First Quarter Technology Trends to Note

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

 

About Jim D

Jim has worked in the IT field for over 25 years and as a senior leader for over 15 years. He has successfully turned around a number of IT shops to become high performing teams and a competitive advantage for their companies.
This entry was posted in Just for fun, Looking Ahead, Uncategorized, Vision and Leadership and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to First Quarter Technology Trends to Note

  1. Eric K says:

    Jim –

    Good stuff. A few thoughts:

    1.) In many companies (new quarter/new year/new goals) I’m finally seeing senior leaders make key organizational changes they’ve been talking about for years. Many know that in order to reamin competitive, scale their infrastructure and operations, and take advantage of engineered stacks they must alter the way teams have been structured. This isn’t easy for most, will take time, and many entrenched employees will resist, but the prospect of not driving engineering/architecture/operations closer together across key technical vectors is troubling (if you want a high-performance team).

    2.) While dual-SIM capable phones will be interesting, I believe we’ll need to see some innovation to around usability and user-interface to support the basic phone interaction with ease. Back in 2008 / 2009 VMware and others demonstrated the possibility of having multiple personalities on a single mobile device. Back then, the user experience left a lot to be desired. It’s still hard to believe Apple doesn’t have basic support for multiple users on the iPad. I believe Android (finally) does with Jelly Bean 4.2, but I haven’t tried it out.

    3.) Another Q1 trend I’d probably highlight – especially in mid-sized Enterprises, but also in many F100 companies is the push to “Automate & Orchestrate”. I believe this aligns in many ways with your 1st Q1 trend on the server side. In many organizations Automation & Orchestration was never a priority and never budgeted. Today, they realize without automation their prospects of being (remaining) competitive are very limited and that unless they can accelerate their time to deliver services the users they service will go elsewhere (public cloud & SaaS). On the flip side, many of the ISVs are still trying to figure out how to get their sales teams to sell and deliver the solutions they’ve built and acquired. Hence, the decline in share price which you point out.

    Eric

    • Jim D says:

      Eric,

      Sorry for the delay, but great comments. I especially agree with your point about multi-users on the iPad…hopefully this will be an iOS feature in the next 12 months. On your last point, which I agree, I have often found there is tremendous value unlocked by tackling the departmental manual processes (those with 30 workers or less) which have been neglected in previous IT automation waves. with new workflow toolsets and the new collaboration tools, large amounts of manual effort and wait time can be reomved that can enable organizations to be for more responsive and competitive. Best, Jim Ditmore

  2. Laura says:

    Interesting article. I am a little curious about the trends you are seeing in Bring Your On Device. I can see how the dual SIM card could make this an even better option for some employees. Also, with the mobile space growing this could ultimately save the company money. What are your thoughts on advantages/disadvantages of BYOD for companies…especially banks or other companies dealing with consumer sensitive data?

    • Jim D says:

      Laura, Thanks for the comments and your questions. On the BYOD trends, I think the industry is seeing more implementations, more devices, and greater employee satisfaction. So it is definitely here to stay and it is definitely increasing. I would bet after Christmas, companies that have BYOD programs and wireless onsite access saw huge jumps in new devices and usage (I believe ours was 50% or more). Most companies, but especially financial services companies, are implementing MDM (mobile device management) software to control and track such devices and enable security. MDM software (GOOD, MobileIron, Zenworks, etc) enables you to encrypt email and wipe corporate data from a lost device, thus greatly improving protection measures for companies. You will see more of these programs and they will move from being oriented to controlling the devices to enabling company applications that make the employees more productive…. Best, Jim

  3. Sughosh N says:

    Greetings Jim,

    Adding a technology trend that’s definitely poised to throw multiple IT challenges.

    We are slated to witness a rapid expansion of the use of memory-based approaches (RAM, flash and solid-state drive (SSD) to replace disk-based approaches or data storage. More commonly known as In-Memory Computing or IMC.

    IMC means further adding memory capacity to the already-massive amounts of standard RAM available in commodity servers. The underpinning is that this supports the design of memory-intensive systems that are able to manage multiple terabytes of in-memory data. Some application areas that may be involved include middleware, BI, predictive analytics, ERP, CRM and SCM.

    IMC is poised to gain traction as it supports high-scale, high-throughput and low-latency applications in a global-class Web/cloud model, and by the need for greater situation awareness in business processes.

    Best,
    Sughosh

  4. Jeffrey R says:

    I have a trend that should be happening, but doesn’t seem to be. Virtual meeting spaces. Phone and bridgeline meetings are ubiquitous, yet the usage and technology is so primitive and ineffective. Seems to me we should be on the verge of significant innovations in this space. Just participating in these virtual meetings I constantly have ideas for how to improve them – I can’t really be alone in this, can I?

    • Jim D says:

      Jeff,

      I agree that much of the technology is wanting. I think there are three issues: first, you really need critical mass to enable it to proliferate – no one has really captured broad market share it is still very fragmented; second, combining video and voice over data networks does not lead to always optimum results; and third, ease of use, as you point out is not yet there. All that said, I do think Cisco’s Telepresence and Apple’s FaceTime point the way to high quality products (but they are not pervasive). Someone will truly crack this code in the next 3 years is my bet….

      Best, Jim Ditmore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *