This year’s predictions entry have been triggered by a recent WSJ article by Marc Andreessen, one of the most noted, early inspirations that created what the web is today not withstanding his continued support through the VC firm, Andreessen-Horowitz.
The question of whether ‘Why Software is Eating Everything’ the world is not so much a question, more a function of the increasing pervasiveness of software both conspicuous and inconspicuous across our day to day lives and in how we conduct business.
Whether it is watching my 3 year old playing learning with what used to be my iPad, or the ease at which I can broadcast live video from my phone to bring my scattered family together, it’s helpful to consider a timeline of where we might be in the technology and software revolution to try and assess where this is leading us. Andreessen adroitly pin points where we might be
“…six decades into the computer revolution, four decades since the invention of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the technology required to transform industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered at global scale.”
A perspective such as this encompasses so many revolutions it’s difficult to quantify at a macro level, or distill this into discrete elemental tell of where the next big shift will occur. The key for, at least for my own perspective, is that the scale of software has reached a point that will drive innovations and creativity in verticals, industries, cultures, and politics that are make it impossible or even disingenuous to make any solid projections as to what may come.
Whatever does come however has the ability to have global impact. The rise of the cloud computing under the guise of SaaS, and more productized plays across PaaS, IaaS, DaaS, delivers the tools at a previously unimaginable low cost that offers the ability to change the status quo and importantly the shot at toppling the assumed center of decision making it has time to react. No one in software will be immune to the cloud affect, and the much over used journalist characterization of the cloud ‘paradigm shift’ will be realized.
If the forecast for cloud is rosy as general consensus suggests the framework of bringing software to market will develop another hotspot, not unlike a performance spike in an agile sprint. GTM as a service is a the next bottle neck that will quickly emerge to serve the needs of business built on the cloud, allowing products to pivot to cultural and highly localized requirements. Further, these platforms will be driven not so much by one to many GTM plans, but will be driven by the rapidly emerging social enterprise for mobile, enterprise and cloud customers.
No projection for 2012 and beyond can avoid the key topic that is the glue that ties all of this together – Big Data. While 2011 saw the Hadoop core and sister projects move to what can now be described as a flexible data platform, the challenge of providing the tools, storage and data persistence are all the seeds for the Cloud generation of innovators are scrambling for. There is equal opportunity to succeed and fail miserably here but the opportunity space can be divided into those who focus on allowing those with established investments leverage the Big Data world, and those who provide ground-up, a new set of tools to succeed. At Progress DataDirect, you’ll see lots of activity from us on this opportunity space early in 2012 and well beyond, so stay tuned.
So for this year, I’ll cite one of the more entertaining gifts that appeared from under the tree this year - Goodnight iPad. It once again reinforced the world my 3 year old (and soon #2 child) will is growing up in. They are growing up with an assumed birth right of data accessibility, that is something this generation has striven to provide. What will the next generation do with the flexibility and data opportunity that has been built? Time will tell. Perhaps a safe bets is that they may read these musings from their old man in years to come and I’ll be subjected to a deserved mocking, or I’ll be proven right.
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