Enterprise IT computing goes back to the early 50's and the introduction of the IBM mainframe. However, it wasn't until the arrival of the PC in the early 80's that enterprise IT, both from the perspective of financial budgets, as well as from the perspective of employee consciousness began to take off. Since then, as depicted below, we believe that enterprise IT has gone through at least three major phases of growth and change.
We are now in the midst of the third major shift in enterprise computing. The first was from mainframe to personal computing, the second was from personal computing to client server computing, and the most recent shift is from client-server computing to ubiquitous computing. Most people associate this era with cloud computing, or mobile, or big data. We see things a bit differently. In particular we see the convergence represented in the graphic below herald the era of ubiquitous computing.
Well run IT organizations are moving away from worrying about keeping the lights on to building new digital products and services. Poorly run IT organization risk losing control of a significant percentage of their IT budgets to the business units run by the Chief Marketing Officer, and increasingly the Chief Digital Officer.
In our experience, the more forward thinking IT organizations have started to embrace and champion this convergence. We believe, that if done right, products and services built for the era of ubiquitous computing can transform not just the IT organization, but also the business itself. This will occur primarily through:
Data is growing exponentially; in particular, unstructured machine generated data. This trend will only accelerate as the Internet of Things begins to increasingly come online. The most successful enterprises will harness actionable insight from this data, and use it to their competitive advantage.
HUMAN RESOURCE ELASTICITY
Companies will increasingly have to tap into labor pools outside their own organization for both commoditized and premium skills for opposite reasons. Companies will not be able to compete effectively on cost without accessing commoditized labor marketplaces, and on revenue without accessing premium labor marketplaces.