IDC made a presentation in late November on ten predictions for the next decade on and about the so-called third platform technologies. The presentation was geared heavily towards the B2C industry segment, but I found the following predictions especially interesting.
- #1: 90% of IT industry developments are going to happen in the so-called 3rdplatform
- #8: Trend is towards involvement of line of business leadership in major IT
- #10: More businesses are adopting cloud based solutions. Data initiatives are moving “up the stack” towards analytics and discovery
The 3rd platform in Prediction #1 refers to the “mobile devices and apps” platform in the presentation. I asked if this presentation is exclusively about the B2C domain because the mobile device, as yet, is not the tool most professionals would use at work. The IDC presenters confirmed that the survey had B2B representation and the predictions are applicable to that industry segment as well – though to a lesser extent than the B2C sector. The 3rd platform, as per their definition, includes not only the mobile devices and social apps, but also cloud services and big data analytics. I looked at Predictions #8, #10 through the lens of a B2B cloud applications provider.
Prediction #8 is consistent with our experiences with our cloud based analytical applications across the industry. Whether marketing or warranty operations or insurance, our customers have been line of business leaders. Their goal has been to use cloud analytics to embed analytics in their processes without incurring IT overhead. Their IT counterparts have been supportive and have played the role of facilitator to the decisionmaker. I concurred with IDC’s assessment in that regard.
Prediction #10 makes sense because there is so much fresh ground to plough with new data sources coming about every other week. Each popular application is collecting data on its users and needs incremental processing capability to harvest something useful on or about the user-base. However, I wanted to consider this from the perspective of a B2B cloud analytics service provider and separate the hype from reality. Most businesses would not discard in-house technologies and teams to move to cloud based applications – even if there are significant benefits of doing so. The legacy organization and processes are difficult to supplant. There are very specific business environments where cloud analytics not only makes sense but also can overcome organizational inertia. Our engagement on deploying our cloud applications has happened in one of the two following scenarios
- the business is medium sized (<$1B), its analytical maturity is Level 3 or less. They like our embedded analytics proposition. Getting cloud based applications is the fastest route to gain process intelligence without breaking the bank; or
- the business is large with an analytical maturity of Level 4. However it has newdata sources vis-a-vis consumer telematics or social media, and wants to derive the benefits from these new data without incurring IT overhead on a first-of-a-kind implementation.