Year-End Technology Thoughts

2014 brought a lot of changes to the technology industry, but 2015 (and 2016) could bring even more.
Posted December 23, 2014

Rob Enderle

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We are approaching the end of 2014, and there are a huge number of changes coming in 2015. For my last piece for this year, let’s talk about the year that was and the year that is coming.

SecOps Was Born

A new category of enterprise software linking security and operations was born this year. The cause was the increase in unusual and very damaging attacks on the enterprise. This showcased a huge problem: right now IT and Security don’t work well together. The attacks are driving a change, forcing the two groups to cooperate much more closely in order to better prevent the kinds of problems that Heartbleed and the Sony hack created.

While BMC is leading in this category at the moment, I expect it to broaden to other firms quickly and lead to deeper alliances between systems management software companies and security companies over time.

The PC Came back to Life

We spent most of the first part of the decade talking about the death of the PC, but in 2014 the PC came back with a vengeance. And tablets weakened, surprising pretty much everyone. Largely driven by Dell Lenovo, HP, Intel and Microsoft, suddenly what was dead was undead. Life and revenue flowed freely as people decided the tablets they had were good enough, and the PCs they had needed to be replaced.

Phablets Went Mainstream

Large phones, which had always been kind of a bad joke prior to this year, went mainstream in 2014 with the help of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus launch, which validated the segment. Samsung was also clearly a major early driver of this size change, but it took Apple getting on board to make it real.

IBM + Apple

Speaking of Apple, one of the most surprising alliances in the year was between Apple and IBM. The companies had partnered badly in the past, and Steve Jobs had a deep and well-publicized hatred for IBM. Tim Cook had a very different view, and they have already launched ten applications.

However, real benefits likely won’t result until Apple builds hardware that better meets IT and IBM security requirements, and IBM Cloud services start hosting Apple Cloud services. These moves should highlight the true power of this relationship.

Subject Matter Expert CEOs

Both AMD and Microsoft demonstrated the power of switching to subject matter expert CEOs. This helped AMD pivot to provide more customized processors to a vastly larger number of customers.

At Microsoft, the change was even more pronounced. The firm quickly moved from appearing like it was standing still and churning to competing heavily again. They are moving quickly to reverse many of the bad decisions that were made over the last decade.

It is interesting to note that both CEOs' predecessors actually set the stage for this success prior to their departure but likely won't get the credit for the huge improvements in both firms expected this year and next.

We should remember this lesson this time.

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