Trend lists are posted all the time describing different technologies and business models that are emerging and that will impact the IT industry. In this blog post I am focusing on the three trends that I believe are the most important not only for 2013 but for the coming years. They are simply:
Cloud is inevitable the disruptive driving force of the IT industry. Cloud has already put big footsteps into the consumer market and is now propelling in the professional markets. On a broader level I believe Cloud will disrupt in the same manner as the transformation from mainframes to PCs and the commoditization of Internet Computing. The benefits are obvious: no need for timely installations and upgrading of software and hardware, more flexible pricing models with less Capex spending, availability on any device at any time, increased usability and moving away from a traditional product oriented offering to a holistic customer service oriented offering. Cloud in general is expected to grow with amazing figures the coming years. We also expect more and more business solutions to be offered on Cloud based platforms, like Visma.net, that will help businesses further improve and optimize their operations. As with every new technology it takes some time before dominant designs arise, so is the case with Cloud. We will in short time see better and new standards and also solutions to legislative and security issues that are debated today.
Tightly connected to Cloud, Mobility is already reshaping business processes and will continue to do so at rocketing pace. Last year shipments of smartphones exceeded that of PC’s. By 2016 it is expected that the sales of tablets will outperform sales of PCs. In combination with BYOD this means that a lot of business processes will be performed on mobile devices. We are no longer tied to corporate intranets and complex applications that only run on Windows platforms. With high speed Internet connections available in more and more locations, even airplanes, and the growth of 4G and even 5G networks, we are able to work from practically anywhere. We will see more and more business critical applications and services running on mobile devices making mobility a key productivity gain. A mobile strategy is therefore a key element for most businesses.
Social media may be defined in many aspects. Taking the concept into professional business is the next big step. In this sense I do not only think of “likes” and “friends” but utilizing new means of supplier and customer interaction. Competitive advantages through innovation are not only coming from within the companies but through eco systems including customers, partners, academic institutions and governmental organizations. Social media allows not only for information sharing and networking, but also for sharing of intellectual capacity and creativity. Utilizing the power of all your existing and potential customers may provide valuable innovations. Crowdsourcing, recruitment, customer feedback, networking, marketing, prototyping, collaboration and eventually sales, are all key areas that social media will help boost performance. In order to succeed it is not enough to simply open a corporate Facebook account; social must be an integral part of business strategy with a supportive value chain.
To sum up, the three tech trends every company need to pursue, whether you are a IT vendor or customer, is Cloud, Mobility and Social. And they are already here.