A torrent of conversations are taking place across every form of media about technology change rapidly taking place. You may think it’s always been that way, but there’s something much faster and more urgent happening right now.
Some of those conversations come as discreet bits like this week’s rumor about the Apple ‘iWatch’ and others are ‘bucket’ stories about A Whole New World Of Mobile Markets: Cars, Photos, TV’s, Wallets And More.
Regardless of the hashtag, they’re actually about cloud computing.
A remarkable shift is happening under our computing and data feet to a world of skinny fronts ends and Cloud back ends, accessed from anywhere on any device and in real-time. The change is led by our phones-that-became-smart and is followed (a bit more slowly) by what’s happening in the enterprise.
Those enterprises are move more slowly because they have so much invested in people, process and technology. Who could blame them?
Unfortunately, that’s going to make piles of trash out chunks of past investment. Many companies are adding to that future pile as we speak. Some know it, some don’t.
For companies who figure it out, their executives are still going to be hard-pressed to make decisions about significant change for two compelling reasons:
- It takes guts to toss the ideas that were championed just a short time ago
- Change is scary and big change is also big risk
But there’s urgency. These two reasons are immutable truths and the sooner they’re accepted, the sooner people can move forward to the pressing issues. The challenge? Moving forward by yourself is a foolish proposition and maybe more risky than staying where you are.
Consulting and enterprise software have outsized roles to play in helping the enterprise make it through the change intact. To do that, though, they’ll need to be ‘first mile companies’ and not ‘last mile’ service providers. Last mile is traditional vocabulary for phone companies who struggled with connecting the customer as the hardest part of a network or phone call.
Borrowing from this idea for technology, the first mile is innovation and rapid change (cloud is found here), the middle is on-premise software and the last mile is simple services (like apps) on commoditized devices (like smartphones, tablets and desktops). Bring your own device (BYOD) makes the last mile less interesting and the first mile very compelling.
Enterprise software turn
Expect the traditional enterprise software companies and their consulting partners to make a hard turn toward cloud computing in the coming year. Some things will never go away, like the need to integrate, move and act upon data it in real-time.
It will just take place in the Cloud.