The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Envisioning the needs of the future enterprise (part 2)

I blogged earlier about the extrapolated nature of 2017 and the technical drivers that will shift our thinking. Since that time, I’ve had a few people say: “Those are some interesting numbers, but what will that mean to me.”  So I thought I’d write down a few thoughts about what those numbers can actually mean.

 

Computing and sensing will be everywhere, embedded in everything. The world around us will be programmable and interactive with the rest of the environment around it. Roads, buildings, traffic, clothing — your computing needs will be addressed by an aggregation of the capabilities of your surroundings. Since I am on a trip today, it causes me to think about the annoyances that surround me every day. The rental car can call ahead for repairs, if it notices a problem. Entering the airport can check you in for your flight. The act of leaving the restaurant can pay your bill, so you will no longer need to flag down the service staff to get your check. I have this small screen that I am typing this on and a 40 inch screen on the wall, why don't think know about each other and let me use that display too. This kind of shift from isolation to integration will revolutionize every industry, changing the whole concept of computing – shifting it into the background and just enabling you to live. The concept of information and processing in the cloud will be so commonplace and natural that it will permeate the human experience on a global scale

 

Sensing devices will initiate actions that will call upon the attention of people only when their insight is needed. If your “agents” know how to handle the situation – they just take care of it. The interruptions are for anomalies where your insight is needed. This will be driven by the exascale information flow and the desire to drive latency out of the response to events. We will move from reactive to proactive to predictive and change the definition of response time to a negative number. Naturally, this will not happen for everyone at the same rate, but it will become a passion for some. The ongoing shift in design will cause circuits to be smaller and require less power, this will enable a wide range of ambient power generation sufficient for most devices, with devices power by ambient light, barometric shifts or the RF in the air around us.  This will make this environmental approach to computing untethered as well -- opening up whole new levels of possibility for identity, business and entertainment.

 

We should see the power of natural-language interfaces and advanced hybrid human/cloud insight capabilities that are always available allowing enterprises to support people in the field. We’ll have access to the knowledge of the enterprise at unprecedented levels, enabling new types of work styles and environments. Employees will be able to have instant knowledge of “who the experts are” based on their situation and what they are working on at any point in time. This will increase the value of the experts as well as the capabilities of every employee.

 

The security needs of the future will be merged and uniquely tailored to the role being performed at the time. The concept of a mobile device vs. a smart card vs. corporate/government identity will begin to blur as trusted identity services become linked and more flexible. Security standards will actually strengthen security rather than weaken it as our fragmented approach does today. This trust will allow for greater flexibility in our lives, since roles can be derived based on where I am as well as who I am.

 

The business IT environment will become an aggregation of services, provided by internal and external service providers. Business IT budgets will shift away from paying for licenses for software to paying for service levels – based on the businesses requirements. ERP and software vendors will not sell you software; service providers will provide access to meet your processing needs. The integration and security requirements will become the deciding factor for where to subscribe for services. This will cause businesses to have a much deeper understanding of their needs, since the service providers will be self-selecting the markets they want to support.

 

There will also be a shift from a data oriented view of how value is generated to a more context centric approach. Owning the data will be a cost of entry, the service providers who can provide the clarity and insight on the decision making process will have a significant advantage over those who remain data centric. The application of the vast computing capabilities on the roles, situations and information turning that contextual understanding into timely action by the businesses and its personnel will be the key measure of quality in a service provider.

 

The IT industry of 2017 is information fueled and the organizations the can bring the right combination of automation and employee attention together will be far ahead of their competitors. Big service providers will provide industry information, low cost processing, analytical insight, and security allowing businesses to focus on revenue generation optimization.

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