The predictions highlight areas where executives and IT professionals need to take action in 2008. The full impact of these trends may not appear this year, but executives need to act now so that they can exploit the trends for their competitive advantage.
1) Apple will double its U.S. and Western Europe unit market share in computers.
2) 50% of traveling workers will leave their notebooks at home and use other mobile devices for Internet access.
3) 80% of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology.
4) At least 1/3 of business application software spending will be service subscription instead of product license.
5) Early technology adopters will purchase 40% of their IT infrastructure as a service.
6) More than 1/3 of IT organizations will have environmental criteria in their top-six buying criteria for IT-related goods.
7) 75% of organizations will use “full life cycle energy” and “CO2 footprint” as mandatory hardware buying criteria.
8 ) Suppliers to large global enterprises will need to prove their green credentials with an audit in order to retain preferred supplier status.
9) End-user preferences will decide as much as half of all software, hardware and services acquisitions made by IT.
10) The number of 3-D printers in homes and businesses will grow 100-fold over 2006 levels.
Initially, the motivation will come from the wish to contain costs. Enterprise data centres are struggling to keep pace with the increasing power requirements of their infrastructures. And there is substantial potential to improve the environmental footprint, throughout the life cycle, of all IT products and services without any significant trade-offs in price or performance. In future, IT organisations will shift their focus from the power efficiency of products to asking service providers about their measures to improve energy efficiency.
Increased high-speed bandwidth makes it practical to locate infrastructure at other sites and still receive the same response times. Enterprises believe that as service oriented architecture (SOA) becomes common “cloud computing” will take off, thus untying applications from specific infrastructure. This trend to accepting commodity infrastructure could end the traditional “lock-in” with a single supplier and lower the costs of switching suppliers. It means that IT buyers should strengthen their purchasing and sourcing departments to evaluate offerings. They will have to develop and use new criteria for evaluation and selection and phase out traditional criteria.
With software as service (SaaS), the user organisation pays for software services in proportion to use. This is fundamentally different from the fixed-price perpetual license of the traditional on-premises technology. Endorsed and promoted by all leading business applications vendors (Oracle, SAP, Microsoft) and many Web technology leaders (Google, Amazon), the SaaS model of deployment and distribution of software services will enjoy steady growth in mainstream use during the next five years.
Many open-source technologies are mature, stable and well supported. They provide significant opportunities for vendors and users to lower their total cost of ownership and increase returns on investment. Ignoring this will put companies at a serious competitive disadvantage. Embedded open source strategies will become the minimal level of investment that most large software vendors will find necessary to maintain competitive advantages during the next five years.
Even though notebooks continue to shrink in size and weight, traveling workers lament the weight and inconvenience of carrying them on their trips. Vendors are developing solutions to address these concerns: new classes of Internet-centric pocketable devices at the sub-$400 level; and server and Web-based applications that can be accessed from anywhere. There is also a new class of applications: portable personality that encapsulates a user’s preferred work environment, enabling the user to recreate that environment across multiple locations or systems.
Apple’s gains in computer market share reflect as much on the failures of the rest of the industry as on Apple’s success. Apple is challenging its competitors with software integration that provides ease of use and flexibility; continuous and more frequent innovation in hardware and software; and an ecosystem that focuses on interoperability across multiple devices (such as iPod and iMac cross-selling).
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|And though U.S. states increasingly require that electronics be sent to collection and recycling centers, even from those centers, American firms can send the e-waste abroad legally because Congress hasn’t ratified the Basel Convention.
The results are visible on the streets of Guiyu, where the e-waste industry employs an estimated 150,000 people. Shipping containers of computer parts, old video games, computer screens, cell phones and electronics of all kinds, from ancient to nearly new, are dumped onto the streets and sorted for dismantling and melting.
Christopher Bodeen, China: E-Waste and Environmental Disaster
Michael Zhao provides a glimpse of Guiyu in this YouTube video. You can view his excellent 20-min documentary about life in Guiyu at his Web site.
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|One of the Highlights in the [Q4] earnings statement picked up by the geek press was about Amazon’s online data and storage services:
Jack Schofield, Amazon delivers financial results, says Kindle is a sell-out
Thanks to Dennis Shiao for the cloud watch tip. It’s interesting that Amazon is using bandwidth as the success metric.