At the end of every year I grade my predications made in the previous December (2006, 2007,2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), so it has come time to look at those for 2012. 2012 has been quite a year for HP as well as the IT industry as a whole.
I said that 2012 would be a year of disruption with many of the issues and conflicts that I’ve discussed coming to a head. Issues like BYOD and the post PC era have had an effect on the IT market far outside just PCs. The continued slow economy has also taken its toll. On the other hand, many new technologies and investments have come to fruition, even if the market is not quite ready to embrace them.
I’ll grade myself with the following scale again this year:
- A: Big changes during the year that are having wide effect.
- B: Notable progress through the year and isolated areas of significant impact.
- C: Progress with some impact
- D: Little progress or impact – but work still taking place
- F: No progress or the concept abandoned in any commercial sense.
The demise of one of the large social media players
Twitter, Facebook and Linked-in are as strong as ever. I know of very few people who continue to use Google+, but it is still in use. There have been numerous new entries in the social space like Pinterest, so there is still room for significant innovation.
Revitalization of CASE tools
Although I see tools like this coming on the market, I’d say their impact was marginal. I think it will still happen, but this year has not been the turning point.
Analytics and complex even processing
Although we still have much further to go, analytics has been the big buzzword of 2012.
Use of more GPU and low power processors in computing platforms
We have definitely seen more activity in this space, and will likely see more in 2013.
Cloud computing will enter a new level of sophistication
The growth of standards and some of the lessons learned through failures in 2012 are making this happen.
2012 the year of Windows 8
Windows 8 has not taken off like a house afire, but it is definitely forcing organizations to rethink their interface and future in the windows environment. You can blame it on the end of the PC era or the poor economy or the fact that many of the biggest improvements from an enterprise perspective are just not all that noticeable at first glance. I think it is universally viewed that the removal of the “Start” button was a bridge too far for most of the users.
The adoption of enterprise app stores
This has also not taken place as rapidly as I’d thought. There are efforts underway and the value is well understood, but it has not yet reached a tipping point.
Based on these scores, my predictions were not as conservative as in recent years. As I finished up the post last year, since I’ll have my predictions for 2013 before the end of the month.
“Having said all that, it is a great time to be in IT. Most of our concerns are currently driven by an overabundance of capabilities that most organizations have not tapped into effectively. Those who can have the vision will be in for quite a ride this year as they look to do more with more.”
Silicon Angle had a post titled: Top IT “Transformation” Problems and How to Fix Them, describing some of the big issues organizations are facing today. The transformation elements are the typical list of cloud, big data… Another post at Silicon Angle was the Budget Squeeze which went into more details about the constraints that most organizations are under.
I was a bit surprised the post mentioning mobility (or the closely related BYOD). For those that are really active in addressing cloud issues, mobile and cloud are starting to merge together as two dimensions of a computing abundance strategy. It is a case of being pulled in many directions at the same time as having many of these issues coalesce into a common set of opportunities.
We have all these new capabilities that are coming in at lower costs than ever before which you would think would alleviate some of the budget issue, but organizations keep finding new ways to use these abilities (and use more of them) to add value and consume the abundance of resources and possibilities.
This means that the organization’s skills defining business value and justifying investment will be in higher demand than ever before. It is critical for the CIO to have a vision and convey that dream to others.
McKinsey had an interesting article last year called The Second Economy. It talks about the shift to having computers handle the normal situations in business going forward:
“Business processes that once took place among human beings are now being executed electronically. They are taking place in an unseen domain that is strictly digital. On the surface, this shift doesn’t seem particularly consequential—it’s almost something we take for granted.”
Much of this is caused by the fact that the attention of people is becoming more scarce as mobility and social techniques increase.
An example of this that we’ve probably all experienced is checking into a flight at the airport.
“These large and fairly complicated conversations that you’ve triggered occur entirely among things remotely talking to other things: servers, switches, routers, and other Internet and telecommunications devices, updating and shuttling information back and forth. All of this occurs in the few seconds it takes to get your boarding pass back.”
When a human does get involved in the transaction, it is a case of human augmented automation, where the people supplement the automated system handling the anomalies. What does this mean for the roles and skills future generations will require?
The McKinsey article then goes on to call this system a second (digital) economy.
As a business leader reads the article, they can think about the investments they have underway and decide if they are supporting the problems of yesterday or preparing for the future. Keynes wrote an article titled: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, that has held up very well. There are many parallels to what architects need to deal with today.
Technologists and business leaders today should figure out how to write the Enterprise Possibilities for our Grandchildren, so those institutions will be there for them.
“Wikibon found that the Intelligent Rack contributes about 70% of the benefit, for less than 6% additional cost (hardware and implementation cost). This makes the installation of Intelligent Racks as a standard for the data center a “no brainer” decision – it is cost-justified even if only 10% of the equipment in the rack can take full advantage of the environments.”
As a result in a typical enterprise with $1 Billion in revenues and an IT budget of $30M, and 40 racks in its data center, upgrading to intelligent racks over four years would cost $85,000 per year and provide annual benefits of about $300,000. At this relatively slow replacement rate, the ROA analysis shows that the Net Present Value of the investment would still be a reduction of $1.8 million dollars (on a total IT spend of $30 million dollars per year).
The report states that, only the HP version identifies physical assets in a simple way and provides a framework for improved asset management, power management, equipment management and utilization, and software management. HP’s solution was WIkibon’s recommendation as best-in-class at the time the report was created.
Here is a video about the Gen8 servers:
Back in 1862 (150 years ago) the US was in the midst of The American Civil War, yet on July 2nd of that year the federal land-grant law was passed. Nearly every state and US territory has a land grant university.
The land grant program was a strategic investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Agriculture that has much to do with making the USA what it is today.
I wanted to point this out on the 150th anniversary, only because it shows what the long term effect of a good investment can be. No matter how desperate the times, it can still pay to think strategically.