For those looking for the early signs of spring, crocuses and flowering quince are excellent harbingers. For those looking for signs of technology trends and shifts, I thought it would be worthwhile to point out some new ones and provide further emphasis or confirmation of a few recent ones:
1. Enterprise server needs have flattened and the cumulative effect of cloud, virtualization, SaaS, and appliances will mean the corporate server market has fully matured. The 1Q13 numbers bear this trend is continuing (as mentioned here last month). Some big vendors are even seeing revenue declines in this space. Unit declines are possible in the near future. The result will be consolidation in the enterprise server and software industry. VMWare, BMC and CA have already seen their share prices fall as investors are concerned the growth years are behind them. Make sure your contracts consider potential acquisitions or change of control.
2. Can dual SIM smartphones be just around the corner? Actually, they are now officially here. Samsung just launched a Galaxy dual SIM in China, so perhaps it will not be long for other device makers to follow suit. Dual SIM enables excellent flexibility – just what the carriers do not want. Consider when you travel overseas, you will be able to insert a local SIM into your phone and handle all local or regional calls at low rates, and will still receive your ‘home’ number calls. Or for everyone who carries two devices, one for business and one for personal, now you still can keep your business and personal numbers separate, but only have one device.
3. Further evidence has appeared of the massive compromises enterprise are experiencing due to Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). Most recently, Mandiant published a report that ties the Chinese government and the PLA to a broad set of compromises of US corporations and entities over many years. If you have not begun to move you enterprise security from a traditional perimeter model to a post-perimeter design, make the investment. You can likely bet you are compromised, you need to not only lock the doors but thwart those who have breached your perimeter. A post here late last year covers many of the measures you need to take as an IT leader.
4. Big data and decision sciences could drive major change in both software development and business analytics. It may not be of the level of change that computers had say on payroll departments and finance accountants in the 1980s, but it could be wide-ranging. Consider that perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of all business logic now encoded in systems (by analysts and software developers) could instead be handled by data models and analytics to make business rules and decisions in real time. Perhaps all of the business analysts and software developers will then move to developing the models and proving them out, or we could see a fundamental shift in the skills demanded in the workplace. We still have accountants of course, they just no longer do the large amount of administrative tasks. Now, perhaps applying this to legal work….
5. The explosion in mobile continues apace. Wireless data traffic is growing at 60 to 70% per year and projected to continue at this pace. The use of the mobile phone as your primary commerce device is likely to become real for most purchases in the next 5 years. So businesses are under enormous pressure to adapt and innovate in this space. Apps that can gracefully handle poor data connections (not everywhere is 4G) and hurried consumers will be critical for businesses. Unfortunately, there are not enough of these.
Any additions you would make? Please send me a note.
Best, Jim Ditmore