Monday, January 11, 2016
No predictions for the New Year 2016, just a list of unhappenings !
At an event in a large gathering of CIOs and vendors, many were interested in the future, some attempted to predict it, a few thought that they can create it, while the rest barring the uninterested wondered what the New Year holds for them. The debate thus started, took interesting turns with the usual set of trends around SMAC dominating the discussion. Digital was a given with finally convergence of definitions and interpretation. Everyone loves to make predictions, good, bad, they catch attention for whatever they are worth.
When a group approached me, I was caught unawares, but decided to play the game; so I challenged them on the efficacy of making predictions at the beginning of a calendar year. Was it because of convenience so that they can be labeled and catalogued by the year number ? Or did they make sense since the majority probably received new budgets to invest/spend and thus fueled the innovation furnace ? Or that people come back from an extended holiday fresh to get started and thus need some markers.
Either way, everyone has lists of all kinds for the year, resolutions, tips for a better life, predictions and goals they want to achieve. Technology providers push their new products with aggression portraying them as new trends; Consultants attempt to predict what will happen, rarely going back to review whatever brand of snake oil they promoted; Economists and other professionals oscillate between doomsday and optimism while the cautious lot stays non-committal taking a safe path and cynics raise eyebrows at everything.
The first time I attempted to predict the future was in 2004 which I revisited in end 2013; the last time I made technology or technology impact to CIOs and business predictions was almost 4 years back; then in the beginning of last year my participation in many discussions – online, offline, in conferences, with some of the self-proclaimed consulting type futurists – they nudged me hard enough to issue a rebuttal to their claim that the CIO shall perish which was followed by a viewpoint and tips on thriving in the new world.
I am taking a different path and putting my neck out with a contrarian view of the world as I see it. The list is not definitive, but representative of broader trends that I see impacting individuals, IT, CIOs, Enterprises and the ecosystem that supports technology led business outcomes. There are many predictions of what may happen and that is why I choose to create one that attempts to wean people of the hype curve or whichever quadrant or wave enamors business and IT decision makers and influences their actions.
1. Death of monolithic ERP: it shall survive all attempts of appification sustaining core business
2. Demise of email: enterprises and individuals will continue to use email for formal communication
3. Blockchain adoption: interesting use cases, lots of investments, few real life implementations
4. End of laptops: touch will become standard, tablets aspire to replace them, corporate workforce will not let them go
5. (Free) Mobile Internet: will continue to struggle with disconnects and seamless, consistent speed of access for meaningful engagement or work.
6. Cloud domination: remains a desire, enterprises, governments and hardware providers will find ways of retaining data centers
7. Value versus cost: majority will tilt towards cost rather than value as tactical savings attract pat on the back for a job well done with budgets remaining flat
8. Talent retention: big challenge for everyone with head hunters going aggressive on anyone who has demonstrated success (real or perceived)
9. Big Data insights: investments will continue, insights will elude most
10. Insecure enterprises: Cybersecurity will demand attention and budgets, breaches will increase
11. BYOD: will be controlled with containers, boundaries, restrictive solutions, employees will accept the new way of working
12. Internet of Things: keep talking, discussing, debating until internet access (point 5) is solved
13. Individual privacy: personal data will keep popping up surprising individuals of their vulnerability
14. Technology treadmill: people and companies will get off and not run after the next new device, release or trend will diminishing returns making it unattractive
That is my list for now, take it for what it is worth; during the year or maybe the end you may turn around and find that none of these happened in your life. That is quite possible though I believe that the trends will play out in a large section of people across geographies. I promise that at the end of the year I will review the reality as it happened. Until then all the best !