon change as organizations complete their digital transformation and move to the cloud. Once this happens, a breach is going to have a larger impact on their revenue and as a result a detrimental effect on stock price. Another impact of companies moving operations and revenue to the cloud is we’re going to see more criminal and state organizations going after cybersecurity companies to infiltrate code in their distribution base or take them offline to get to the corporations themselves”—Stan Lowe, Global CISO, Zscaler

“Consumers and legislators alike are increasingly aware of the cyber risks facing the automotive industry as vehicles become increasingly connected. Due to the growing number of susceptible entry points in today’s connected cars, it is only a matter of time before the automotive industry experiences further significant cyber-related product recalls. Moving into 2019, it is imperative that OEM and Tier 1 suppliers ensure robust cyber security protections over the course of the vehicle lifespan. A multi-layered, end-to-end security solution that enables over the air system update capabilities will become the norm. Now is the time for automakers to be proactive and take the wheel in deploying effective solutions for automotive cyber security”—Yoni Heilbronn, CMO, Argus Cyber Security

“Cloud and DevOps transformations will rapidly gain pace in 2019, increasing the risk at the web application layer for enterprises. The reason for this increase is simple: the application layer used to be mostly static assets like marketing websites, but flash forward to today, it is now often the primary way an enterprise interacts with their customers (via full featured web applications or APIs that back mobile apps). This massive shift in functionality comes an equally massive shift in risk. The number one lesson for CISOs is that the transformation to cloud and DevOps will be successful if you can shift your security program from being a blocker to an enabler and focus on making your application and DevOps teams security self-sufficient”—Zane Lackey, Co-Founder and CSO, Signal Sciences

Endpoint security will be redefined by detection and response features (EDR), plus managed detection and response (MDR) services. Endpoint prevention (EPP) has been king of the hill for years, now more than 80% of these solutions fall behind on requirements to provide a combined prevention, detection, investigation, response, system management, and security hygiene as a solution set via a single agent for Windows, macOS and Linux systems. Less than 20% of organizations have the resources and skills for mature EDR solutions which will drive the need for MDR services to the majority of companies, even more so for 24/7 coverage”—Tom Clare, Senior Product Manager, Fidelis Cybersecurity

“With IoT growth posing huge unknown risks to enterprises with the introduction of 5G, businesses willincreasingly need to invest in both technology and employee training in order to prepare for the next generation threat landscape. What’s more is that 5G will not only give rise to new threats, but it will also provide cyber criminals with new opportunities to carry out attacks that we have seen grow in popularity over the years with greater force and impact. With this in mind, even an organization that ‘does everything right’ to combat threats posed by 5G could still be impacted just as easily as those that are less security savvy”—James Willett,Vice President of Technology, Neustar

“As IoT innovation continues to blossom, more and more IoT devices will continue to get involved in DDoS attacks in 2019. Routers and cameras are the major types of IoT devices involved in DDoS attacks, with routers making up 69.7% of IoT devices exploited to launch DDoS attacks, and 24.7% of cameras in 2017. This is because a great number of routers and web cameras have been introduced into production and living environments, with no sufficient security measures enforced. We have every reason to believe that attacks leveraging the IoT will become more diverse in the future”—Guy Rosefelt, Director of Product management for Threat Intelligence & Web Security, NSFOCUS

“With the number of IoT technologies in the workplace beginning to outnumber conventional IT assets, there is an ever-increasing probability that these devices will be used as entry point by malicious actors to further compromise corporations for data breaches. Expect in 2019 to see this come to reality and several breaches will be directly tied to installed IoT technology”—Deral Heiland, IoT Research Lead, Rapid7

Industrial control systems are the wild-west of cybersecurity at the moment. These systems control factories, buildings, utilities, etc. Most systems have little-to-no protection, and best practices are still being adopted very slowly. They also represent extremely high-value targets, especially from a strategic point of view. A few new companies have entered the landscape, but it is still an extremely young industry”—Bryan Becker, application security researcher, WhiteHat Security

“At a time where nearly every device is connected to the internet, vendors should be taking security seriously. Too many of these products, toys, and phone apps that connect to the cloud in an insecure or unencrypted fashion and are at risk. Security issues have been plaguing the IoT market from the very beginning and it will only continue to exacerbate in 2019. IoT manufacturers will continue to race to introduce new products before their competitors bypassing secure coding practices resulting in products that add risk to corporate environments”—Karl Sigler, Threat Intelligence Manager, Trustwave SpiderLabs

“It’s important to consider the role of certificates in a world of connected devices. Nations (and more U.S. states) will follow California’s lead and enact legislation requiring security for IoT networks. This is particularly important for the healthcare, transportation, energy, and manufacturing sectors, which face the highest risk. The legislation stops short of prescribing strong forms of authentication—but thankfully, consortium groups such as the Open Connectivity Foundation and AeroMACS have championed the use of strong certificate-based authentication in their best practice standards for IoT—Damon Kachur, Vice President of IoT, Sectigo

“It may not seem like a big deal for an attacker to compromise your smart-lights, but those can connect to your smart home management device (e.g., Google Home, Amazon Echo), and from there propagate throughout both your physical and notional personal networks. And those networks can be tied to even larger ones that could result in high-profile DDoS attacks. Every added device is an added attack surface, and we’re in for a very rude awakening in the near future”—Ken Underhill, Master Instructor, and Joe Perry, Director of Research, Cybrary

Cybersecurity skill set transformation

“As IT organizations embrace public cloud environments, the threat of cyber-attacks and malicious attempts is a growing phenomenon. However, a gap still exists between the industry’s needs and what can be achieved with the available workforce. As cloud increasingly becomes a part of every IT environment, 2019 will be a key year for re-skilling the workforce, educating new talent and making the right moves to face the cyber challenge”—Avishai Sharlin, General Manager, Amdocs Technology

The role of CISO will become intertwined with CTO. Security will need to integrate into the operations of a business if it is to become an enabler rather than a blocker of innovation. The same can be said for the blurred lines between the roles of the CISO and CTO. We have seen time and again the c-suite take the brunt of the fallout following high-profile security breaches – where the buck used to stop long before the CEO, the fallout from a security breach increasingly takes senior management along with the security and teaching teams. As a result, the distinction between the traditional roles of the CISO and CTO will become yet more gray next year”—Ivan Novikov, CEO, Wallarm

“Security is increasingly starting at the developer level, a trend that will only grow next year. As an industry, we’ve realized that security should lie at the heart of any digital transformation initiative and should never be an afterthought but built-in by design. The code should be secure, as well as the design and processes. DevSecOps should be applied for applications as well as the cloud, infrastructure and work with partners. Organizations will look to create more security ambassadors at the developer level next year who can advocate for employee awareness around the individual’s role in overall security”—Brent Schroeder, CTO Americas, SUSE

“In 2018, cybersecurity was more widely accepted as a board level topic and senior executives became more aware about its impact on achieving business goals and brand protection. Looking toward 2019, boards will want to see objective measurement and validation of program effectiveness, and will continue to bring on independent cybersecurity advisors or add team members with experience in cybersecurity, putting more pressure on CISOs. As a result, the effectiveness of cybersecurity programs will rely more and more on CISOs and their ability to partner with the board and communicate security needs to them. CISOs that can communicate a clear strategy and a measurable plan will have increased support, as well as funding for key initiatives”—Andrew Howard, CTO, Kudelski Security

“It’s no surprise that we are currently in a massive deficit of qualified cybersecurity talent. In 2019, we will see a more modern approach to recruiting and retention in the cybersecurity workforce to fill this void and create more diversity. We will see an uptick in apprenticeship programs, more diverse training, recruiting practices and federal funding to help bridge the enormous talent and diversity gap the industry has today“—Jason Albuquerque, CISO, Carousel Industries

The ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape

“The security industry tends to look at future trends as monumental shifts in attack methodologies, security technologies, or predictions. In reality, shifts in attack methodologies, security technologies, and observations tend to be incremental. Spending 20% of your time enhancing controls on the security essentials can easily yield 80% of your security improvements. The remaining time should be spent on exploring more advanced technologies that can help fill some of the more niche gaps in your security program. In the coming year, shifts in attacks will be incremental if the same old attacks continue to work as they have in the past”—Jason Rebholz, Senior Director at Gigamon

In 2019, we will see advances in mobile biometric sensors. The industry has dipped its toe in the water in regards to fingerprint sensors being placed underneath phone screens as a solution to eliminate the “home button,” expect to see these screen sensors cannonball into becoming the norm. We may even see Samsung extend their capability with Iris beyond phone unlock and Samsung apps. There will be a battle as to which biometric is best, face or fingerprint, with focus on usability rather than performance rates, ultimately this will come down to user preference as to which is more convenient for individuals and fits better with their use cases”—John Callahan, CTO, Veridium

The demand for affordable, managed security service providers will increase dramatically in 2019 due to a rise in attacks on small and medium sized businesses as a result of successful monetization of ransomware, crimeware and extortion by criminal organizations. With the shortage of available security professionals in the workforce, one of the only places SMB’s will be able to turn to in 2019 are MSSPs”—Sharon Reynolds, Chief Information Security Officer, Omnitracs

”In 2019, healthcare organizations will be the number one target for attackers. The evolution of attacks has made it much harder to secure the industry, creating and growing an entire ecosystem that lends itself to multiple forms of fraud that the attacker can profit off of. For example, in healthcare, when protected health information (PHI) is stolen, attackers are able to steal identities, gaining access to medical information, which the attacker either uses or sells to then obtain prescriptions to be traded or sold illegally”—Bob Adams, cybersecurity specialist, Mimecast

“New, high-profile breaches will push the security industry to finally solve the username/password problem. The ineffective username/password conundrum has plagued consumers and businesses for years. There are many solutions out there—asymmetric cryptography, biometrics, blockchain, hardware solutions, etc.—but so far, the security industry has not been able to settle on a standard to fix the problem. In 2019, we will see a more concerted effort to replace the password solution all together”—Marcin Kleczynski, Founder and CEO, Malwarebytes

“In 2019 we will see an evolution in the two-factor authentication (2FA) process that directly addresses some of the most discussed fraud attacks. It’s a documented fact that the use of 2FA to stop unauthorized account access has exponentially decreased account takeover fraud around the globe, but as fraudsters have evolved, so too must the techniques used to combat them. The increasing prevalence of SIM swap fraud and porting fraud (where attackers take over an end-user phone number so they can intercept one-time passcodes) has led to more collaboration between online businesses and mobile network operators, who can tell those businesses (in real-time) when a SIM swap or porting change has occurred. What we will see as 2019 unfolds is the use of that data to augment 2FA, which will ultimately ensure the continued growing adoption of this important security step by both businesses and their users”—Stacy Stubblefield, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, TeleSign

“Year-end cyber predictions often focus on specific threat categories and whether or not to expect an increase or decrease in their activity. 2019, however, promises a more fundamental shift in the cyberthreat landscape, for example the impact of social media as an exploding vector for malicious activities and the implications for businesses protecting their assets. Cybersecurity is not an IT problem, it is far wider than just ‘computers’ and the threats ahead in 2019 will make this painfully obvious”—Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and McAfee Fellow, McAfee

“Fraud attacks continue to rise, and we can expect to see them increase in volume up to 2-3X in the coming year. In addition to an increase number of attacks, we anticipate cyber criminals will leverage new tactics to fool retailers and consumers. We will continue to see them utilizing compromised data obtained from data breaches, but beyond that we can anticipate the use of account take over efforts like attacking small and medium-sized online merchants that don’t have proper eCommerce fraud risk technologies, and attacking online merchants with high speed velocity, identity takeover, and brute force high volume attempts”—Steven Gray, Head of Payments, Tax and Fraud, Radial

In 2019, there will be continued consolidationof companies in the security sector, especially for those that have developed technologies that relate to Digital Identities (DIs), including the on-boarding of individuals behind the DIs, the authentication of the individuals behind the DIs (MFA), and the continual management of privileges and access (IAM)”—Todd Shollenbarger, Chief Global Strategist, Veridium

“Small organizations are finally realizing that they need to be as prepared as large organizations when it comes to cybersecurity, making it no longer an IT problem but a larger business challenge within every organization. Additionally, we will see small businesses’ approach to cybersecurity impacting larger organizations through the supply chain vector. Hackers will take advantage of smaller organizations, which often fuel larger business’ supply chains, because they typically have security vulnerabilities that can be more readily exploited than larger ‘targeted’ companies”—Brian NeSmith, CEO and co-founder, Arctic Wolf Networks

“Because security has not been built into established industries like utilities, these sectors are an easy target across the globe and a prime mark for attackers looking to engage in cyber warfare. While their vulnerability has been well-documented, I believe the industry won’t take the threat seriously until something significant occurs—but by then, it will be too late. As we head into 2019, expect this threat to intensify until it finally boils over and results in action. By 2023, Threat X predicts there will be a major attack on a US utility that will finally force the industry to address these vulnerabilities”—Bret Settle, CEO, Threat X

“Risk management is going to become an extremely critical topic for both the public and private sector next year. As a nation, we are facing complex geopolitical issues and state-sponsored attacks targeting our businesses and government on an enormous scale. Large financial institutions and Silicon Valley companies have already experienced billions of dollars in losses due to decisions being made without effective Enterprise Risk Management. Data is both an asset and a liability and next year we are going to see the regulatory environment become even more complex around data governance, which will see Enterprise Risk Management become a huge priority for the c-suite and board”—David Pigott, Chief Compliance Officer,Neustar

11 Wellness Trends To Watch In 2019 –

Poor sleep, an unhealthy diet, the pervasiveness of technology, airborne particles from your city’s pollution…these are just a few of the many factors threatening our brain health every single day. And in reality, that list could sadly go on and on (and on). In the past year, we’ve seen an explosion in new information on brain health. Take Lisa Mosconi Ph.D.’s book Brain Food and the viral article, “The Cognition Crisis” by Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D. We’ve learned that brain fog isn’t just in your head, what you eat and do affect your memory and focus, and your brain might just be the organ that suffers most from a poor diet.

And then, there’s Alzheimer’s disease, one of the biggest threats to our long-term brain health. The reality is this: If we live to be 85, almost half of us will have Alzheimer’s—making it the fastest growing epidemic in America. At revitalize 2018, we sat down with Dean Sherzai, M.D., Ph.D. and Ayesha Sherzai, M.D., directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, to talk about why Alzheimer’s disease is even being referred to as type 3 diabetes. “Alzheimer’s is the fastest growing epidemic facing the Western world. By the year 2050, the cost of this disease alone will overwhelm not only our health care systems but our entire way of living as we know it,” they explained. So what’s the connection? Mark Hyman, M.D., mbg collective member and Functional Nutrition Program instructor, explained to us that “Research shows that insulin resistance, which I call diabesity, is a major contributor to the brain-damage cascade, causing oxidative damage, cognitive decline, and other types of neurodegeneration.”

According to David Perlmutter, M.D., a neurologist and author of the New York Times best-selling bookGrain Brain, “We’ve just learned two important things that are pivotal in the area of brain health. First, Pfizer, a global pharmaceutical company, has abandoned its efforts to develop an Alzheimer’s treatment. And, according to theJournal of the American Medical Association, the currently available ‘Alzheimer’s drugs’ not only don’t work but are associated with more rapid decline in brain function. These two developments will lead to a dramatic increase in the public’s awareness of the fundamental role of lifestyle modification as it relates to keeping the brain healthy and reducing Alzheimer’s risk.”

It can all be very anxiety-provoking—so what can we do to prevent brain-related illnesses? For starters, we know that when it comes to brain health, nutrition is everything. As Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., INHC, the associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College and author of the book Brain Food, explained to us, “It’s a simple and irrefutable premise: The brain receives nourishment strictly through the foods we eat every single day.”

So what does a healthy brain diet look like? There’s still a debate over this—one that will likely continue through 2019—but Max Lugavere, health science journalist and author of the book Genius Foods, thinks that it starts with all the colorful foods you can get your hands on: Everything from “plant pigments like lycopene, beta-carotene, and zeaxathin to marine carotenoids like astaxanthin to the anthocyanins in blueberries and red onions.” He explains that beyond being beneficial to the brain, these compounds help to “shield our eyes and skin against oxidative stress and aging.”

Beyond cleaning up your diet, making a point to learn new things (like say, a musical instrument or a sport) and connect to those around you can also help strengthen your brain. In a perfect example of the You. We. All approach to wellness, more science is now staying that if we want a healthy brain for life, we can’t do it alone.

And in order to start connecting with others, we first need to unplug from our devices and pull our faces away from the screens, which—spoiler alert—are also doing damage to our brains. According to Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., a neuroscientist and neurologist who has studied the effects of technology on mental health for years, “Overexposure to information, rapid reward cycles, and multitasking can all take a toll on how we regulate our emotions, manage our stress, and allocate our attention,” he says. So how can you avoid this? Connect to something bigger than yourself. “I find it increasingly important to take time off from technology to focus on friends, nature, and my own mind. For me, the best way to accomplish this is to take a deep dive into the beauty of our natural world. Coupling these with physical activity, like a long hike, takes it up a notch.”

At mbg, we have been talking about brain health for years—and our Collective includes some of the world’s top brain health experts—but this year, we’ll witness a laser focus on brain health that will actually change the way we live, eat, and spend our days.

The UAE’s top 47 construction projects over the years – Construction Week Online

The UAE’s 47th National Day falls on 2 December, 2018.

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As the UAE celebrates its 47th National Day, Construction Week takes a look at the 47 projects that have helped shape the nation’s infrastructure, transport services, and skylines since 1971.

The construction, real estate, and related sectors have made key contributions to the UAE’s economy over the years. Property transactions during the first nine months of 2018 in Dubai alone hit $44.1bn (AED162bn). On the other hand, take infrastructure projects such as Dubai Metro, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2019. Dubai Metro – since it was established in 2009 – had led to benefits worth $18bn (AED66bn) by 2016, according to University of Reading’s Henley Business School research revealed this September.

The following list is a compilation of those projects that Construction Week feels have helped boost the nation’s economy, standard of living, and business drive. It also details a few projects that are under development and that are designed to transform the nation’s future. This list is not presented in any particular order, but we thought it best to start with the world’s tallest tower…

1. Burj Khalifa

Not only the tallest building on earth, but the tallest structure ever produced, the Burj Khalifa is a staggering feat of engineering that simply dwarfs anything else ever constructed.

ARCHIVES:From concrete to cranes: a journey through Burj Khalifa’s construction

Even within Dubai’s towering skyline, with its forest of skyscrapers lining two distinct sections of Sheikh Zayed Road, the Burj Khalifa stands out – particularly at night time when it provides a backdrop to the half-hourly fountain displays at its base.

Burj Khalifa is also watched by global spectators each year for the dazzling, Guinness World Record-holding fireworks spectacle it hosts each New Year’s Eve. This year, during the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia, the building also became the world’s tallest scoreboard.

The building bagged several world-topping records when it was opened, including: tallest building in the world, tallest free-standing structure in the world, highest number of stories in the world, highest occupied floor in the world, highest outdoor observation deck in the world, elevator with the longest travel distance in the world, tallest service elevator in the world, world’s highest swimming pool (76th floor) and world’s highest occupied floor.

While it normally takes a day to remove a tower crane from a standard building site, it took four months to remove the top-most crane from the Burj at the end of the main construction phases. Contractors needed to build a series of cranes, each one smaller than the last, to systematically remove them from the building.

READ:Burj Khalifa façade to relay football world cup match live scores


Location: Dubai, UAE

Height: 828m

Year completed: 2010

Made of: steel/concrete

Function: Mixed-use

2. Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi, the momentous project that opened in November 2017, is a momentous project in the UAE’s list of many. In 2013, construction of the main phase of the Louvre Abu Dhabi was awarded to an Arabtec-led joint venture that included Construction San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC, with the section completing a year later.

During a press tour on 7 November, Manuel Rabaté, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, shared his recollections of the construction of the building over the last decade.

“We had some pains and some pleasures in the project,” he said during a speech at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2017.

CASE STUDY:Jotun coatings at Louvre Abu Dhabi

“I remember in 2009 for the ground breaking ceremony we were a full delegation in the sand of Saadiyat Island and we were looking for the mathematical centre of the dome before it started.

“I remember when this whole place was filled with scaffolding and now the dome is floating above us,” he added.

3. Warner Bros Abu Dhabi

Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, estimated to be worth $1bn (AED3.67bn), opened at Yas Island on 25 July, 2018.

Six sections – dummed ‘immersive worlds’ – have been created across the indoor theme park, each set aside for themes including Warner Bros Plaza (pictured), Gotham City, Metropolis, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, and Dynamite Gulch.

The park comprises 29 rides, in addition to dining options and retail units. Construction commencement of the project was announced in July, 2015.

Warner Bros Entertainment had signed a deal in 2007 with Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties and the Abu Dhabi Media Company to bring Warner Bros-themed project to the Middle East, Arabian Business reported at the time.

4. Etihad Museum

2017 marked the official launch of Etihad Museum, which opened to the public on 7 January that year.

Designed by Moriyana & Teshima Architects and located next to the historic Union House on the Dubai waterfront, the museum honours the 1971 signing of the document that created the UAE, and celebrates the culture and history of its people.

READ MORE:Top five museum projects in the UAE

Etihad Museum’s complex extends across the Union House building, a 123m flag pole, and a parking building with a 100-car capacity, with an additional 100 outdoor parking spots.

Dubai-based construction group ASGC was awarded a $133m contract to build the project – also referred to as Union Museum – by the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority in March 2015.

5. Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai, which will open its doors on 20 October, 2020 and end on 10 April, 2021, is the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia’s first world expo. Significant construction progress has been made on the UAE megaproject in 2018.

Numerous global superpowers, including Japan, the US, Germany, and the UK, have already revealed designs for their respective pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai.

READ: Expo 2020 Dubai’s two-year countdown factsheet [2018]

This November, officials from the American expo pavilion’s development team said the project’s groundbreaking would be held in 2019.

Notable UAE construction companies, such as AF Construction, Arabtec, ALEC, Al Naboodah Construction, ASGC, Besix, Khansaheb, and Tristar Engineering are building various projects related to Expo 2020 Dubai. International firms such as Laing O’Rourke, Cleveland Bridge and Engineering, and Cimolai are also involved with major schemes for the expo.

Sustainability is a key area of focus for Expo 2020 Dubai, as a senior official at the organisation told Construction Week this September. “In total, the site has 41 [key performance indicators] covering the sustainability of the project, [which focuses on] not just the construction of the expo, but the design and commissioning of the entire project as well,” Ahmed Al Khatib, senior vice president of real estate and delivery at Expo 2020 Dubai, said.

READ:Expo 2020 Dubai Phase 2 construction to complete by year-end

6. Museum of the Future

One of Dubai’s most awaited developments is Museum of the Future, the iconic building that noted structural completion this November. Set to open its doors in 2020, the museum “embodies one of the pillars of the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai”, a top official at Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) said last month.

Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and vice chairman of the board of trustees and managing director of DFF, added: “The museum will provide visitors the opportunity to experience the future now. It will be the destination for scientists, experts, innovators, and creative minds, from all over the world, to design and shape the future.”

READ:Empower to supply cooling to Dubai’s Museum of the Future

In a statement posted on WAM, the UAE’s state news agency, DFF said the museum will be an icon for the future of science, technology, and innovation in Dubai, adding that the building will be the “pioneer global destination for the launch of new technologies, innovations, and many creative ideas”.

Museum of the Future is located near the high-profile Emirates Towers on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, and is acknowledged as “an architectural masterpiece that will enhance Dubai’s urban landscape and become a destination for tourists, visitors, and residents to learn about future technologies that will become a part of all aspects of life”, the WAM news report continued.

The report added: “It will be one of the most advanced buildings in the world and will feature a unique design with Arabic calligraphy inscribed onto the exterior.

READ:Dubai’s Museum of the Future on track for delivery

“The project is a new leap forward towards establishing Dubai as a hub for innovation, and will contribute to encouraging future thinking. In addition, the museum will support the development of long-term solutions to the challenges and requirements of the future at the local, regional, and international levels.”

Bam International is working on Dubai’s Museum of the Future, and according to a project listing on its website, the contracting giant has “provided a technically compliant submission” for the development, which underscores its work on complex structures using building information modeling and 3D modeling.

Killa Design worked on Museum of the Future’s design, with the project to “be built, in part, using 3D printing technologies“, according to Bam’s website.

7. Office of the Future

As global construction and real estate industries seek to harness 3D printing for their operations, the first 3D-printed office building – Office of the Future – has already taken shape in Dubai, and was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on 23 May, 2016.

Inside the construction team of Dubai’s Office of the Future

This initiative forms part of Dubai’s 3D Printing Strategy, which was launched in April 2016, and focusses on the development of 3D printing to improve the lives of the emirate’s residents. The strategy will target the real estate and construction, medical, and consumer sectors, and commits Dubai to the use of 3D printing technologies for a quarter of its buildings by 2030.

Located at the foot of Emirates Towers, the 3D-printed office is the only inhabited structure of its kind in the world. A 3D printer measuring 6m in height, 37m in length, and 12m in width, with an automated robotic arm, was used to produce the building. The structure was printed using a giant cement printer, and assembled on site.

IN PICTURES:Office of the Future

Printing took 17 days; the components were installed in two. Subsequent work on building services, interiors, and landscaping took three months.

8. Ferrari World

Ferrari World, declared the largest indoor theme park in the world upon its launch, is part of Aldar’s Yas Island development, one of the UAE’s largest tourist destinations to date. The Formula 1 race track, which opened in 2009, sits alongside the theme park.

The park’s launch marked the close of a three-year construction phase in which the building and its 200,000m2 red roof have dominated the Yas Marina skyline. The park was designed by Benoy and built by Six Construct, the regional arm of Besix .

The park includes 20 rides ranging from the Bell Italia, a slow tour through a miniature Italian countryside and the V12 water ride, to the G-Force shot and drop ride in the middle of the central funnel, and the world’s fastest rollercoaster, the 240km/h Formula Rossa. As you may expect, there is also considerable attention paid to Ferrari’s racing and road car history with several displays and attractions linked to the manufacturer and its Italian heritage.

9. Dubai Airport

Dubai’s reputation as a business hub has been supplemented to a great degree by the success of Dubai International Airport (DXB). A massive sprawling and well laid out airport is home to Emirates airline – one of the largest airlines in the world. The city is perfectly situated, mid-point between the far-East and Europe, and the expansion plans will help to better serve its growing visitor numbers.

One of the airport’s notable extension programmes covered Concourse 3, which at 645m long, 90m wide and 42m high, was planned to increase capacity from DXB’s then-40 million to around 70 million. Concourse 3 was penned to feature 20 aircraft stands, 18 of which will be able to accommodate the Airbus A380 superjumbo.

ALEC was awarded the main construction contract in April 2009, and its work included the construction, completion, and maintenance of civil, architectural, MEP, SAS, and signage works.

10. Midfield Terminal

Like its neighbouring emirate, Abu Dhabi is anticipating a marked increase in passenger and cargo traffic over the coming years and has subsequently planned for this. Abu Dhabi Airports Company is constructing a new airport near the existing site to increase passenger traffic, which totals millions each year.

From an arch stretching 180m and weighing 1,000 tonnes, to over 50 million man working-hours, the facts and figures around the Midfield Terminal project are impressive. Spanning 742,000m2, 28,000m2 of which will be allocated as retail and food and beverage space and 30,000m2 as lounge space, the Midfield Terminal System will feature 145 elevators, 46 travelators, and 106 passenger bridges.

This May, it was revealed that CCD Design and Ergonomics had been chosen by Etihad Aviation Group to design and create four control rooms at the upcoming Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport. CCD, which was picked following a competitive tender and selection process, will work closely with Etihad’s team to design functional and efficient control rooms, according toAviation Business.

Its scope of work will include a full set of design services covering feasibility, requirements capture, tender support, as well as construction supervision.

IN PICTURES: Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal project

The specialist design consultancy will also head up furniture design, room layout and interior design, which it will work closely with companies such as Hoare Lea on MEP services, Faithful + Gould on cost consultancy and Sutton Vane Associates on lighting design.

News of CCD’s appointment came months after Abu Dhabi Airports’s announcement in November 2017 that construction progress on the project had crossed the 85% mark, and that 66%, or $3.4bn (AED12.5bn), of its $5.2bn (AED19.1bn) budget had already been spent.

At the time, Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, acting chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “According to the schedule, it will be ready for operation in 2019, and we are confident [that] our contractor and teams will deliver. This building will serve 84 million passengers a year, or 11,000 passengers per hour at peak times.

”The MTB, which will support both our own long-term growth ambitions and those of other Abu Dhabi stakeholders, particularly Etihad Airways, is now 86% complete and experimental operations will begin by the end of 2018.”

11. Reem Island

Reem Island’s importance for the future of business in the UAE’s capital can’t be underestimated. The natural island occupies 650ha of prime real estate within a stone’s throw of the city’s central business district, and will eventually be home to more than 200,000 people, and several hundred businesses.

It is one of the first free zones in the capital, which means that foreign nationals are able to buy property and run their own businesses without the need for local partnerships.

Among the earliest developers involved with the project were Sorouh Real Estate (Shams Abu Dhabi), Reem Investments, and Tamouh. Sorouh’s Sun and Sky Towers project won GCC Residential Project of the Year award at the Construction Week Awards 2011.

The 74-storey Sky Tower and 65-storey Sun Tower are among the tallest buildings in the Shams Gate District, a cluster of eight towers located at the entrance of Shams Abu Dhabi on Reem Island.

12. Reem Mall

Worth $1.2bn (AED4.4bn), the under-construction Reem Mall in Abu Dhabi is one of the UAE’s highly anticipated schemes at present. “Significant” progress was revealed on the project this September. More than 14 tower cranes have been erected for the project, with 120,000m3 of reinforced concrete cast on site. “Some sections” of the development are said to be reaching Level 4.

Italian-Emirati joint venture, Itinera Ghantoot, was awarded a $626m (AED2.3bn) contract to build the project in November 2017. Upon completion, the project will feature 350,000m3 of reinforced concrete; 68,038t (75,000 tons) of rebar; 9,071t (10,000 tons) of structural steel; and 75,000m2 of precast hollow-core concrete panels – all spanning a built-up area of 650,000m2.

READ: Azadea Group to open 11 stores at Abu Dhabi’s $1.2bn Reem Mall

Construction work for the development, which commenced in late-2017, is “well under way, in line with” planned building and finance targets, Reem Mall’s team confirmed. Shane Eldstrom, chief executive officer of Al Farwaniya Property Developments, said a team of 4,000 workers was present at the project’s site at the time.

He continued: “We are very proud to announce that Reem Mall has been progressing smoothly and is in line with our construction schedule.”

Reem Mall is located in the Najmat District of Reem Island. Al Farwaniya Property Developments is a partnership between three Kuwaiti companies – Agility; its affiliate United Projects for Aviation Services Co; and National Real Estate Company.

13. Dubai Water Canal

Another architectural landmark in the UAE, the $1.1bn (AED3.7bn) Dubai Water Canal was inaugurated in the UAE emirate on 9 November, 2016. Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, officially opened Dubai Water Canal, which links Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf.

Dubai Holding implemented the first phase of the project, which cost $272.2m (AED1bn) and extends 9km from the Ras Al Khor area through Business Bay to Sheikh Zayed Road. The second phase of the project, implemented by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), cost $735.1m (AED2.7bn) and spans 3.2km, featuring 6.4km of waterfront. The canal ranges from 80m to 120m in width, Dubai Media Office reported at the time.

READ:Ducorr reveals details of $367,000 Dubai Water Canal contract

“Today, as the Dubai Creek flows into the Arabian Gulf, we celebrate the canal, an architectural, commercial, and geographical triumph,” Dubai’s Ruler said in a series of tweets.

“We celebrate a journey that began with Sheikh Rashid in 1959. A new phase of Dubai’s life is here, wrapped by the warmth of the Gulf waters. The Canal is not just an architectural accomplishment, but also a triumph of our heritage, history, and heart.

“Thank you to the dedicated team; to the RTA, Dubai Holding, Meraas and Meydan. Our belief in you grows every day.”

14. Princess Tower

The 414m Princess Tower, located next to Le Reve hotel in Dubai Marina, is 107 floors high and the third tallest building in Dubai, after Burj Khalifa and Marina 101. Between 2012 and 2015, it was also the world’s tallest residential building.

Offering panoramic views over the marina and Dubai beach, the tower contain a combination of luxury apartments, offices, sales outlets, car parking spaces, sports and recreational clubs and hotel suites, as well as two, three and four bedrooms, duplex villas and high-end penthouses.

Developed by Tameer Holding, the $190m project is thought to be one of the most prestigious residential projects in Dubai.

15. Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah, the man-made island that put Dubai and the UAE on the global real estate map, gained acclaim when its final breakwater stone was laid in 2007. Today, the island that used more than 1 billion cubic metres of sand and 7 million tonnes of rock, is home to thousands of people.

Ten dredging rigs worked around the clock for two years to create the trunk, fronds, and 11km crescent. Developer Nakheel said the material used to create the palm was enough to build a 2m-high, 0.5m-wide wall that could wrap around the world three times.


Development: Palm Jumeirah

Location: Dubai

Work started: August 2001

Completed: October 2007

Developer: Nakheel

Main contractor: Van Oord

Designer: Nakheel Virlogeux

16. Atlantis, The Palm

Having already brought the Atlantis to life once in The Bahamas, Sol Kerzner decided to repeat the trick in Dubai. The resort consists of two towers linked by a bridge, with almost 1,540 rooms. There are two monorail stations connecting the resort to the main section of the Palm Jumeirah islands.

Opened in 2009, the hotel remains one of the most exclusive in Dubai and has become the city’s foremost celebrity haunt.

Laing O’Rourke was responsible for the design and construction phases of the 23-storey hotel and water park. With a peak workforce of 10,000 personnel, the project was completed two months ahead of schedule. This was made possible in part by the company’s expertise in offsite manufacturing and pre-assembly.


Investors: Joint venture between Kerzner International Holdings Limited and Istithmar

Developer: Kerzner International Holdings Limited

Masterplanner and landscape design: Edsa

Water park designer: Henry, Schooley & Associates

Theming contractor: Amusement Whitewater Softscape

Shade and irrigation supplier: Citiscape

Paving contractor: CCP

17. Burj Al Arab

The Burj Khalifa may have blitzed every construction record in the book, but the recognisable shape of the Burj Al Arab is still one of Dubai’s most internationally renowned buildings.

Atkins architect Tom Wright said on his website that his brief was to “create an icon for Dubai, a building that would become synonymous with the place, as Sydney has its opera house and Paris the Eiffel Tower”.

Part of the Jumeirah Beach Resort project, the Burj Al-Arab stands 321m high and is built on a man-made landscape island of the Jumeirah coastline. It has full height atriums that are enclosed by Teflon woven glass fibre curved walls.

Construction began in 1994 through the partnership of Murray & Roberts and Al Habtoor and presented a number of challenges for contractors. The biggest challenge was sorting through the logistics of producing the 9,000t of structural steel components in South Africa, and then shipping them to Dubai for assembly.

Burj Al Arab was officially opened in November 1999, one month ahead of schedule and in time for the turn of the millennia.


Location: Dubai, UAE

Completed: November 1999

Design: Tom Wright, Atkins

Main contractor: Murray & Roberts, Al Habtoor

Height: 321m

Achievement: World’s first seven-star hotel

18. Masdar City

Masdar City set ambitious goals when it was announced, and it remains focused on green and renewable energy sources. Construction began on Masdar City in 2008 and the first six buildings of the city were completed and occupied in October 2010. Final completion is scheduled to occur between 2020 and 2025.

Masdar remains an important facility for exploring future energy technologies. In October 2018, Khaled Ballaith, director of energy services at Abu Dhabi sustainability giant Masdar, told Construction Week in an exclusive comment piece that the firm is now “expanding into energy performance contracting, alongside operations and maintenance, to help unlock the commercial potential of energy services beyond the city’s borders”.

The news came after Potain announced this June that it had been contracted to help build the Masdar Institute Neighbourhood project in Abu Dhabi. Two new Potain MDT 259 J12 CCS tower cranes are being used for the residential complex, which is being developed by Masdar and Mubadala Development Company.

The 102,000m2 project has Six Construct, a part of the Besix Group, working as its main contractor. Six Construct received Potain cranes for the project through the crane firm’s Abu Dhabi-based distribution partner, NFT Specialized in Tower Cranes.

NFT installed the cranes at the end of January, and the machines will see the project through to completion, which is scheduled for June 2019.

19. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest in the UAE and sits between the between the Mussafah and Maqta bridges on the entrance to the city. Also known as Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque, it is clad in the white marble covering an area of more than 22,000m2 and includes four 107m-tall minarets and 57 domes. Elaborate extensive floral designs decked with precious stones adorn the several walls, pillars and the 7,000m2 courtyard of the mosque.

The mosque’s grand carpet, which measures 5,627m2 and weighs 47t, is the largest carpet in the world. In addition, the world’s biggest Swarovski crystal bejeweled gold-plated chandelier from Germany measuring 10m in diameter and 15m tall is housed in the main prayer hall.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque also houses the mausoleum of the late President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

20. Sheikh Zayed Bridge

Extending 842m, and defying all standard engineering principles, Sheikh Zayed Bridge was intended to be unique, complex, and testing for those involved in its building. According to the contractors, it certainly achieved its aims.

Started in 2003, Sheikh Zayed Bridge is the third crossing over the waterway into the island of Abu Dhabi. It was designed to link in with the Salam street tunnel project, slashing journey times between the outskirts of the city and the Corniche by more than half an hour.


• 4 arches at 500 tonnes each

• 200,000m3 of concrete

• 670 piles at 1.5m diameter

• Total length of piles: 15km

• 52,000 tonnes of steel

• 20,000 tonnes of structural steel for temporary work

• 6 rafts – the biggest using 600,000 m3 of concrete

• 5 cofferdams

• 11 deck sections

• 24 stages of casting on main section of deck

• More than 500 pieces of equipment mobilised

• 10 tower cranes

• 11 marine barges

• 5 crawler cranes

• 7 hydraulic cranes

• Tested with a fleet of 80 trucks

21. Port Rashid

Dubai’s mega-port opened in 1972 and has been instrumental in helping to develop the emirate as a major trading hub. At the time of the opening, the port had two gantry cranes and processed just 100,000 TEUs annually. Today, with its nine gantry cranes and 13 metre draft, the port handles more than 1.5m TEUs annually.

The port handles general cargo, RoRo and passenger vessels, and operates in conjunction with the Port of Jebel Ali.

22. Al Maktoum International Airport

Al Maktoum International airport (DWC) – part of the massive multibillion-dollar Dubai South project – is a crucial part of the UAE’s long-term aviation business strategy. The site also features a logistics centre and a number of residential developments.

When fully complete, DWC will be able to handle 160 million passengers a year, making it one of the world’s largest airports.

A consortium featuring the local contractor Arabtec Construction and Malaysia’s WCT Engineering won the construction contract for the airport in 2006.

23. Yas Marina Circuit

Designed as an Arabian version of Monaco, the 21 corners of the Yas Marina Circuit twists through the manmade island off the Abu Dhabi coast, passing by the marina and through the Yas Marina Hotel, designed and conceived of by New York-based architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture, Asymptote Architecture, and winding its way through sand dunes, with several long straights and tight corners.

The circuit has five grandstand areas (Main Grandstand, West Grandstand, North Grandstand, South Grandstand and Marina Grandstand, aka Support), and part of its pit lane exit runs underneath the track. It also houses a team building behind the pit building, a media centre, dragster track, VIP tower and Ferrari World Theme Park. Additionally, one of the gravel traps runs underneath the West grandstand.

READ:Yas Island developer eyes digital transformation with Microsoft

The circuit was built by main contractor Cebarco-WCT, under contract from developer Aldar Properties. Among the sub-contractors involved were Koh Ah Hing from Malaysia (structural), as well as specialised subcontractors Voltas (MEP), PKE-Siemens (MEP), Able-Middle East (earthworks), Hamilton International (interior), Bau Bickhardt (track) and Unger Steel (steel structure).

The circuit was constructed with a permanent lighting system provided by Musco Lighting. Yas Marina Circuit was the largest permanent sports venue lighting project in the world as of 2011.

The surface of the track is made from Graywacke aggregate, shipped to Abu Dhabi from Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire, England. The surface material is highly acclaimed by circuit bosses and Formula 1 drivers for the high level of grip it offers. The same aggregate material is used at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

24. Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is part of the $20bn Downtown Burj Dubai development, which is also being built by Emaar Properties. It took just over over four years to build.

Construction started in 2004, and the mall opened its doors to the world on 4 November 2008.

READ:How Dubai Mall has grown since its 2008 opening

The Dubai Mall is a gateway for those wanting to visit the world’s tallest free-standing structure, Burj Khalifa, standing at 828m. At the Top, the world’s highest observation deck on the 124th floor, is accessible from the Lower Ground of The Dubai Mall, and offers guests 360° panoramic views of Dubai’s skyline.

25. Dubai’s O14 (Swiss Cheese) building

This office tower in Dubai’s Business Bay was completed in 2010 after four years under construction. It was opened more than six months later due to a delay in connecting the building to mains electricity.

Designed by US firm RUR, the building is the first project by developer H&H. It provides 22 floors of office space. It is supported by a concrete façade that contains more than 1,300 individual holes that cuts cooling costs by up to 30%. These also gave the tower its nickname of the Swiss Cheese Building.

O14 is one of very few finished buildings in the area, which was hit particularly hard by the financial crisis. Infrastructure was a problem for the architect and the developer, and led to a delay in the opening of the project.

READ:‘Swiss cheese’ tower opened at Business Bay

Developer Shahab Lutfi said that the key aspect of O14’s appeal was its “uniqueness”, adding: “It is completely different. You drive through Dubai and you see glass buildings everywhere. This is the only building that does not have glass on the outside,” he said.

RUR architect Jesse Reiser added: “It is an exoskeleton. Instead of having a traditional curtain wall, the structure shades the building and also holds it up.”

26. Jumeirah Beach Residence

Featuring 36 residential towers and four hotel towers, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is the ultimate beachside community. The apartments at JBR sit on the coast of the Arabian Gulf and are within walking distance of the Walk, home to exclusive shopping, popular restaurants and hotels.

The development comprises of 36 residential towers which offer a wide selection of residential units ranging from studio apartments to four bedroom penthouses with sea and marina views. The design and finishings are inspired by Mediterranean and local architecture, and are complimented by landscaped plazas, kids play areas, fountains and courtyards.

27. Mall of the Emirates

Soon after opening in 2005, the ambitious Mall of Emirates was walking off with a series of awards for its design and mixture of shops, eateries, and ski-dome. While it has been usurped by the Dubai Mall for the title of largest shopping mall in the GCC, the Mall of Emirates remains one of the city of Dubai’s most spectacular features. Built into the Al Barsha district of Dubai, the Mall of Emirates, developed by Majid Al Futtaim Properties and designed by the American architectural firm, F+A Architects, was also a key milestone in the rapid expansion of the southern half of Dubai in the late 2000s.

28. Emirates Towers

In conjunction with the opening of the Burj Al Arab four months prior, the completion of the Emirates Towers on 15 April, 2000 heralded a decade of unprecedented construction and growth for Dubai.

Emirates Towers is formed by two towers, the Emirates Office Tower and Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. Located near to the World Trade Centre on the Sheikh Zayed Road, the towers are linked by the two-storey The Boulevard shopping mall.

Designed by architect Hazel Wong, the 355m Emirates Office Tower, which hosts an antenna spire, was the 10th tallest building in the world at the time of its opening. Wong said that her goal was to create something that was simple and elegant and over a decade later her creation remains one of Dubai’s most significant and well-loved buildings.

29. Dubai-Fujairah Highway

The 80km, $326.7m Dubai-Fujairah highway project is a landmark project, completing a main traffic artery from Dubai to the Northern Emirates, with more than 40km of highway in total, traversing through mountainous terrain. The project was launched on 3 December, 2011 to coincide with the UAE’s 40th National Day.

The project, delivered in three phases, was renamed the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Highway in 2010. Phase 3 was the most ambitious, as well as being the most technically challenging, including five precast beam composite deck bridges designed and erected through mountainous terrain at many different altitudes and following various cambers.

30. Sheikh Zayed Road

The 55km section of the UAE’s main artery, the E11, that starts from the World Trade Centre and ends on the border of Abu Dhabi is better known as the Sheikh Zayed Road.

Formerly known as Defence Road, the Sheikh Zayed Road was expanded in the 1990s paving the way for Dubai to expand to the south. Today the artery plays a vital role in stringing together Dubai’s blockbuster developments such as the Burj Khalifa, the Emirates Towers, and the Dubai Marina with its commercial and industrial centres of the DIFC, Al Quoz and Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone.

31. Madinat Jumeirah

Construction on the Madinat Jumeirah resort first began in 2002 with developer and architect Mirage Mille taking 36 months to complete and open the first phase of the resort: the Mina A’ Salam (The Harbour of Peace) boutique hotel.

The underlying concept was to recreate life as it used to be for residents along Dubai Creek, complete with waterways, abras, wind towers, and a bustling souk.

The development cost in excess of $300m to complete. Located next to the iconic Burj Al Arab, and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Madinat is a Dubai mixture of Disney-inspired design combined with historically and culturally-aware architecture.

32. Jebel Ali Free Zone and Port

A pivotal development in the establishment of the UAE as a trading destination, Jebel Ali’s free zone (Jafza) and port form one of the world’s major shipping and export hubs.

Construction on the port began in the late 1970’s along with Jebel Ali Village (finished in 1977) which was used to house construction employees of the port.

Officially established in 1979, Jebel Ali Port is the largest port in the Middle East and one of the biggest man-made ports ever built. Jafza is still among the world’s fastest growing free zones and spreads over an area of 48km2 and is home to more than 6,400 companies, including Fortune Global 500 enterprises.

33. Hamriyah Free Zone

Established by Emiri decre in 1995, Al Hamriyah Free Zone began as an area of 15 million m2 and has since grown to more than 22 million m2. The zone includes industrial and commercial facilities plus a 14m-deep water port and adjacent 7m-deep inner harbour, with scope for further expansion.

It was the first zone in the world to win ISO 14001 certification for environmental safety and has since been awarded ISO 9002 status for quality.

Hamriyah Free Zone, some years ago, completed a multimillion-dollar expansion, including Phases 3 and 4 of the inner harbour project to accommodate larger vessels, and increase capacity to 40 ships. Meanwhile its roads network was increased by 80km.

34. Dubai Metro

Opened on 9 September, 2009, Dubai’s metro service provided a much needed link between the city’s busy international airport, and the residential areas of Jumeirah in Dubai’s south western extremes. Two years later, a second line added a further 18 stations and 23km to the emirate’s existing rail network with a line that stretched from the Dubai Creek Etisalat station, at Al Qusais near Emirates Road, via Deira.

35. Dubai Marina

Dubai’s Marina is one of the most prestigious areas of the city to live, thanks to the work of two well-known engineering firms. While Halcrow was appointed as engineers for the Marina itself, Mott MacDonald took on the lead engineer role for the $327m Phase 1 of the project, including the complete structural and building services design for six residential towers and infrastructure covering a 10ha site. Mott MacDonald completed the work for developer Emaar in 2004.


Developer: Emaar Properties

Architect: HOK

Engineer: Mott MacDonald

Completed: 2004

36. Dubai Creek

Dubai’s Dubai’s Creek has long been a centre of commercial activity, but things really took off in the 1950s after the river bed was dredged to allow larger vessels to access upstream quays. Initial work involved dredging shallow areas, building of breakwaters, and developing its beach to become a quay suitable for loading and unloading of cargo.

The creek was dredged in 1961 to a depth of 2.1m, and again in the 1960s and 70s to allow vessels weighing up to 500 tons to anchor. The work gave Dubai an edge over Sharjah, and was a major contributing factor in helped to shape the city’s economy. The creek remains a vital link for import and export trade with neighbouring nations.

37. Dubai’s Business Bay

Part of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for economic development in Dubai, Business Bay is a development that was proposed as an extension of the Dubai Creek both physically and in terms of its economic impact.

The project is home to numerous skyscrapers: one estimate puts that at 240 buildings, comprising commercial and residential developments.

The infrastructure of Business Bay was completed in 2008, and the entire development was expected to be completed between 2012 and 2015.

38. Hayat Island

The newly appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of the UAE’s RAK Properties said this September progress is being made on the company’s Hayat Island master development. In a statement, new CEO, Samuel Dean Sidiqi, said his team was “delighted” by the project’s progress.

Marbella Villas, the residential element of Hayat Island, comprises 205 beachfront villas and townhouses. Designed by Dar Al Omran, the project adjoins the public realm area of Hayat Islands, designed by RMJM.

Sidiqi said the launch of Intercontinental- and Anantara-branded hotels at Hayat Island was “an important addition” to Ras Al Khaimah’s offerings for domestic and international tourists.

“I am confident that we will have a great deal more to show you [soon],” he continued, commenting on Hayat Island.

“We are confident about the exclusive release of Marbella Villas. They are a key element of the overall design and will play a central role in attracting the right mix of investors and tenants to the island,” Sidiqi added.

This August, RAK Properties reported $1.44bn (AED5.28bn) in net assets for the first six months of 2018. The company has started constructing the Anantara and Intercontinental hotels in Mina Al Arab, both of which it said would “strengthen the recurring revenue portfolio in the future”.

READ:Assets rise $32m at UAE’s RAK Properties in H1 2018

Commenting on the figures at the time, RAK Properties’ managing director, Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi, said: “The company is making significant headway on residential projects both under construction and due to launch over the next year.”

One of Hayat Island‘s notable developments is Northbay Residence. The 3,623m2 development will be completed by 2020. Comprising one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as duplex units, the tower will be surrounded by amenities such as restaurants, shopping options, parks, walkways, and gardens.

Hayat Island is a 55.7ha mixed-use project that will feature food and beverage, shopping, and recreational offerings, in addition to hospitality and residential options, in Ras Al Khaimah. Its residential component comprises 2,457 apartments, split as 1,152 one-bedroom, 985 two-bedroom, and 320 three-bedroom units.

Townhouses and villas will also be developed as part of the project’s residential component.

39. Dubai Arena

The façade of the highly anticipated Dubai Arena has been completed, with the project on track to open in 2019. In a project update released on 4 November 2018, developer Meraas said the “active-lit” panelled façade structure of Dubai Arena is fully installed, with work under way on external infrastructure, landscaping, paving, and parking spaces for the project, which will be MENA region’s largest all-purpose, air-conditioned indoor arena.

READ:Empower wins 3,600RT district cooling contract for Dubai Arena

Among the project’s major milestones include the completion of its roof and façade steel structure, with 80% of the roof catwalks (elevated service platforms) also ready. All concrete, structural, and block works have been completed, with seat installation now under way for the project, on which UAE-headquartered main contractor ASGC is working.

Dubai Arena’s roof structure weighs almost 4,000 tonnes (t), which is equivalent to the weight of seven Airbus A380 planes, the immensely popular aircraft in the Emirates airline’s fleet. The roof is supported by two 120m-long “mega-trusses” that span the length of the venue. Meraas said in its statement that the mega-trusses’ construction and lifting was “considered among the most challenging processes”, adding that it used some of the world’s biggest cranes – with a capacity of 1,600t – to lift them into place.

READ:Dubai Arena’s roof built with Demag construction cranes

Installation of the arena’s rigging equipment, scoreboards, lighting, and sound systems will begin this month. “Finishing touches” are being made to the first of 46 hospitality suites at Dubai Arena, the City Walk destination that will have a capacity of 17,000 spectators. More than 110t of show and production equipment will be placed over the arena’s viewing areas.

40. Aljada

In September 2017, Arada launched what looks set to become Sharjah’s largest ever real estate development. Occupying an area of 2.2km2 (220ha), the Aljada urban district will boast a gross real estate value of $6.5bn (AED24bn) and a total population of approximately 70,000 people.

Unveiled in the presence of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the master-planned megaproject will feature a diverse array of residential, commercial, retail, leisure, and entertainment offerings, as well as a dedicated business park. Upon completion, the development will include a combination of stand-alone and semi-detached villas, townhouses, lofts, and apartments. Its residential units will be complemented by open spaces and community amenities, including schools, healthcare clinics, and mosques.

In October, Arada revealed the final masterplan of the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Central Hub, a 17.7ha leisure and entertainment component within its Aljada megaproject. Modern Building Contracting Company (MBCC) was named as the contractor for Phase 1 of Central Hub.

Aljada will be a smart community, according to Arada. In a statement this November, the Sharjah real estate developer said the early stages of the Aljada Smart City project will see its development team focus on five key areas – mobility, utilities, telecommunications, the ‘circular economy’, and waste management.

“All these areas will be supported by ultra-secure, high-end digital infrastructure that will be managed centrally within the community,” the developer added, noting it was “in negotiations with several multinational companies” with extensive experience in smart technology.

41. Dubai World Trade Centre

As the home of multiple billion-dollar construction sites, Dubai is not unfamiliar with the demands of high-profile development programmes. One such project currently taking shape in the city is One Central, a mixed-use master-development by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), valued at $2.2bn (AED8bn).

By all means, the story of One Central’s inception is a compelling one – more so when viewed within the context of Dubai’s rapid evolution since the late 1970s, only years after the UAE’s formation. Almost three decades later, more than 1.3ha of exhibition space – in the form of Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) – now sprawls DWTC’s complex in Dubai’s elite Za’abeel neighbourhood, where One Central is expected to be an addition that is both poignant and profitable.

Poignant, because One Central’s planned components would herald the next chapter of growth for Za’abeel, which propelled Dubai onto the global commercial landscape in 1979, when the 39-storey Sheikh Rashid Tower was launched in the locality. Profitable, because the billion-dollar One Central community will fulfill key real estate needs in and around its neighbourhood.

The development’s commercial component comprises five buildings, each of which will feature a drop-off area, four levels of underground parking, integrated retail offerings on the ground level, open-plan office spaces, and access to rooftop gardens. The Offices 1 building offers spaces spanning 290m2 to 1,920m2 per floor, with a gross internal area of approximately 18,000m2 as commercial space, and 2,000m2 for retail use.

Meanwhile, the 12-storey Offices 2 building offers entire floors ranging from 1,290m2 to 4,640m2, which can be leased as whole or smaller units, with a total building size of approximately 4.1ha (41,270m2). The judges of Construction Week Awards 2018 recently met at One Central’s Offices 2 to discuss this year’s shortlist.

42. Etihad Rail

Undoubtedly, Etihad Rail is a landmark project in a region where rail projects are rapidly gathering pace. In 2015, Stage 1 of the project, which extends 264km, was delivered, linking the Shah and Habshan gas fields in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi to the port of Ruwais on the Arabian Gulf, with a capacity of transferring almost 20,000 tonnes of sulfur granules per day.

This November, the UAE’s Ministry of Finance and Abu Dhabi Department of Finance signed an agreement for the financing of Stage 2 of the Etihad Rail national rail network. Etihad Rail has posted significant construction-related progress in 2018, most notable of which is the completion of preliminary designs for Stage 2 of the project in preparation for the launch of civil engineering tenders by the end of this month. According to a statement, Etihad Rail is “now in advanced stages of commercial and technical negotiations with an extended range of potential partners”.

Stage 2 will extend 605km from Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast, to be followed by future route additions. The volume of goods transported by Etihad Rail will increase from 6.35 million tonnes per year during Stage 1 to more than 45.3 million tonnes.

Read about Jacobs 2018 contract win for Etihad Rail here

Commenting on the agreement, HH Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “At Etihad Rail, we are working with a strategy to meet our mission and objectives. This project is part of our commitment to the UAE to help it achieve a leading position in transportation quality, in line with UAE Vision 2021, which aims to transform the emirate […] by transitioning to a knowledge-based economy, promoting innovation and research and development, strengthening the regulatory framework for key sectors, and encouraging high value-adding sectors.”

43. Route 2020

Route 2020 is the 15km extension of Dubai Metro’s Red Line towards the site of Expo 2020 Dubai, and includes seven stations, five of which are elevated and two are underground. The construction of Dubai’s Route 2020 metro project is 53% complete, it was announced this October, following a review of the scheme by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

HH Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai; and HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

READ: First train arrives for Dubai Metro’s Route 2020

Construction work on Route 2020’s viaduct had reached 83% at the time, and all bridge work was due to be completed in the second half of November 2018.

This October, Acciona‘s managing director in the Middle East, Jesús Sancho, told Construction Week that the company is due to deliver its scope for the project before the summer of 2020.

“We have delivered the tunnel, which is almost 3km-long [and was] built using a tunnel boring machine,” he continued. “We encountered very good terrain, so we actually delivered that part [of the project] ahead of time. The rest [of our scope] is viaducts, and this will be finished before the end of 2018, so the basic infrastructure will be [ready soon].

44. Dubai Creek Tower

It is hard to avoid attention when you’re in line to become the world’s next tallest building, and Dubai Creek Tower is here to stay. This May, it was announced that concrete placement work for the Emaar tower’s pile cap had been completed two months ahead of schedule.

READ:Sheikh Mohammed reviews Dubai Creek Tower construction progress

A 20m-thick, multi-layered pile cap has been developed for the $1bn (AED3.67bn) Dubai Creek Tower, which is part of the 6km2 Dubai Creek Harbour master development. The pile covers and transfers the load to the foundation barrettes.

Following the completion of this element, 50,000m3 of concrete has been poured for the project, weighing 120,000t. Up to 16,000t of steel reinforcement, twice the weight of Eiffel Tower, has also been placed for the tower.

READ:Dubai Creek Harbour construction site uses anti-collision crane tech

Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, is leading the project’s design and engineering works. Emaar Properties, in a joint venture with Dubai Holding, is developing of Dubai Creek Harbour.

45. Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

This list would have been incomplete without a mention of the Arab world’s first nuclear energy plant. Major construction progress has been achieved at the UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the high-profile development under way in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi. Developer Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said this November that the completion of all concrete works and heavy equipment lifting for Barakah’s four nuclear reactor units is “a historic milestone”.

SITE VISIT:Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, UAE

A ceremony was held last month by senior officials and employees from Enec, who were joined by prime contractor and joint venture partner, Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). Subsidiaries Nawah Energy Company and Barakah One Company also attended the ceremony.

Construction work began on the project in July 2012, and all four units of Barakah have achieved more 90% construction progress. The units are being developed simultaneously, with Unit 1 completed earlier this year. At the end of September 2018, Units 2, 3, and 4 respectively reported construction completion in excess of 94%, 86%, and 77%. Upon completion, the four units will generate clean and efficient energy for the UAE grid, preventing the release of more than 19 million tonnes (t) of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

READ:Barakah operator Nawah signs 10-year deal with EDF in Abu Dhabi

More than 2.3 million cubic metres of concrete has been poured for the project, with 226,796t (250,000 metric tons) of reinforcing steel used by construction crews. The latter figure is “an international construction performance record”, according to a statement shared by Enec in November.

46. Deira Enrichment Project

Deira Encrichment Project is one of the many important cultural schemes under way in Dubai. One of the developments within the enrichment project is Deira Waterfront, for which a district cooling contract was signed in November.

Empower’s contract with Ithra follows a previous MoU signed between both firms to deliver 11,000 RT of cooling to the Dubai development giant’s One Za’abeel project in the city.

READ:ALEC bags Deira Waterfront Phase 1 contract

Deira Waterfront is one of the developments within Deira Enrichment Project, which also includes the 6.4ha Gold Souk Extension announced this October.

Gold Souk Extension will comprise 176 retail units and 225 offices, plus 289 residences. Deira Enrichment Project, upon completion, will include 840 retail spaces, 400 offices, hotels, and serviced apartments, plus 2,200 affordable homes.

47. Dubai Frame

Another iconic project in a list of many, the 150m Dubai Frame offers views of Old Dubai as well as newer parts of the city. Launched in January 2018, the 93m-wide tower is built to resemble a huge picture frame, through which landmarks representing modern Dubai such as Emirates Towers and Burj Khalifa can be seen on one side, while from the other side, visitors can view older parts of the city such as Deira, Umm Harare and Karama.

Tobias Florian Heilig, senior construction project manager at ARP, told Construction Week in 2016 that his team devised an automated, self-climbing system for the project in conjunction with formwork and scaffolding specialist, Peri.

The full story of Dubai Frame’s construction

The first two floors of the columns were constructed using conventional shutters; the remainder were built with a self-climbing formwork system, which covers three levels at a time. The formwork’s floor-to-floor height is 3.1m.

Dubai Frame is also shortlisted within the Commercial Project of the Year category at Construction Week Awards 2018, which will be held in Dubai on 4 December.

The Days of Secret Military Operations May Soon Be Over. Does That Matter? –

In the age of social media and increasingly available connectivity, experts say it is becoming more and more challenging for the U.S. military to conduct operations under a cloud of darkness.

Secrets now come with a half-life, multiple experts recently told And what comes into question is how the U.S. military will plan each operation down to the smallest detail in order to avoid catastrophic incidents with emerging powers or near-peer threats such as Russia or China.

Because the growing unknowns to the Defense Department are: Who’s watching? Who’s listening? How are they manipulating operational secrets?

“With all of these sensors, sharing, there are no more secrets,” said Peter Singer, senior fellow at New America, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

“They can be gathered, analyzed and shared in a way that was almost unimaginable in the past,” said Singer, who recently co-authored “Like War,” a book detailing how the rise of social media has revolutionized politics, global intelligence and warfare.

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The most famous example of the intertwined nature of social media and war operations is the Osama Bin Laden raid in 2011, he said, along with other experts spoke with this month.

Sohaib Athar,a.k.a. @ReallyVirtual, live-tweeted the entire operation happening that night in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Griping about the noise, Athar posted, “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” It was hours before news reports would surface back in the United States that the operation was a success.

“It’s just a great illustration of how you can’t operate with any expectation of secrecy anymore,” Singer said in a telephone interview.

The raid took place on May 2, 2011, at a time when roughly 1 billion people had access to social media,according to a group called Statista. Compare that to the present: The database company estimates that, by 2019, there will be 2.77 billion social network users around the globe.

Then insert even more capabilities and functions rising worldwide: traffic cameras, driverless cars, Amazon’s Alexa, spotters gathering aircraft transponder data, satellite data, elements of the powergrid.

“All of these different things can be mined for information,” Singer said.

“You can figure out if or how a unit has deployed based on whether or not their hot water consumption has changed,” he said. “Or even the absence of something. If a certain Marine who’s tweeting suddenly stops tweeting, that’s an indicator.”

The United States has more than 1.3 million active-duty troops serving in its armed forces, with thousands deployed around the globe at any given time.

In January, reports that an interactive map found online — the Global Heat Map, published by the GPS tracking company Strava — showed U.S. service members in various military installations around the world by using satellite information to map the locations and movements of exercise trackers such as Fitbit and Jawbone. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a guidance soon after for all personnel to “maintain electronic security” for personal devices such as cellphones and exercise trackers used by service members worldwide.

It wasn’t just geeky tech: The Defense Department has clamped down on media engagement more and more in recent months, often citing operational security concerns to limit information sharing.

Deployment announcements and press releases have been curtailed. The U.S. Navy, for one, has become increasingly secretive.

In 2017, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardsonissued a memo telling sailors to steer clear of “events that are primarily for marketing, and that don’t make an intellectual contribution to warfighting,” as well as openly sharing information with the press. More recently, the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group in October quietly left Washington state for a deployment with “no public notice,”USNI News reported at the time.

“You can limit some of these things, but it won’t change the fundamental nature of how the world has been rewired,” Singer said.

“There’s no going back to the way things used to be,” added August Cole, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Aside from buttoning up standard press releases or turning off a cellphone, “that doesn’t mean, though, that there can’t be innovation around camouflage, deception, subterfuge,” to keep an enemy at bay, Cole said.

“I think we’re going to see the same kinds of ingenuity that we first saw during World War II in trying to mask and conceal to the best of our ability large military operations, but they won’t be effective as often as they might have been before we all had iPhones and Twitter accounts,” he said.

Singer quoted a passage from his book, in which current Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley put it this way: “For the first time in human history, it is near impossible to be unobserved.”

Digitization of War, Pursuit of AI

Big data exists everywhere. And the Pentagon is investing billions in artificial intelligence to mine data that could help them win the next war.

According to independent research group Govini, the Pentagon spent roughly $7.4 billion on emerging technologies in fiscal 2017. While AI accounted for roughly 33 percent of that total, the spending also includes quantum computing and big data analysis, as well as other information technology.

Officials have said they are actively working to “refine information analysis” through AI to eventually reach operators on the ground or in the sky in a decisive and streamlined way.

“[But] before you get to artificial intelligence, you have to get to automation, and what does that mean? It means we’re really developing algorithms, so we then have to build trust in the algorithms,”Lt. Gen. VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson, the service’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance on the Air Staff at the Pentagon, told last year.

The military is looking to the defense industry as well as firms in Silicon Valley for support, added Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

“What all the services are heavily leveraging — and looking at industry as well for support — is how do I take that very human-centric methodology that we have today and use artificial intelligence that uses automation that uses some of the tools that are available to be able to do that kind of analysis?” Goldfein told reporters last July.

That’s one element where the Pentagon is moving in the right direction in its efforts to get ahead in a world of continuously crowdsourced information, said Kara Frederick, a research associate for technology and national security at the Center for a New American Security. Frederick worked as an intelligence officer for U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command and later helped found the global security counterterrorism analysis program at Facebook.

“Evolving computing power is only going to increase our ability to process and exploit data,” she said.

“The digital universe is growing by leaps and bounds,” added Singer. “Depending on different estimates, we’ll soon have 20 billion different devices online.”

Metadata that can be harvested from a single post and peeled back layer by layer can give adversaries — or friendlies — the who, what, where and even why behind a single action, he said.

For example, “it’s no longer, ‘Oh Russia shot down an airliner over Ukraine, because here’s also the individual Russian soldiers [who] pulled the trigger,’ ” Singer said, citing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which wasshot down over Ukraine in 2014 by pro-Russian separatists using a Buk surface-to-air missile system. All 298 aboard died.

“We’re recognizing this is something that we can use to our advantage as a potential force multiplier,” Frederick said. “Of course, our adversaries are doing the same thing. [So] we need to be wary of the competition … elements of that [upcoming great power] era that people are rightly warning about.”

Even a person is a piece of data, Cole said.

What the world is going to have in the 2020s and beyond is “fused data streams” from things that aren’t just new technological gear soldiers may be wearing, but the soldiers themselves, he said. “I can see a day, not that far off, U.S. forces are effectively creating camouflage that is digital that exists in the cognitive domain.”

That could also turn into data that can be manipulated to deceive the enemy. Cloaking devices used within the electromagnetic spectrum, or even spoofing data can help forces hide in plain sight.

“How do you drop a parachute company” into a dangerous environment undetected? Cole questioned. “Some may say that’s an outdated form of warfare to begin with.”

Yet it’s the most effective way to get people to a location quickly and in mass numbers, he said.

While deceiving enemy combatants isn’t a new concept, altering what can be seen, heard or maybe even read by sophisticated software continues to flourish.

Last year, a research development team at MIT called Labsix successfully demonstrated how Google’s image-classifying artificial intelligence could be manipulated into “thinking” that a 3D-printed turtle was instead a rifle.

“Our work demonstrates that adversarial examples are a significantly larger problem in real world systems than previously thought,” the Labsix team said in its study.

And it doesn’t even need to be that sophisticated, Cole said.

“You could use Twitter or Facebook campaigns … to show fake information that aircraft carriers are at home when they’re actually deployed,” he said, adding the ethics and legality of such actions brings about a much different conversation.

Ten years from now, “the impact machine learning and AI [are] going to have on this question of concealment .. .is perhaps one of the most important [elements] to figure out from a strategic, but also tactical point of view,” Cole said.

Open Sharing in a ‘Sea of Lies’

Operators harvesting en masse should take into account that these emerging technologies could lead to information wars with fake intelligence.

The truth can be buried “under a sea of lies, and that’s what the Russians have figured out,” Singer said. “Not just them — politicians, teenagers, digital marketers, whatever. You can learn something about [a person], where they are, and then you can push messages to them. Those messages don’t necessarily have to be true,” which could have implications of psychological operations.

“We have to be aware these technologies can be used for malign purposes,” added Frederick.

“It’s not all for the good.”

For example, during the Battle of Mosul, Islamic State fighters posting online repeatedly made claims of victory regardless of the group’s casualties. “But … it wins the online war, it drives its message viral even though it wasn’t necessarily true at first,” Singer said.

Iraqi and Peshmerga forces made repeated attempts to retake the city after it was seized by ISIS fighters in June 2014. In 2016,dozens of local journalists embedded with troops to help stop false information coming from the ISIS campaign. It wasn’t until 2017 that forces backed by the United States claimed victory.

As a counterterrorism analyst, “we had to get into people’s mindsets early on,” to see how or why “somebody on the other side is looking to harm you,” Frederick said.

“This has military implications. What if you’re on a PC, and someone has made your commander’s orders look like he’s saying something else through a digital forgery?” she said. “How do you know whether or not to obey those orders?”

Still, the more information out there in open-source networks, the more there is to be used against an adversary, Frederick said.

“We need to start incorporating a lot of the open-source work into our own intelligence work,” she said. “If we combined national, technical means with open-source information like social media in a serious way, then layering that data is going to become a force multiplier.”

The Effect Is What Matters

The space in which the U.S. can operate covertly or safely is shrinking, the experts said. Goals need to be set and kept in every mission, with a combination of cybersecurity, electronic warfare, stealth and spoofing, among other information or deceptive characteristics, at the forefront of each move, they said.

It’s the only way to create surprise, if needed.

Military “invasions, occupations … these are anachronistic concepts in the information age,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

“It is going to be very difficult to put together any kind of large-scale operation” in an increasingly media and information-heavy age, said Deptula, who was also the Air Force’s first deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

“So the question must become: What is it that you’re trying to do? There may not be one answer. There are a variety of different levels of operation, some of which quite frankly can be kept covert,” he said. “We still do special operations very, very well today, and keep those operations below the social media net, if you will. But as you get larger and larger in terms of forces, and as you garner forces in a manner that is beyond one nation, it’s very difficult … to achieve surprise.”

There are various ways to “surprise” the enemy, Deptula said.

At a tactical level, it’s possible. While there was no strategic “surprise” during Operation Desert Storm — Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his forces “knew we were there” — Saddam was still in the dark on how the U.S. would attack, the time or the place, he said.

“The Iraqis had no idea until the first bombs [were dropped] in Baghdad,” said Deptula, who was the principal attack planner for the Desert Storm coalition air campaign in 1991. “And we did that through the use of stealth aircraft — our ace in the hole.”

For weeks, pilots flew tankers around the Iraqi airspace. On the night of the operation, tankers flew the exact same tracks, but this time they had stealth F-117 Nighthawks right beside them.

“It’s what you can achieve at the tactical level that’s important,” Deptula said.

Any notion that the U.S. needs to buy a certain type of aircraft or weapon to achieve success “is nonsense,” he said. “Like everything, there is an offensive element and a defensive element and … there’s a variety of options in between.”

— Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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WASH paving way for resurgent India – Elets

There is a need to realise the significance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in life collectively than viewing them as separate entities. It is so because they are inter-related, with one influencing the other every day. The endeavour to bring much-needed transformation in the country is being brought by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) with the support of USAID and project partner Ennovent, observes Sandeep Datta of Elets News Network (ENN).

It is significant to remember that urban India’s population is growing at the annual rate of 2.1%. By 2050, India is likely to add 416 million urban dwellers to the world’s urban population, which will be about 58% of the total global population, according to an estimate stated in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Report (2018). The increasing need for water and sanitation services in the growing urban settlements presents critical challenges. It is estimated 1,00,000 young lives are lost annually due to poor sanitation and hygiene facilities. Moreover, the Indian economy loses nearly $54 billion annually due to inadequate sanitation and its adverse effect on other sectors such as health, environment, tourism, etc. Some of the pressing issues related to sanitation include the lack of adequate infrastructure (sewerage networks and treatment facilities), non-compliance with national standards of waste management, and inequitable distribution of WASH services affecting the urban poor.

It has been observed that the inadequacy of facilities largely affects the inhabitants of slums, informal settlements and illegal colonies, with women being the most affected lot. Moreover, poorly planned and managed systems (public toilets) are mostly supply-driven. They are oriented towards asset-creation rather than service delivery. As a result, they fail to meet the benchmarks of service quality, efficiency and cost recovery.

The Big Challenge

With the steadily expanding size of the Indian cities, there is an influx of floating population that arrives in cities for livelihood or work purpose and tourism. These people most of the time face difficulties in accessing sanitation facilities. The inadequacy is not only prevalent in the work environment of daily labourers, but also during their commute to work from peri-urban areas to the cities; travellers out for sightseeing; local residents commuting for various purposes. Women, who also form a major part of this moving population, suffer a lot due to lack of public sanitation facilities. There is a vital need to address it, as it inadvertently leads to open defecation. Such challenges require solutions with an innovative edge at the local level essentially implemented by the urban local bodies.

Need of the Hour

The need of the hour is to bridge this gap with an inclusive ecosystem within existing working framework that can accommodate innovative solutions for the urban WASH challenge; while considering future of these ever expanding cities.

Urban WASH’s Challenges and Need for Innovative Solutions

Rapid urbanisation, along with growth opportunities, is giving birth to multiple challenges for cities in India, one of them being accessing clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all. There is an acute shortage of WASH infrastructure and services in the Indian cities. It is only making the issues more glaring. Hence, it is crucial for the city administrators to make steadfast efforts, and implement best practices and models to resolve these pressing concerns before they aggravate further. In this light, as a measure to address these problems, the Government has launched flagship missions such as Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban

Key Measures to Provide Succour

To address the above challenges, the Government has launched flagship missions such as Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities Mission. However, to sustain the efforts through these missions and be cognizant of the future landscape of issues of urban India, adopting innovative technologies and solutions for provisioning of water and sanitation needs to be a plausibility factor.


The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is a premier institute and an autonomous body under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India for research and capacity building in the urban sector. Its primary goal is to promote integrated solutions for rapidly growing urban centres in the country, and address various challenges they face to provide improved services to citizens.

Over the years, NIUA has also been supporting a number of urban local bodies through its capacity building programmes, conducting research for specific urban issues, and creating knowledge platforms like Smartnet. The experience helped NIUA learn that at the city level the intra-departmental coordination and engagement with all relevant stakeholders to augment efforts for provisioning of clean water and sanitation facilities for the citizens are rare to find. NIUA has been actively engaged in addressing WASH focused issues through an array of projects, and has worked towards developing new research and expertise for supporting effective innovations in the urban WASH sector.


The Innovation Hub for Urban WASH Solutions (IHUWASH) is creating an ecosystem to addresses the challenges of urban WASH sector by engaging multiple stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society organizations, urban local bodies, academic institutions. The NIUA, a premier research institute under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, is implementing the project in partnership with Ennovent. The project is supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

IHUWASH Project to Benefit India’s Urban WASH sector

NIUA conceived the IHUWASH project, which primarily focuses on scaling and replicating localised solutions and work as an ecosystem. NIUA with the support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) endeavoured to create an Innovation Hub for Urban Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (IHUWASH) solution in India. During its inception stage, the hub focused on understanding the local WASH needs of the cities and identify innovative solutions—new and existing—that are relevant to the local context. The idea was to adopt business models and best practices, and replicate them in the local context. The solution may not be the same for each city, as it would differ depending on their needs. Hence, it was essential to create an ecosystem to support that replication and scaling of solutions. The IHUWASH project has a very important dimension, which is provisioning of innovative public and community toilets.

IHUWASH — The Roadmap Ahead

IHUWASH in its focus cities of Mysuru, Udaipur, and Faridabad has created City Innovation Hubs within the municipal corporations under the guidance of the city commissioners. The municipal corporations with IHUWASH facilitation have collaborated with local technical institutions to create WASH labs that support the municipal corporations in implementing the innovative WASH solutions.

The National Institute of Engineering at Mysuru, Geetanjali Institute of Technical Studies at Udaipur, and Manav Rachna International Institute of Research Studies at Faridabad house the WASH Labs in the respective cities. The labs will work with the municipal corporations to find locally relevant WASH solutions and extend their efforts in involving the private sector and citizenry to create a WASH forum.

A Glimpse of Vital Innovative Measures IHUWASH Accelerator

The IHUWASH Accelerator is working in coordination with Faridabad, Mysuru and Udaipur. Over a period of 7 to 12 months, the programme will help the selected innovations to raise funds and get support from city governments, private sector companies, experts and impact investors.

It is a unique opportunity for the private companies to showcase their innovations through a nationwide programme which is supported both by the Central as well as the State Government. “The delivery mechanism of IHUWASH makes it different from other ongoing WASH projects. IHUWASH not only focuses on WASH infrastructure development but also emphasises on building partnerships with and between public, civil society and private sector stakeholders,” said Siddharth Sihag, Commissioner, Udaipur Municipal Corporation. The programme focuses on WASH domain specific programme. This means that only WASH innovators will directly work with the Governments, companies, experts and investors. It offers sector relevant insights, funding and opportunities that a generic program cannot match.

WASH Parks

To increase awareness about sanitation and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation parks and water technology parks have been proposed. The idea is that these parks will serve as knowledge and tourist hubs and help provide information on latest technologies tackling the various issues concerning water, sanitation and hygiene. NIUA wants to change the perception of people regarding toilets. Instead of perceived as a bad dirty stinking place, toilets will be developed as an amusing place for experiencing a natural process.

Splunk Inc. (SPLK) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript – The Motley Fool

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Splunk Inc.(NASDAQ:SPLK)

Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call

November 29, 2018, 4:30 p.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Good day, ladies and gentlemen and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Splunk Inc. third quarter 2019 financial results. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode to prevent background noise. If anyone needs assistance during the conference, just press * and 0. Later, we will have a question and answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

Now, it’s my pleasure to turn the call to the Corporate Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations, Mr. Ken Tinsley.

Ken TinsleyCorporate Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations

Excellent. Thank you, Carmen. Appreciate that and good afternoon, everyone. With me on the call today are Doug Merritt and Dave Conte. After the close of market today, we issued a press release with our Q3 results and it’s also posted on our website. This call is being broadcast live via webcast and following the call, an audio replay will be available on the website as well.

On this call, we will be making forward-looking statements, including financial guidance and expectations, including our forecast for our fourth quarter and full years of fiscal 2019 and 2020. Trends and expectations regarding innovation partners, customers, markets, demand, strategies, revenue, and bookings mix and predictability and our expectations regarding our investments, products, and technologies.

These statements reflect our best judgement based on factors currently known to us and actual events and results may differ materially. Please refer to documents we file with the SEC, including the Form 8-K filed with today’s press release. Those documents contain risks and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ from those contained in our forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are being made as of today and we disclaim any obligation to update or revise these statements. If this call is reviewed after today, the information presented during this call may not contain current or accurate in.

We will also discuss non-GAAP financial measures which are not prepared in accordance with generally acceptance accounting principles. A reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided in a press release and on our website.

With that, let me turn it over to Doug.

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Ken. We drove fantastic results in Q3 thanks to strong execution in the field and the most exciting .conf in Splunk’s history. We delivered $481 million in total revenue, up 40% over last year. Our success comes from new and exiting customers, expanding their adoption with Splunk as their platform for data analytics and machine learning. So, it’s on prem and in the cloud.

At .conf18, we hosted nearly 10,000 people and shared our newest wave of product innovation. We announced updates to our existing products, including new versions of Splunk Enterprise and Splunk Cloud, with better performance, scale, machine learning, and analytics abilities.

A few of the new capacities include a machine learning toolkit connector for Apache Spark and a container for tension or flow, guided data onboarding to help customers move customers into their partner, Splunk SmartStore, which allows compute and storage tiers to be independently scaled on business demands, Splunk on Docker to cover deployments in Docker containers, metrics workspace to monitor and analyze metrics data in an efficient, intuitive user interface, and the crowd favorite, dark mode, which is perfect for SOC and NOC environments.

We released Splunk for industrial IoT, our first IoT solution, which provides a simple view of the complex industrial data environment to minimize downtime and shift our operations from reactive to proactive. We announced a new release to Splunk IT Service Intelligence or ITSI to help customers better predict and prevent problems through a series of enhanced capabilities like KPI predictions and predictive cause analysis and an entirely updated security suite with new versions of Splunk Enterprise Security or ES, user behavior analytics or UBA, and Phantom.

We also announced an exciting new suite of beta capabilities, which we call Splunk Next. Splunk Next evolved from conversations with our customers, who asked us to focus on three major areas — one, to work with their data wherever it lives, two, to further embed AI and ML in our platform to create action-driven outcomes, and three, to empower users across their organizations on any device.

Splunk Next announcements, like our Data Stream Processor and Data Fabric Search mean you can refine and adjust data as it moves across the stream and then search across multiple data stores in Splunk or elsewhere. And additional capabilities like business flow, natural language processing, and Splunk Mobile empower new users regardless of their technical skillset or physical location to investigate, monitor, and act on their data no matter where it lives.

During the keynotes, we welcomed leaders from Starbucks and BMW who shared how they’re using Splunk to make things happen in their organizations. I was honored to be joined on stage by Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. He shared our Carnival creates meaningful guest interactions both on and off their fleet of floating cities. Carnival relies on Splunk to monitor connectivity on the ships, monitor their mobile apps, and keep their own and their guests’ data safe, ultimately helping to provide a seamless digital experience.

Since our first product shipment, Splunk has taken a different approach to data. Unlike other data technologies, you do not have to know the questions you’ll ask before you deploy our solutions. The magic of Splunk is that we embrace the complexity and chaos of an ever-changing data landscape and allow you to find insights from your data without the high entry costs of cleansing, parsing, and structuring.

Our goal remains the same, to become the ubiquitous machine data platform, the standard in every organization, solving our customers data challenges around IT operations and application delivery, security compliance and fraud, as well as business analytics and the internet of things. These markets are going through a shift to an analytics and machine learning-based approach, where Splunk is uniquely poised to lead this change and deliver for our customers.

Transitioning to customer success in Q3, let’s start with IT. Softbank purchased Splunk Cloud to speed up troubleshooting for mobile devices and application management. Softbank already uses us for IT and AI ops and expects Splunk Cloud to improve efficiency and performance across infrastructure and operations management.

ATB Financial, Alberta’s largest homegrown financial institution, expanded their use of Splunk Cloud and brought on ITSI one year after their first Splunk investment. ATB Financial has been using Splunk Cloud to make their online activity data available across teams and will now use Splunk for mobile app monitoring and executive reporting.

Chicago Public Schools, one of the largest public school districts in the country, expanded their use of Splunk Cloud to help automate their service and out-ticketing process along with other IT monitoring and response workflows.

Moving to security, longtime Splunk customer, Norfolk Southern, expanded their use of Splunk Enterprise and ES to better lead with an analytics-driven approach to security. With Splunk, they will use data to gain visibility into their threat environment at machine speed, while also meeting compliance standards with positive train control, a federal safety mandate that controls trains to avoid accidents.

The Department of Home Affairs, which brings together Australia’s federal law enforcement, national security, and criminal justice-related functions and agencies, replaced its legacy SAM with Splunk Enterprise. With Splunk, they can centralize security management on a single platform and better handle the big data scale of their security operations center.

Texas A&M University selected Splunk Enterprise as the foundation of their security operations strategy. The university chose Splunk for continuous threat analysis, monitoring, and investigation as well as satisfying compliance requirements. A&M also plans on their cybersecurity researchers with Splunk’s machine learning capabilities in order to develop and improve threat monitoring to better detect advanced threats.

Highlighting a handful of customers who standardized on Splunk as their machine data platform, Randstad, a global leader in the HR services industry, got Splunk Cloud, ITSE, and ES to support their global IT infrastructure services. We will help Randstad expand the company’s infrastructure monitoring across the business and leverage Splunk as a SIM at the heart of their SOC. We would like to thank our partner, TCS, for their support in collaboration in initiating this opportunity.

SendGrid has gone all in on Splunk, expanding Splunk Enterprise across their customer support, compliance, professional services, and engineering teams. SendGrid uses Splunk to debug and DevOps, help their customer meet in SLAs, and keep their customer-facing platform online. Thanks to our partner, Presidio Capital, who was instrumental in this transaction.

The Naval Post Graduate School is a new Splunk customer, purchasing Splunk Enterprise, ITSI, and ES. The school plans to use ITSI to keep a wide range of mission-critical IT systems online while ES will stay at the heart of their new SOC. Long-time customer Clemson University purchased Splunk Enterprise, ES, ITSI, and UBA. Clemson uses Splunk to thwart cyber threats, monitor campuswide IT, and integrate into their campus platform to support student success.

We also saw continued global adoption in our cloud business. A sampling of our cloud wins in the quarter include Teachers Mutual Bank, one of the largest in Australia, who is a new customer that bought Splunk Cloud and ES to optimize their security operations and improve their security posture. Teachers Mutual Bank expects to obtain end to end visibility, ensuring a safe environment for their customers’ business.

New customer Fleetcor Technologies bought Splunk Cloud to improve their security posture. Splunk was selected because we can support all of Fleetcor’s data sources and will augment their current SIM. Thanks to new Splunk partner, DataMD, who supported this opportunity.

Personalized video marketing platform Sunday Sky moved to Splunk Cloud as their central platform to provide complete transparency into IT and business operations as well as for research and development use cases.

To highlight the impact that Splunk can provide on the IoT front, one of my favorite keynote presentations at .conf was Boulos El-Asmar from BMW Group. BMW group took us through their Splunk journey, starting with a small Splunk Enterprise license and just one security use case to now, where BMW Group is using Splunk to drive innovation across their business. BMW is using our machine learning toolkit to predict traffic dynamics as well as our natural language capabilities to help them speed time to value, allowing them to simply ask questions of Splunk via Alexa.

On the manufacturing side, Splunk Industrial Asset Intelligence helps plant floor engineers, keep production up and running by correlating IoT data. Amsterdam’s public transport operator, GVB, is a new Splunk customer, purchasing Splunk Enterprise to support use cases in IoT, IT, and business intelligence. GVB will be using Splunk to better monitor and act on their real time passenger information services, providing users with a better, more efficient, and more informed public transportation experience. Big thanks to our partner at DITP for their support in this opportunity.

And it was another big quarter of customer-focused innovation with AWS. I’m just back from re:Invent. This week, we launched a new integration with AWS Security Hub and an added capability to query against cloud watch log insights. We also released integrations this quarter with web application firewall and Trumpet. This is in addition to our many other integrations, including the Splunk app for AWS.

In summary, we delivered a great Q3. This year’s .conf was our biggest and best ever. As always, it’s exciting to see so many of our customers and partners and hear their enthusiastic feedback about Splunk’s products and people. Customer success is our number one company priority and our efforts and investments are paying off. I’m looking forward to continuing this momentum.

Thanks again to all of our customers and partners and thanks to everybody who works at Splunk. Finally, I want to take a moment to congratulate you, Dave. As I’m sure you all saw, Dave has announced he’s going to retire.

Dave is staying on board until March of 2020 as we initiate a search for a successor and I appreciate that he’s going to stay and help with the transition. I can’t overstate what Dave has done for Splunk. His leadership, accomplishments, and the foundation he helped create will continue to serve us well. I speak for all of us at Splunk when I say it has been an honor to work side by side with Dave over the years.

Thank you so much and now, over to you, Dave.

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Doug. I certainly appreciate those very kind words. To open, I’m looking forward to reviewing our results following another strong quarter for Q3, which is our largest ever, and providing an update for Q4, the full year, and our outlook for our next fiscal year, Fiscal 20.

Before I do, remember that almost two years ago, I set several important and material expectations for our multi-year business transformation, from primarily a perpetual company to one that is mostly renewable, shifting our go to market strategy to drive 75% of our software sales to renewable by next year. I can tell you that our execution toward this goal has significantly exceeded the expectations we set in January of ’17 and my confidence in delivering the $2 billion revenue milestone in Fiscal 20 has never been higher.

When I retire, I’ll have spent over eight years with the company after completing this latest transition. Over the next several quarters, I’m really looking forward to helping the company extend its market leadership as the ubiquitous platform for our customers’ data.

Now, back to our report. Before I detail actual results and discuss guidance, I want to clarify a few things regarding the strength and growth of our business. I’ve said the best measure of our overall business momentum is software revenue, which is the combination of on-prem license and cloud revenues. When looking at the mix of transactions on prem, there is both a tailwind from longer duration and a headwind from fewer perpetual contracts.

When aggregating these, we estimate we’ve recognized tailwinds of about $40 million for the last nine months, i.e. year to date. However, as we said, the strategic shift to renewable contracts includes delivering more of our software via the cloud, which we all know is recognized. So, obviously, this represents a headwind to overall revenue.

Consistent with overachieving our mix shift a year early, it follows that we realized more cloud transactions than originally anticipated. Specifically, year to date, the growing contribution from cloud to total software sales has resulted in a headwind of about $43 million. So, as we’ve said, we believe the shift in both mix and duration has a net neutral impact on total software revenue as they generally offset one another and are therefore not material.

To give you a sense of just how rapidly our Cloud business is growing, the current ARR of Cloud-only is about $200 million, which is nearly double from a year ago. For simplicity, something we always strive for here, our outlook in Fiscal 20 is based on a consistent mix and duration level that we’re realizing in Fiscal 19. We expect any deltas resulting from head and tailwinds to be immaterial at this level of scale.

Now, more on FY20 in a minute. Let’s move on to the current period results. Q3 total revenues were $481 million, a 40% increase over last year. Software revenues, again, the total of license and cloud were up 49% from Q3 of last year, totaling $325 million. Cloud revenue was $45 million, up 87% over last year. Education and professional services represented 8% of total revenues, international operations contributed 24% of total Q3 revenues, and we added over 500 new customers and recorded 111 seven-figure orders during the quarter.

Now, turning to profitability and other results which are all non-GAAP, operating income was $65.4 million, representing a positive margin of 13.6%. Q3 overall gross margin was 85%, comparable on a year over year basis. Net income was $57.6 million or $0.38 per share using a weighted average share count of $153 million shares. Operating cash flow in Q3 was $59 million, while free cash flow was $52 million. And we ended the period with about $2.8 billion in cash and investments, reflecting the net proceeds of about $1.8 billion from our convertible debt offering we closed during the quarter.

Again, the best indicators of our business momentum are software revenues and also RPO. Recall that RPO includes backlog, so the total of revenues plus the change in RPO should provide a better estimate of in-period bookings in the traditional billings calculation. With that, we ended Q3 with total RPO of $950 million versus $602 million for Q3 of last year, up 58% and reflective of our bookings achievement thus far this year.

Okay. Turning to guidance — we expect Q4 revenues of approximately $560 million and non-GAAP operating margin of a positive 25% to 26%. For the full year, we are now expecting total revenues of approximately $1.74 billion, up from the $1.685 billion, and we are increasing our FY19 non-GAAP op margin target to range between 11.5% and 12% positive.

For EPS purposes, since we expect to be non-GAAP profitable for Q4 and the full year, you should use fully diluted weighted average share counts of $155 million in Q4 and $152 million for the full year. Looking forward to next year, the investments we’re making in product and field continue to fuel our growth. We expect our momentum this year will translate into next year, with FY20 total revenues of $2.15 billion, exceeding the $2 billion expectation I set two years ago.

Again, to be clear, this revenue target is based on a target mix and duration assumption for software contracts as compared this year, with any deltas expected to be immaterial. For your models, please remember that just as we saw this year, 606 causes a steeper revenue ramp during the year than we’ve seen historically. As such, I expect total revenues in 2020, Fiscal 20, will be weighted 40-60 first half to second half, with the largest seasonal impact visible in Q1.

In closing, Q3 execution was outstanding and I expect a very strong finish to the year. I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve accomplished thus far, transitioning from a $100 million private company to a public company targeting well above $2 billion in total revenue. It’s been terrific contributing for such a long time and I’ve had the pleasure and honor of working for so many great people at the company and all of you on the call. I’d like to thank all the current and former Splunkers and all the folks on the finance team. I’m looking forward to the next year here and making sure we continue to deliver in Fiscal 20 and beyond.

On that note, thanks so much and we’ll open up for questions.

Questions and Answers:


Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question at this time, press * and the number 1 key of your touchstone telephone. If your question has been answered or you wish to remove yourself form the queue, press the # key. Again, to get in the queue, just press * and 1.

Our first question is from John DiFucci with Jefferies. Please go ahead.

John DiFucciJefferies — Analyst

Thank you. Dave, we appreciate the long runway you’re giving your team here. It truly has been a great pleasure working with you. It really has. We’re going to miss you. It looks like we’ve got you for a while.

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, John.

John DiFucciJefferies — Analyst

These results look really strong here, but as you guys know, there’s a question of how much of that strength is because of ASC 606 and props expanding duration of on prem term license. Dave, thanks for that $40 million of tailwind over the first three quarters of the year. We can look at it three quarters over three quarters. Could you tell us what it was this quarter? It’s probably not dividing by three. Could you break it out per quarter?

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

John, thanks for the question. Thanks for acknowledging we quantified our estimated at $40 million for nine months, but don’t forget I was explicit to point out the shift to renewable includes a shift to routable cloud. That was about a $43 million headwind for the same period.

Now, in terms of quarter impact — John, you’ve been with us since the IPO and we’ve talked about mix for so long and it was really frustrating because it would jump up and down every 90 days. That remains the case today. The best way to think about it is over not a 90-period but a nine-month period.

More importantly, if you think about the size and scale in Fiscal 20 and look comparably between Fiscal 19, now $1.740 billion, growing $2.150 billion, our model has consistent assumptions for both duration and mix. Even if there are gyrations between the two categories, it’s going to be immaterial at that level of scale.

John DiFucciJefferies — Analyst

Okay. This is something for us to chew on tonight. Thanks. That’s helpful.


Our next question comes from Michael Turits with Raymond James. Please go ahead.

Michael TuritsRaymond James — Managing Director

Hey, guys. Good evening. Dave, congrats on the long-term outlook for retirement but retirement nevertheless. You gave us a sense of what the duration was last quarter. I was wondering if you could update us in terms of where we are now with this quarter and year to date and also what impact that extension and duration might have as we come in terms of the renewal period a couple years out since we’re signing longer deals now.

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure, Michael. Our year to date duration remains consistent for the year, which is about 33 months. That’s the blended duration for all of our renewable contracts, both on prem term and our subscription cloud contracts. In terms of our outlook going forward, we were modeling and setting the objective to get to 75% renewable. We thought of course, we’re going to have a recurring stable of contracts that will come up for renewal. As we’ve been accelerating toward that goal, we’re seeing that group of contracts grow beyond our original expectations based on really strong execution in the field.

When we model forward and think about the foundation that provides from a model perspective, it’s really strong and stronger than when we first set the objective originally. All that’s great on the financial model side. But more important strategically, we’ve learned it’s by far the best way to enable our customers to deploy and adopt our solutions. Customer success is number one for us. Everything that we do from the investment portfolio that we manage here is all focused on that as the prime directive. Having these kinds of contracts out in the market for our customers to leverage really puts them in great position to consume our products.

Michael TuritsRaymond James — Managing Director

Thanks very much, Dave. Doug, you made a couple comments about IoT becoming a hotter area. Can you talk a little bit more specifically about the investments you’re making in IoT and business non-IT analytics in general and where that money is going and what we should expect in terms of your strategy?

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

Absolutely. The key IoT announcement we made at .conf was the release of industrial asset intelligence, which is a collection of dashboards, queries, alerts focused specifically on predictive maintenance in industrial shops. However, the biggest issue we’ve talked about for a number of years on extending beyond the technical footprint within IT and cybersecurity is making it easier for less technical people to play with the data in Splunk and then take actions on that data as well.

There were a host of announcements we made at .conf to help lower that bar, from our new mobile platform to augmented reality in a future virtual reality framework that makes it far easier for people to visualize what’s happening in the environment around them, the demo that Jesse, the leader of that product gave. We introduced a product called Business Flow, which represents the data within Splunk through a process journey.

That is, I think, a much more approachable interface for anyone that’s involved in marketing, operations, manufacturing to see how their reality of their environment is performing. That was prompted by one of our customers to help them see customer interaction patterns through the machine data. We introduced natural language processing as an application so that you can actually have a verbal interaction with Splunk.

So, we’re attacking it from a multitude of angles so that we can continue to broaden or allow our customers to broaden from their more technical personnel.


Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Raimo Lenschow with Barclays. Please go ahead.

Raimo Lenschow Barclays — Analyst

Thank you. Dave, congrats from me as well, although I’m slightly confused because you’ve just done 606 and you’re done with the subscription transition and now you ride off. You should have done it the other way. Doug, you’ve been at AWS. Most of us were at re:Invent. Can you talk about the changing nature of competition you see from cloud that are all popping up there? What are you seeing from the market on that one?

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

From a day in, day out basis, we haven’t seen a change in competitive dynamics. We continue with really impressive win rates. We continue to work within accounts to allow them to understand the power that Splunk provides. That winds up helping us a lot in the competitive landscape.

Within AWS and the cloud vendors, those are really complex environments, as we all just got to see, so many different services and capabilities can be online all the time, every one of those exuding different kinds of data. They’ve got different attempts within AWS to help capture that data so AWS customers can make sense of it. We integrate with all those different services and different data capture devices.

We were first to the table with Cloud Watch to have our integration ready. We were right there with them with their latest announcement related to the insights capability released in Cloud Watch as well as Security Hub. Our focus and why that innovation agenda is so important at .conf and why we’re pushing hard on the product front is to stay in front based on customer needs and customer feedback the different capabilities being released around us.

Raimo Lenschow Barclays — Analyst

I might have missed it, but did you talk to the mix on security and other use cases this quarter?

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

No, we didn’t talk about it because it was uneventful and consistent with what we’ve been experiencing over the last handful of quarters.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Philip Winslow with Wells Fargo.

Philip WinslowWells Fargo Securities — Managing Director

Two quick questions, one a quick housekeeping item for you, Dave — you mentioned duration of 33 months for the nine months this year. What was that metric for the nine months last year? Also, for the team, just a broader question on pricing and particularly larger deals, any update that you have on pricing, particularly as you get to these larger deals that Doug highlighted on the call, it seems like you were talking about multiple different use cases here, way more data volume, how is that impacting the pricing conversation when you’re talking about going down the pricing curve?

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

First, as it relates to duration, let’s just say unlike the Raiders, Splunk is leading the league and we’re putting up a lot of points on the scoreboard. I’d love if the Raiders could replicate that. Duration again for the nine months this fiscal year was 33, the comparable nine-month prior year was about 26. Then as it relates to pricing, Doug?

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

My favorite initial lead-in for pricing is folks are never happy with the price, but the one thing I hear from our customers is they’re always happy with the value. The question for pricing continues to be how do we provide predictability to our customers. I think we’ve done a better job over the past couple years of making customers aware of the possibility of unlimited contracts and other buying vehicles that lock down their perspective and how much they’re going to owe Splunk.

The biggest impact the last nine months has been that shift to term. Customers can lock in a three-year perspective of either consistent data usage or in many cases escalating data usage. It’s a little bit easier to give them a little bit more than they might need without the permanent impact you’d have on a perpetual contract we had in the past. I think some of that pricing noise is going down. We’re never done. We are always focused on making it more transparent and easier for customers. Stay tuned for additional focus areas to help there.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Kash Rangan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Please go ahead.

Kash RanganBank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Congratulations, this is spectacular. You guys are accelerating at scale while cancelling out the headwinds versus the tailwinds. My question for you is as you look at the use case, clearly, the option is there to grow to be much larger, $5 billion, $6 billion, who knows? But you look at successful companies like a or Workday, they always had a second act, third act, or fourth act.

Is there going to be a fourth use case, fifth use case that could end up being a big hundred-million opportunity or billion-dollar opportunity? It’s hard to think of Splunk going from $2 billion to $6 billion while maintaining the same mix of use cases such as security, operations, SIM, if you will, and IT operations. There’s got to be something, a third act, a fourth act. How do you envision the future for Splunk four to five years from now? That’s it for me. Thank you.

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

First of all, it’s hard to believe how we get to $5 billion to $6 billion with security and IT. I think we can get to $5 billion to $6 billion with security and IT. We do have lots of other plans.

When I look at the installs that we have across our existing customer base and how broadly we are being used, what data sources we’re ingesting across the IT set of use cases and how much utilization we have at ITSI and how many additional apps we’ve deployed they’ve built themselves or they’ve downloaded from Splunk just within IT, we are a fraction of what is necessary for the vast majority of the customer base. I’d say 95% of the customer base is still not getting the full analytics and monitoring detection and investigation capability they could or should just within security and IT.

That said, the power of Splunk, we talk about a percentage of business every quarter, where a sales rep has said they bought this solution for a security use case or IT use case or non-security use case. We know that’s the beginning of the journey. If we’re successful, they’re implementing a whole host of use cases outside of IT and security.

As we see patterns emerge, we’ll start to facilitate the ecosystem to release apps we’ll highlight or build these apps ourselves. We do believe at Splunk there’s a huge opportunity — again, probably tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of potential applications to recover the needs of the functional users and the different industrial use cases in the industrial IoT or IoT segment.


Our next question is from Fatima Boolani with UBS. Please go ahead.

Fatima Boolani UBS Securities — Analyst

Good afternoon. Thank you for taking my question. Doug, you mentioned again this quarter you have a ton of IT ops use cases in your prepared remarks and to Dave’s point around the business mix being consistent from a use case perspective, I wanted to understand from your view what you need to do either from the technical or go to market perspective to replicate the type of success you’ve had in the security arena. As we think about DevOps becoming the more influential buyer in the enterprise, how are you positioned from that standpoint?

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Fatima. A lot of the quick rise in security was two things. One, obviously, cyber is becoming a critical component for everyone to understand and address, so that alone with the board scrutiny has become a heavy drumbeat to make sure you’ve got the degree of insight you need in your landscape and two, there was a clear replacement category. There’s this whole SIM market and the way Splunk approaches that problem because of the flexible underpinnings of Splunk Enterprise was pretty differentiated.

In the IT ops arena, ITSI, the whole orientation around ITSI was to provide that same degree of flexibility in that IT operations side. It took ES five years to get significant foothold and traction. I think the first coding on that was done in ’09 and ’10. So, it takes a while for these products to mature and right now, we’re in the third year with ITSI.

We are starting to see more completeness with ITSI and more situations where a 20-40-year old systems management framework is now being replaced with ITSI. So, my hope and Rick’s orientation is that with continued investment and focus, we can be talking in a future call about the replacement cycle opportunity on the IT ops side.

The other piece that’s equally important — replacement within that heavyweight IT ops segment, a lot of the energy of new workloads is going to next gen DevOps. We have a whole host of different insights, the lighter weight applications was really primarily focused on DevOps, a true next gen environment where every developer owns their code end to end without that handoff. Stay tuned for more releases in that category. In addition to the SOC and NOC, the next gen DevOps portfolio is one we’re really excited about and developing aggressively toward and in the strategic landscape is something we’re looking toward as well.

Fatima Boolani UBS Securities — Analyst

Dave, a quick follow-up for you. You talked about the accelerated shift toward more the routable business being a pretty big drag on your cash flow profile this year. If you could, give us an update on how that should shake out as we barrel through the end of the year. At a very high level, what does that trajectory for cash flow from operations look like next year as we think about that and also internalize the headquarters-related CapEx you’re going to be doing next year. That’s it for me. Thank you so much.

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, as we mentioned at the beginning of the fiscal year, we expected Fiscal 19 to be a cash flow trough as we made a material shift toward renewable. As we know, those are billed typically on an annual basis versus the full contract value. With the over-achievement on that objective in terms of renewable, that would add additional pressure form a cash flow perspective, but that’s been offset by strong over-delivery of our plan in the field.

Obviously, the fourth quarter is our largest quarter of the year and we have plenty of execution that we have to go nail down and that is going to ultimately translate to the amount of cash flow that we generate for Fiscal 19 but I’m confident we’re on the right direction and ’19 will be that trough year.

When you look forward, what about cash flow going forward? When you see stability in the percentage of our business that is renewable and stability or consistency in terms of duration, then the business starts to normalize form a cash flow yield perspective. That’s what we expect to see for Fiscal 20.

As it relates to CapEx, we are a fairly light capital expenditure-consuming company, outside of the facility work that we do in terms of global footprint. We’re excited about many of the spaces we’re developing around the world and of late, we’ve made some significant investments in terms of creating the right footprint for Splunk in the Bay Area.

But like we did a couple years back when we expanded in San Francisco and South Bay at the same time, we quantified what we expected the incremental or total cash flow or capital expenditures and therefore, the impact of free cash flow would be from those facility buildouts and we’ll do the exact same thing as we finalize our plans for our latest phase of facility expansions.


Our next question comes from Walter Pritchard with Citi. Please go ahead.

Walter PritchardCitigroup — Analyst

A couple questions, Dave, for you — on the duration impacts, a lot of us focus on the license impact. Can you help us understand how you’re getting to the cloud impact and if there’s any impact as it relates to the amount of booking you’re deferring into maintenance and how that may come back in any way?

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Water. There’s been focus on license, which makes a lot of sense. Candidly, the reason I have been very deliberate over the last how many periods to point out software revenue as the best way to look at our growth, you have to contemplate how much of our software is being delivered in the cloud that doesn’t hit the license line.

So, when we look at the drag or the headwinds from the routability of cloud, we look at it in terms of how much is it growing as a percentage of our business that is in lieu of what would otherwise in our model be on prem, i.e. the on prem hits the license line, cloud hits service line, you’ve got to look at those two sides of the equation together.

Walter PritchardCitigroup — Analyst

On the margins for next year, I know you didn’t give an explicit — I think at analyst day, you talked about a 14% operating margin in 2020. Is that still the way we should think about profitability next year?

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We didn’t explicitly update what we provided at analyst day. As is consistent with our cadence on this call, we focus on the visibility we have and making sure we give that to all your folks in terms of the revenue. We’ve got to get to the end of the fiscal year, measure up the beans and look at the investments we have on the table and we’ll provide an update at that time.

Walter PritchardCitigroup — Analyst

Thank you.


Thank you. Our final question will come from Steve Koenig with Wedbush. Please go ahead.

Steve KoenigWedbush Securities — Managing Director

Thanks for squeezing me in. What I’d love to ask you guys about is if you can, give us a little color — do you have a playbook for converting perpetual customers and what does that playbook consist of and how do the mechanics of that work? Also, I’m curious to know are there any incentives for cloud sales this year over and above any incentives for recurring sales? What’s driving the strong Splunk Cloud adoption and execution this year beyond any sales incentives.

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Let me talk about sales incentives for a second — we’ve been very transparent that we’ve been on this multi-year journey having been born as a perpetual company to one that wants to deliver our solutions, obviously, on prem, but also in the cloud in leveraging the renewable structure. I think we were pretty clear that as we looked to accelerate our move in terms of that shift, we had this multi-year adjustment to how we align incentives in the field, moving where perpetual was the first-class citizen to now having renewable be the first-class citizen.

As it relates to Cloud, what we experience in the field, it is absolutely most relevant around use case, customer preparedness, the needs and requirements in terms of how they want to leverage our technology, ultimately differentiates between are they going to use a renewable term contract on prem, are they going to use a cloud instance for that particular data source?

We continue to see a very high percentage of customers that are with us in the cloud are also on prem customers. But unlike the incentive plan where we say perpetual shouldn’t be first class, we don’t go into that level of specificity on cloud because it’s so customer-driven.

Steve KoenigWedbush Securities — Managing Director

I’ll leave it there. Thanks again.


Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our Q&A session today. I would like to turn the call over to Ken Tinsley for any final remarks.

Ken TinsleyCorporate Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations

Thank you, Carmen, I appreciate that. Thanks, everybody for joining us. Have a great evening and enjoy the holidays.


Ladies and gentlemen, with that, we thank you for participating in today’s conference. This concludes the program and you may all disconnect. Have a wonderful night.

Duration: 65 minutes

Call participants:

Ken TinsleyCorporate Treasurer and Vice President of Investor Relations

Douglas Merritt President and Chief Executive Officer

David ConteSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

John DiFucciJefferies — Analyst

Michael TuritsRaymond James — Managing Director

Raimo Lenschow Barclays — Analyst

Philip WinslowWells Fargo Securities — Managing Director

Kash RanganBank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Fatima Boolani UBS Securities — Analyst

Walter PritchardCitigroup — Analyst

Steve KoenigWedbush Securities — Managing Director

More SPLK analysis

This article is a transcript of this conference call produced for The Motley Fool. While we strive for our Foolish Best, there may be errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in this transcript. As with all our articles, The Motley Fool does not assume any responsibility for your use of this content, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research, including listening to the call yourself and reading the company’s SEC filings. Please see our Terms and Conditions for additional details, including our Obligatory Capitalized Disclaimers of Liability.

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A sneak peek into Dubai’s citywide blockchain strategy – Express Computer

Dubai Data Strategy is one of the world’s most comprehensive and ambitious data initiatives to leverage Dubai Data to enable Data Excellence and Smart City Transformation. The City and Emirate of Dubai’s mission is to empower the usage of data. Dubai Government’s policy framework is intended to develop and implement a culture of data sharing and evidence – based decision making in Dubai and will serve as a guide for all involved in the sharing of data. Launched by Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, establishes a roadmap for the introduction of Blockchain technology for Dubai and the creation of an open platform to share the technology with cities across the globe.

According to the Dubai Data Economic Impact Report, by KPMG the economic impact of data is expected to reach $2.8 billion per year as of 2021. The report revealed that by sharing 100% of government data, Dubai stands to generate an additional value of $6.6 billion. Express Computer interviews H.E Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai. She shares Dubai’s vision, strategy and the pilots running to make the city a blockchain powered city

Wanting to create the world’s first blockchain-powered city is a bold vision – why does the Dubai government have so much confidence in blockchain? What was the empirical evidence that convinced the government that this is worth investing time, money and resources into?

Over the last 40 years, Dubai has succeeded in transforming into a global city and regional business and tourism hub. It has established an international reputation as an economic and investment center, attracting thousands of international companies that establish their regional headquarters in the Emirate’s many free zones. The Emirate has been able to achieve this success by diversifying its gross domestic product through vast development in sectors such as tourism, real estate, retail, travel and logistics. It has also been recognized for attracting skilled talent from around the world. Underlying this economic growth has been a strong and productive Government sector that has embraced technology and committed to excellence and digital city transformation. The city’s technological journey began in 1999 with the announcement of its first ICT strategy which was followed by the launch of Dubai Internet City, Dubai e-government, Dubai Smart Government and most recently the Smart Dubai Office.

Today, Dubai is amongst the world’s leading smart cities in its adoption of new technology and pioneering of innovative smart pilots. Recognizing the potential impact of the blockchain technology on

city services coupled with a worldwide blockchain adoption trend that saw $1.1 billion invested by the

private sector in blockchain technology in 2016 alone, Dubai launched a city wide blockchain strategy in

October 2016 with the objective of becoming the first blockchain powered city by 2020. Dubai’s rapid development in various economic sectors meant that traditional processes needed to be continuously updated to ensure efficiency and speed. Government effectiveness became increasingly imperative especially in Government to Consumer (G2C) and Government to Government (G2G) services.

In particular, the growth of the business, construction and tourism sectors saw the Government needing tighter controls over activities such as permissions (e.g. permits and No Objection Certificates (NoCs) and transaction verification and tracking. Simple processes were getting ever more complicated with the addition of activities that were now in demand by the city’s new businesses and residents. It was clear that Dubai needed an agile solution to streamlining its growing Government processes.

Dubai saw potential in blockchain as the solution. Blockchain is the technology that utilizes open distributed databases of transactions involving value. Its coding method allows for secure record keeping in distributed online ledgers where members share and confirm information with no central authority. Moreover, the blockchain economy is witnessing rapid growth with over 600 new companies

active in blockchain today and an expected market value of $290 billion in 2019.

Finally, Dubai’s adoption of Blockchain technology at a city-wide scale comes at a time when the technology is increasingly being recognized as the ultimate trust machine. Blockchain eliminates the

need for trusted third parties in transactions, an attribute which would contribute significantly to simplifying Dubai Government’s evolving processes. The adoption of blockchain technology applies to

the smart governance, smart economy and smart people areas of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) as the next sections will showcase.

What are some targets that Dubai has set for itself, in its journey to become a blockchain enabled city?

A detailed roadmap that is organized around the blockchain strategy’s three pillars has been developed.

This roadmap defines the way forward for Dubai’s blockchain ambitions. For each pillar in the strategy, the city has a plan with actionable initiatives.

A. Government Efficiency

Over 2017 and 2018, the Smart Dubai Office has been identifying and piloting use cases of the most

applicable government services on Blockchain. The first Blockchain use case titled the Payment

Reconciliation and Settlement System went live in September 2018, with many more planned to roll in

2019. This new system reconciles payments between government entities and banks within seconds,

compared to a process that earlier took 45 days!

The most applicable services are those that would benefit the most from the implementation of

blockchain technology due to their need for third party elimination, transaction ledgers, smart controls

and/or automation. So far over 20+ use cases have been identified and are currently going through pilot phases to live implementation.

The piloting of blockchain has been done across the city in several sectors such as energy, transport and

logistics, tourism, health, education and employment, economic development, safety and justice, social

services, municipal and land works and smart districts. This process involved the key Government

champions in each sector such as the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the Roads and Transport

Authority, the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing Department, the Department of Economic

Development, Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority and many more public sector stakeholders that are

key to sectoral adoption.

In order to roll out the blockchain pilots in an organized approach, Dubai recognized the importance of

putting in place a governance framework that would ensure that all stakeholders are aware of their

roles and are receiving the support they need. For this purpose, the Smart Dubai Office had rolled out

workshops with each stakeholder with an objective to identify the best potential pilots in their sector

and provide them with the technical standards and unified protocols for implementing their pilots.

Moreover, it constantly supports each entity in selecting a technical partner to implement the

blockchain pilots.

By opening the door to blockchain technical partners from around the world to come to Dubai and pilot

use cases in each entity, Dubai is stimulating the blockchain market and its own economy. In brief, the

city is creating demand for businesses to thrive through innovation.

B. Industry Creation

In addition to rolling out blockchain in the Government, Dubai aims to create a blockchain industry where private companies and start-ups thrive and innovate. To achieve this aim, it has set three key action areas that would support in creating an enabling eco-system that would empower businesses as follows:

i. Policy Development

The policy implications of blockchain implementation will be continuously assessed and policy will be

developed in a number of areas such as security, consumer rights, start up support and enablement, and

financial technology. We are currently running workshops with public and private sector entities to

identify challenges entities are facing before Blockchain implementation, and will finalize our policies

keeping in mind feedback from all.

ii. Startup Accelerators

Smart Dubai has participated in two accelerators – the Dubai Future Accelerators and the

Startupbootcamp Smart City Dubai Accelerator – inviting blockchain startups and solution providers

from around the world to work with local government entities and test blockchain implementation in

the city.

iii. Smart Dubai Global Blockchain Challenge

Hosted annually, the Global Blockchain Challenge invites startups from across the globe to pitch their

Blockchain ideas that can be implemented in Dubai. In May 2018, the 2nd Smart Dubai Global

Blockchain Challenge saw over 200+ applications from 85 cities to showcase their best and brightest

Blockchain solutions. We shortlisted the top 17 entities and flew them to Dubai to present at the

Future Blockchain Summit, the world’s largest Blockchain conference, where we awarded the top 3


C. Thought Leadership

In this pillar, Dubai aims to lead the global thinking on blockchain technology and become the hub for

blockchain intellectual capital and skill development.

For this purpose, it has set four key action areas as follows

i. Skill Development

Dubai aims to become the regional and global hub for blockchain skill development by offering the most

comprehensive and frequent training programs aimed at blockchain coders, policy makers, and

strategists and project managers.

ii. Intellectual Capital – Smart Cities Global Network

Smart Dubai aims to create and share intellectual capital related to its blockchain adoption through the

development of case studies for each of its city pilots. To achieve that goal, Smart Dubai launched the

Smart Cities Global Network in April 2018. The Smart Cities Global Network is the largest international

network of smart city stakeholders. Smart Dubai aims to bring together partners that share it’s passion

for advanced technology, Fourth-Industrial-Revolution breakthroughs, smart living, and spreading

happiness in the community with tech-enabled, human-centric services. Network members include

representation from Government, the private sector, research centers, academic institutes, subject matter experts and the media. The network approach is agile and flexible without fixed time commitments and governance structures. Instead, members can join the network online and become

visible to one another through the first comprehensive global smart city directory. Through this visibility, Smart Dubai and other network members may reach out to one another to collaborate on exchanging knowledge around implementation of smart city and technological initiatives, ecosystem enablement efforts supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs, skills development, publications, events,

awards and more.

iii. Blockchain Conferences

Dubai has been hosting blockchain experts and speakers on a regular basis in order to stimulate debate

and discussions around the most pressing and controversial issues surrounding the adoption of

blockchain technology on a city level. The Future Blow The Future Blockchain Summit May 2018 was the

largest Blockchain Conference ever held with over 8,000 attendees and 134 speakers.

iv. Academic Sector Activation

We are heavily engaging schools and universities in all blockchain activities such as pilot development,

training, speaker events, and intellectual capital building. As part of Dubai’s 10X program, a program

launched to make Dubai 10 years ahead of all other cities across all industry sectors, Smart Dubai is

soon launching the Smart City Academy, which will be the world’s first open platform for decentralized

education and skill development that will run on Blockchain.

What kind of investment has gone into developing Blockchain capabilities and how will ROI be


Collaboration has always been the core of Smart Dubai’s work. Instead of pouring in billions of dollars to

create new infrastructure catering to every different industry sector, we are working with government

and private sector partners across all dimensions, leveraging and enhancing existing capabilities.

Our government and private sector partners are domain experts in their respective fields, we do not

want them to worry about the hardware and software of setting up a Blockchain network, we instead

want them to identify and implement Blockchain use cases, relevant to their sector, that will benefit

residents and visitors of the city most. With have therefore partnered with IBM to launch the Dubai

Blockchain Platform, which will be the first locally built and hosted platform. Paid for using a subscription model, the platform will be the core infrastructure through which all Dubai government

blockchain applications will run. Launching this platform also contributes to our goal of having a unified

and integrated citywide ICT architecture for Dubai, which will make digital transactions and data

transfer between entities much more efficient and seamless.

What would you say are some of the challenges in pursuing this Blockchain strategy, and what

has Dubai done to try to overcome them?

Setting up a Blockchain network ideally has three phases, Pre-Implementation, Implementation and Post

Implementation. Across all three phases, firms that are involved in setting up a Blockchain network will

come across various challenges, some of which include scalability, regulation, ownership, interoperability, governance, etc. As the technology is quite nascent, there is no global framework on how to solve these challenges. As Smart Dubai, we have continuously focused on the advantages of collaboration for any initiative, therefore we have been hosting regular Blockchain Policy Workshops bringing the public and private sector together to identify such issues and come to a mutual consensus on how such challenges should be overcome. We hope to announce the city’s official Blockchain implementation policies in early 2019.

How is the strategy set to advance in the next year? Could you elaborate on what the next steps

in this journey would be?

Through 2017 and 2018 we underwent most of the ideation or pre- implementation phase. With the

Dubai Blockchain Platform now launched and the Blockchain Policies being launched soon, we will be

going live with our identified use cases in 2019 and 2020.

The Boundary Between Our Bodies and Our Tech – Pacific Standard

(Illustration: Emiliano Ponzi)

Many of the boundary lines in our lives are highly literal, and, for the most part, this is how we’ve been trained to think of boundaries: as demarcations shored up by laws, physical, legal, or otherwise, that indicate exactly where one thing ends and another begins. Here is the border of your property; here is the border of your body; here is the border of a city, a state, a nation—and to cross any of these boundaries without permission is to transgress. But one of the most significant boundary lines in our lives is not this way, and one piece of ubiquitous technology is making this line increasingly permeable and uncertain, at a cost that we may only be starting to comprehend.

Here’s a thought experiment: Where do you end? Not your body, but you, the nebulous identity you think of as your “self.” Does it end at the limits of your physical form? Or does it include your voice, which can now be heard as far as outer space; your personal and behavioral data, which is spread out across the impossibly broad plane known as digital space; and your active online personas, which probably encompass dozens of different social media networks, text message conversations, and email exchanges?

This is a question with no clear answer, and, as the smartphone grows more and more essential to our daily lives, that border’s only getting blurrier.

Michael Patrick Lynch, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut and director of the school’s Humanities Institute, which promotes interdisciplinary research, says that the notion of an “extended self” was coined by the philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers in 1998.

“They argued that, essentially, the mind and the self are extended to those devices that help us perform what we ordinarily think of as our cognitive tasks,” Lynch says. This can include items as seemingly banal and analog as a piece of paper and a pen, which help us remember, a duty otherwise performed by the brain. According to this philosophy, the shopping list, for example, becomes part of our memory, the mind spilling out beyond the confines of our skull to encompass anything that helps it think.

“Now if that thought is right, it’s pretty clear that our minds have become even more radically extended than ever before,” Lynch says. “The idea that our self is expanding through our phones is plausible, and that’s because our phones, and our digital devices generally—our smartwatches, our iPads—all these things have become a really intimate part of how we go about our daily lives. Intimate in the sense in which they’re not only on our body, but we sleep with them, we wake up with them, and the air we breathe is filled, in both a literal and figurative sense, with the trails of ones and zeros that these devices leave behind.”

This gets at one of the essential differences between a smartphone and a piece of paper, which is that our relationship with our phones is reciprocal: We not only put information into the device, we also receive information from it, and, in that sense, it shapes our lives far more actively than would, say, a shopping list. The shopping list isn’t suggesting to us, based on algorithmic responses to our past and current shopping behavior, what we should buy; the phone is.

At the beginning of his recent book, The Internet of Us, Lynch uses a thought experiment to illustrate how thin this boundary is. Imagine a device that could implant the functions of a smartphone directly into your brain so that your thoughts could control these functions. It would be a remarkable extension of the brain’s abilities, but also, in a sense, it wouldn’t be all that different from our current lives, in which the varied and almost limitless connective powers of the smartphone are with us nearly 100 percent of the time, even if they aren’t—yet—a physiological part of us.

According to data released in 2017 by the analytics firm Flurry, American consumers spent five hours per day on their mobile devices, and showed a dizzying 69 percent year-over-year increase in time spent in apps like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The prevalence of apps represents a concrete example of the movement away from the old notion of accessing the Internet through a browser and the new reality of the connected world and its myriad elements—news, social media, entertainment—being with us all the time.

When Moira Weigel, a writer and junior fellow at Harvard University, was researching her book, Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, she found that 2009, as the Facebook and Twitter mobile platforms were taking off and our social media identities became increasingly woven into our daily life, seemed to be a focal point in the transition away from separate notions of online and IRL. She points to online dating as a good example. Even if you didn’t meet someone on an app, you wouldn’t go out with them before checking out their Facebook profile or their Instagram. Our online identities had become a part of who we are in the world—whether we were aware of it or not.

“In the ’90s and even through the early 2000s, for many people, there was this way of thinking about cyberspace as a space that was somewhere else: It was in your computer. You went to your desktop to get there,” Weigel says. “One of the biggest shifts that’s happened and that will continue to happen is the undoing of a border that we used to perceive between the virtual and the physical world.”

The debate over what it means for us to be so connected all the time is still in its infancy, and there are wildly differing perspectives on what it could mean for us as a species. One result of these collapsing borders, however, is less ambiguous, and it’s becoming a common subject of activism and advocacy among the technologically minded. While many of us think of the smartphone as a portal for accessing the outside world, the reciprocity of the device, as well as the larger pattern of our behavior online, means the portal goes the other way as well: It’s a means for others to access us.

Most obviously, this can take the form of the omnipresent harassment that many people experience online, as well as more specific tactics, like revenge porn and the leaking of nude pictures; doxxing, or the revealing of someone’s personal details; and swatting, the practice of calling a SWAT team to an individual’s home under false pretenses.

Less clear to most people, however, is the extent to which the companies that make the technology, apps, and browsers that we use are not just tracking but shaping our behavior. While this issue has recently come to the fore as a result of revelations like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Weigel sees the unfettered access to our data through smartphone and browser use of what she calls the Big Five tech companies—Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon—as a legitimate problem for notions of democracy. Thanks to the border-breaking nature of these technologies, and particularly the smartphone, the success of these companies has put an unfathomable amount of wealth, power, and direct influence on the consumer in the hands of just a few individuals—individuals who can affect billions of lives with a tweak in the code of their products.

“This is where the fundamental democracy deficit comes from: You have this incredibly concentrated private power with zero transparency or democratic oversight or accountability, and then they have this unprecedented wealth of data about their users to work with,” Weigel says. “We’ve allowed these private companies to take over a lot of functions that we have historically thought of as public functions or social goods, like letting Google be the world’s library. Democracy and the very concept of social goods—that tradition is so eroded in the United States that people were ready to let these private companies assume control.”

Considering the magnitude of the iPhone’s impact, it’s hard to believe that it came out barely over a decade ago. But while the influence of both the phone itself and the tech revolution as a whole can often feel irresistible—look no further than those usage numbers—there are measures that could be taken to help shore up our crumbling borders.

Tim Hwang, a writer and researcher in San Francisco who used to work as the global public policy lead for artificial intelligence and machine learning at Google, has thought extensively about how these devices foster the functioning of the collective in addition to the individual. About a decade ago, he explains, the rhetoric around the Internet was that the crowd would prevent the spread of misinformation, filtering it out like a great big hive-mind; it would also help to prevent the spread of things like hate speech. Obviously, this has not been the case, and even the relatively successful experiments in this, like Wikipedia, have a great deal of human governance that allows them to function properly. He says that the pessimism resulting from this realization has led us to give power to the platforms so that they can regulate themselves, like allowing Facebook to tell us what’s true and what’s not, but that there is another approach to the way we actually exist in these spaces.

“Are there tools, are there designs we can put in place to allow communities to do a better job at self-governance?” Hwang asks. “Do we want to give more moderation to particular users? Does the platform want to grant users more power to control issues of harassment and hate speech, knowing that, in some cases, it might be over-applied?”

Weigel sees two potential opportunities for limiting the amount of influence the Big Five has on consumers. The first would be legal; she cites a growing body of work exploring possible antitrust suits designed to break up these companies. Writing in Logic, a magazine Weigel co-founded, K. Sabeel Rahman, an associate professor of law at Brooklyn Law School who writes about inequality and democracy in the modern economy, compares these potential efforts to those that broke up the industrialists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “Today, as technology creates new forms of power, we must also create new forms of countervailing civic power,” Rahman writes. “We must build a new civic infrastructure that imposes new kinds of checks and balances.”

The other option is for workers, many having entered tech for idealistic rather than financial motives, to help regulate and restrict their own employers. Many have already begun to express regret for the effectiveness of their innovations, a phenomenon perhaps best exemplified by the Center for Humane Technology, led by former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris. But Weigel views these efforts with suspicion due to the idea that they often follow the same playbook as the paternalistic, top-down design infrastructure that created these problems in the first place.

A more fitting example of positive change, Weigel suggests, took place in June, when Google employees successfully campaigned for the company to stop its work with the Pentagon on Project Maven, a program that improved the effectiveness of military drones.

“Reading the New York Times, especially until about six months ago, whenever this tech backlash started, I feel like you could be forgiven for thinking there were five people in the tech industry,” Weigel says, laughing. “In fact, these are huge companies that employ tens of thousands of people, many of whom don’t necessarily agree with everything the companies are doing. I think that engineers have enormous power to influence these companies for the better right now.”

Lynch, the University of Connecticut philosophy professor, also believes that one of our best hopes comes from the bottom up, in the form of actually educating people about the products that they spend so much time using. We should know and be aware of how these companies work, how they track our behavior, and how they make recommendations to us based on our behavior and that of others. Essentially, we need to understand the fundamental difference between our behavior IRL and in the digital sphere—a difference that, despite the erosion of boundaries, still stands.

“Whether we know it or not, the connections that we make on the Internet are being used to cultivate an identity for us—an identity that is then sold to us afterward,” Lynch says. “Google tells you what questions to ask, and then it gives you the answers to those questions.”

And we should especially recognize this when it seems least clear: in those situations online that most closely seek to emulate the structures and dynamics of real life. Like, for example, your relationships. It isn’t enough that the apps in our phone flatten all of the different categories of relationships we have into one broad group: Friends, Followers, Connections. They go one step further than that.

“You’re being told who you are all the time by Facebook and social media because which posts are coming up from your friends are due to an algorithm that is trying to get you to pay more attention to Facebook,” Lynch says. “That’s affecting our identity, because it affects who you think your friends are, because they’re the ones who are popping up higher on your feed.”