Project 2012: Day 363
“If not now, When?”
“If not you, Who?”
This is a quote from Meg Whitman (arguably not original) in all of her talks to staff as she turns HP around and builds a company for the next 70 years.
I like it because it’s inspirational. A strident call to action.
Let’s talk about the trends you should capitalise on for next year:
1. SW as a Service
IaaS is quickly becoming a commodity, not to mention highly contested market. Yet ISV’s are still struggling to adapt to the cloud. Commercially they’re re-engineering internal compensation and revenue recognition models. Technically they have to re-architect applications to SOA, multi-tenancy, and provide a way to provision, metre, & bill their enterprise systems.
Largely this work has been conducted over the last 3 years. In 2013 more SaaS providers will emerge for a number of services including: Payroll, HR, Records Management, SW Development (ALM), Project & Portfolio Management, Logistics, Staff & Scheduling Management…
2. Data Sovereignty Becomes a Non-issue
Partly because more people shift to SaaS, partly because cloud vendors are onshore, partly because organisations have a more mature approach to the cloud, and partly because the US Government will strike a deal with Australia. I foresee less people being hung up about where their data resides.
This will finally catalyse mass moves to cloud delivery models.
3. Apple Continues to Out-Innovate the Competition
In early January we’ll have the Consumer Electronics Show, with far fewer true tablets, and far more hybrid machines (laptop/tablets, phone/tablets) A week or two later Apple will have a conference that launches yet more products that out-innovate their closest competition.
Already no-one can deliver devices with the display, performance, battery life, or pure aesthetic of Apple. By January there’ll be yet more products that outshine the current stable.
Where will they go next?
- Flexible displays
- Wearable computing
- The Television
…what I do know is: Apple will launch a product; this will be derided by the digirati press; the product will outsell the market and the previous version.
Other technology vendors, HP, Samsung, Sony are all placing their bets on Microsoft for Ultrabooks & Tablet Hybrids, and Google for Tablets. This strikes me as a particularly fragmented strategy that makes it hard for a customer to determine what to buy. This will drive a price war.
I think we will see the rise of the “slate PC” in businesses with Enterprise Agreements. Here the HP Elitepad 900 & the Microsoft Surface Pro are the contenders for the crown. Both of these are only launched in January. It will be interesting to see what both Apple and Google do to head off this threat.
4. BYOD, OS to the Internet & the Personal Cloud
The continuing appeal of new, connected devices will drive more people connecting their own devices to work networks. Whether IT approves this or not. IT needs to find a way to accommodate and enable the business.
The other impact of lower power, & functional devices will be to drive applications, or entire desktop OS’s to the cloud. It is feasible for SMBs already to run their entire business via a browser.
Up and coming will be the Google Chrome OS, but I don’t see this as a major competitor for another year or so. Currently the functionality of native apps over online apps, at least on the desktop, is still too familiar to people, and entrenched in business licence agreements to change soon. But as more people bring their own devices, and choose a mobile platform from Apple or Google, the applications ratio will shift away from Microsoft Office.
5. The Competition will be for your Pocket
Mobile devices provide a shop front to vendors in your pocket. The iPod, iPhone, iPad, all provide a shop front not only for music, books, and content; but also for applications. The Kindle series provides a shop front for Amazon, essentially for content & physical products. The Nook does the same for Barnes and Noble.
Besides the other major smartphone vendors, Google and Microsoft, even more handheld devices like the Sony & Nintendo personal consoles will be introduced or changed to provide this market.
Windows Phone 8 will fizzle along, and potentially gain some traction. Its battle is against a very entrenched and highly loyal customer base. These, for iOS at least, have a large investment in applications that either don’t exist on the new platform, or require more investment that people are unwilling to make.
Blackberry will either die an ignoble, protracted death, or be bought out by someone. Potentially a niche player looking to expand out of the developing world.
Windows RT won’t gain much traction against the likes of Android, iOS, and even Microsoft’s own Windows 8.
Android will gain even greater market share, especially in developing markets. They will provide good competition to Apple, but ultimately won’t be as profitable due to the lack of the eco-system and their indirect revenue model. They aren’t a shop front (directly) for Google, but rather an advertising platform.
Apple will find even more ways to sell to their customers everywhere and all the time. It’s interesting that you can now buy an Apple product, or accessory, directly from an Apple device. Even in an Apple Store you can scan & purchase any product without the need to speak to a shop assistant. The friction to purchase is non-existent.
6. Networks will be Upgraded
The vast amount of unstructured data (video, photo, and audio) will continue to increase as more people become comfortable with these technologies. So networks of all sorts will continue to be upgraded.
With Cellular we’ll see widespread adoption of LTE & 4G networks. To homes roll outs like the NBN in Australia, & the UFB in New Zealand, will continue. Even without these efforts businesses will update their Wide and Local Area Networks.
All of these are passé, almost obvious, here’s some out there predictions
7. The Social Network gets Corporatised
Already we’re seeing bets being made on Facebook. It strikes me that there is a proven collaboration, Identity & Access Management, and communications system that reaches most people with access to the Internet.
Why wouldn’t Facebook work on a walled garden version for corporate clients? Especially at Public Cloud prices (or free with advertising) this would gazump other collaboration and messaging providers. It’s an offering waiting to happen.
Will a vendor like Microsoft, HP, or IBM with deep business relationships, benefit from partnering here?
8. Augmented Reality becomes Mainstream
From in-car navigation & telemetry systesm (Heads Up Display) to smartphone recognition systems to wearable computing (glasses, touch devices, in-ear). At the end of 2013 most people will be using some form of Augmented Reality in their daily lives, and not realise it (much like cloud today).
We don’t call a road sign Augmented Reality, but it is. Computer mediated AR will be as seamless to our lives
9. Education gets flipped
Rather than being taught in school, and studying at home, more people & increasingly children will use Pod & Vidcasts to be taught at home, then study under supervision at school.
This will affect Universities as their 600 year old approach to education, not to mention the cost of that education, is threatened by ultra-low cost models.
10. Less Jobs, More Businesses
More companies will struggle to survive through the diseconomy of their size. At the same time, more individuals will make money online selling their individual skills. Over the next year more jobs will be shed from downsizing companies. More services will be outsourced to niche, low cost, online players.
From a career choice perspective you’ll want to be in a role that cannot be dis-intermediated through automation (computers.) An example is the check-in clerk for Qantas – all gone and replaced with kiosks (& mobile apps.) Nurses are still in demand though.
Happy New Year
Ok that’s it for the CTO Category for Project 2012. Next year I won’t be taking on such an onerous challenge (to blog daily) – but if you’re interested I’ll keep blogging about technology on a regular (perhaps fortnightly or weekly) basis.