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Responding to Jeroen’s 2012 Surprises

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EMC IIG Chief Architect Jeroen VanRotterdam suggests five things that may surprise us in 2012. It was a very thought provoking post and you should check it out. I had a few ideas in response but it was a little long for the comments so I thought I would post them here.

I’ll recap each of Jeroen’s surprises but you should really read his post first to get his take.

#1 Mobile Adoption Lowers Productivity (at least temporarily)

I agree there will be a loss but I don’t think that app maturity is the root cause. I think it is much simpler than that. I believe it is the uncontrolled access to non-business apps that serve as a distraction. Back in the day when PC’s first started showing up on everybody’s desk, management waged a configuration management war on FreeCell and other games. The logic is simple – you are supposed to be working not playing. Eventually though the work to block and remove the unwanted applications exceeded the productivity recovered by keeping people from playing with them. People are going to find diversions – if not on screen in the break room. I agree it has to do with maturity but it is of the people not the apps. As mobile access is integrated into our working life there will be an adjustment period as people explore, learn, categorize and eventually properly prioritize their activities. An initial hit to productivity that eventually levels off and the gains that access to the apps provides overtake any losses.

#2 – Google Will Drop GoogleDocs

Interesting idea and I see the logic but I don’t think so – Google Docs is starting to show up in interesting places that have longer term impact on the behavior of the masses. For example there is huge growth in use of Google Docs by public school systems for all manner of purposes. Expansion into public sector and other tech budget starved places will keep it alive. The hype to adoption ratio for GoogleDocs is much more in balance with reality than the more notable services killed by Google. (Wave) – It is far more likely that Google+ goes away in two years than GoogleDocs IMHO.

#3 – Yahoo Returns To Success With Enterprise Apps

I agree that there is immense value in the Yahoo portfolio that could be released to the enterprise. The problem with this surprise is that is totally dependent on their management getting its act together – I would not predict this without a shift in leadership first.

#4 – More Tablet Users in India than the rest of the World

I completely agree with this point. Nothing more to add.

#5 – “Occupy Oracle”

Comparing Oracle to totalitarian state may be a little harsh but I won’t dispute that it has felt that way. The problem is that many of these CIO’s have just as much of their own careers invested in an Oracle regime. Just as they do for IBM and Microsoft. When it comes to rip and replace though the inertia of legacy Oracle systems prevents most from doing anything meaningful just because there is cheaper technology. The game changer that he didn’t reference is the cloud. The cost savings of moving systems off-premise and rearchitecting them for consumption based pricing is the thing that most threatens the old guard’s dominance by upending the ball and chain of legacy license models.  Oracle has yet to come up with a reasonable defense against this assault on their dominance.

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