IT is getting more and more important to every business. It not only automates their operations, but also defines the face of the company to its customers, via its website. Whether executives want to squeeze more productivity out of the workforce, or move into new product areas and geographies, IT is the basic enabler. Many businesses are now in fact IT companies; think of your basic current account bank, which sells an online application for financial management.
So what will corporate IT look like, in ten years time? Here are some predictions
- There will be three shapes of computer: mobile, portable, and office; but all will consist of a browser and fast internet connection.
- Everything will be web-based. That means you will be able to connect to anything (your office phone, documents, email, business applications, etc) from anywhere in the world, by simply typing in the relevant URL.
- Everyone will procure an online communications, collaboration and office suite from a third party. That includes voice, email, wiki, document editing, and social networking. Google Apps will be used to create more documents than Microsoft Office and to access more voicemails than AT&T.
- 80% of software (e.g. HR, CRM, ERP) will be online services procured from third parties. Salesforce's revenues will go up by 50% annually for ten years.
- The other 20% will be online applications developed in-house, to provide a competitive advantage.