Archive for December 12th, 2008

2008 Predictions – how did I do?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Last year, just for a bit of fun, I joined the ill advised forecasting fraternity and soothsayed my way through 2008 making wild guesses about UK enterprise software trends.  Looking back, how did I do?

  1. The credit crunch will continue to affect IT spending for 2008.  This will mean a trend away from major IT projects and smaller more incremental projects will be more in vogue.  A new born baby could have predicted this one but I certainly didn’t envisage the scale of the problem caused by Lehmans in September!
  2. The length of time senior people stay in post is ever reducing.  This will continue to drive short termism and this will strengthen the enterprise resolve to look for incremental, rather than big bang change.  Executive bonuses are frequently paid against cost/income ratios or short term profits.  Major investments in large capital projects do not pay back in the required time period to fulfil bonus aspirations.  I don’t have any data on this but I sense it is even more pertinent right now as we stare gloomily into a “short term or bust” depression.
  3. Software as a Service (SaaS) and the like will become increasingly adopted by the enterprise as business users vote with their feet on offerings from the internal IT department that are too slow, too expensive and too capital hungry.  Not sure about this one.  I probably expected more of my customers to move to salesforce.com for example.
  4. Despite this, Web 2.0 technologies sold as Enterprise 2.0 (wikis, social networking, mashups et al) will be slower to take off despite the buzz.  Still agree here although very recently I’ve seen one or two people thinking a bit harder about internal social networking/KM etc.
  5. SOA will continue to be hyped by the big vendors but successful case studies will still be slow to emerge.  Anyone who has a real genuine success story where a meaningful ROI was derived, please ping it over.
  6. Enterprise IT departments will start to realise that they need to align themselves more closely with the business.  They are ideally positioned to advise the business on how to use all IT, whether internal or external, built or purchased, collaborative or silo based.  The IT function will hopefully start to be seen as a trusted adviser rather than an obstructive gatekeeper.  I have sadly seen little evidence of this in the UK.  I have sincere hopes for 2009.
  7. The percentage of IT budget spent on compliance issues will increase, especially in UK financial services where CCA 2006, MiFID, TCF (Treating Customers Fairly) and SOX, for example, will all feature.  In retail banking right now, compliance/legal seems to be the only reason for budget approval of a project.
  8. Security will remain a critical issue and automatically features right at the top of every CIO agenda. Because of various high profile customer data leaks in 2007, data protection will be a big ticket initiative in many large organisations.  Another one that anyone with damp ear behinds could have predicted – related to compliance (above)
  9. The green agenda will gather momentum with all organisations attaching increased importance to social and environmental responsibility. “Green computing” will be one of the hyped phrases of 2008.  The phrase was hyped but once the credit crunch started to bite, green credentials slip down the list behind business survival.
  10. And finally, I hope Blue Prism will continue to grow rapidly, serving and adding value for all its stakeholders: Customers; staff; business partners; investors and government (taxes).  Happy to report a record year of profitable growth.