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January 27, 2016updated 28 Mar 2017 4:16pm

Predictions for 2016

By John Oates

The trouble with being a reporter is that while you’re trained to properly describe events in the past lots of people, and editors, believe that this makes you good at predicting events in the future.
But as we all know – past performance is not an indicator of future success.

However we can do some modest crystal-ball gazing for 2016.
Let’s start with what we won’t see:

We won’t see another big desktop software release from Microsoft – Windows 10 is the last big desktop release. The company is following the rest of the software industry moving away from the old days of big releases and major upgrades.

Software of the future will be under constant development. There will be tiny tweaks on a weekly or even daily basis rather than the old roadmap model which saw IT departments on a roundabout of piloting, testing and rolling out new software.

This means software performance needs to be monitored in real-time, not just as part of one month testing process – testing as well as development need to be continual.

We won’t see any move back to unified business infrastructure.
Business infrastructure is going to get more complicated and more varied not less.

More services from more providers will be added to the mix without quite replacing existing infrastructure.

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Moves to mobility, cloud services and deeper collaboration will increase the need for truly interoperable infrastructure.

We will see:

The role of big data and business intelligence will start to move out of central data centres. As real world ‘Internet of Things’ products and projects begin to emerge so we can expect intelligence and analysis to move to the edge of the network.

Increasing numbers of staff will need access to these tools, not just department heads and directors.

Data analysis will be used increasingly to shape future products rather than just tweaking how old products are sold.

This might also be the year when the data itself becomes a product. If you are a retailer which is spending good money analysing your own sales performance why not turn that business insight into a product you sell to other retailers?

There will be concerns over ‘giving away the secret sauce’ but we expect more and more companies to be selling at least some of their own data, or at least products based on it.

There will be increasing demand for enterprise technology which works like consumer technology.

The days of specialised systems with specialised operators have gone. No one expects to need training on new systems any more. New software needs to be like a good mobile app – you can work it out almost instantly – or with the help of a five minute chat with a colleague.

This year might also see the end of ‘mobile’.
As we’re increasingly mobile almost all the time so the value of a ‘mobile’ version of any business service disappears.

We just want the same the service wherever we happen to be.

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