TECH TALK: Disruptions: Software, First Markets, Putting IT Together

Software: Packaged, Silos to On-demand, Suites

Software is becoming a service, delivered on-demand over the network. This is a big shift from the world of packaged software which stored information in their own silos and required consultants or expensive enterprise application integration tools to integrate the different applications. Even as the application service provider (ASP) model makes a comeback, the emphasis is shifting to integrated suites. This is one of the factors that is driving consolidation in the enterprise software market.

From the perspective of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the software-as-a-service model gives them the capability to leapfrog non-consumption and automate their businesses rapidly at price points they can afford.

First Markets: Mass-Market, West to Micro-Markets, East

Someone I was talking to recently mentioned that the sun first rises in the east and finally sets in the west. He used this as a reference to the emergence of the Asian countries as the harbingers of tomorrows technology. Led by Japan and South Korea, with China and India as fast followers, and the US as a laggard, new technology is following the footprint of the sun.

The mass-market is giving way to a long tail of markets. Tomorrows world is not just about targeting what is popular culture, but focusing on what are our likes. It is about finding the niches and serving them.

Putting It Together

The future can be viewed as shifts from the present. What will be these shifts? Each shift can be thought of as a disruption, and therefore an opportunity. Once we understand what is going to change, we will then need to understand how we can catalyse and capitalise on these disruptions. What is needed is to apply these ideas to the industry we operate in.

As an example, Gerd Leonhard identifies the transformation we are seeing around us:

The Great Transition:
* Music Industry (top down) to Peer to Peer (bottom-up)
* Scheduled Television to Tivo
* Media Publishing to Weblogs
* Client-server applications to Web services
* Circuit-switched telephony to VOIP
* Licensed cellular to Unlicensed wireless

The Key Megatrends related to the digital entertainment industry:
1. The on-demand media lifestyle is here
2. The end of customer sacrifices is near (music !!)
3. Everybody is short of time, and must make choices
4. The end of browsing is near (see Google morph)(This may be controversial though)
5. In media, the traditional scarcity principle of valuation morphs into the ubiquity paradigm
6. Radio is finally unbound (by spectrum or schedule)
7. Consumers are starting to generate their own content
8. A mass of niche markets evolves (lowest common denominator concerns becomes irrelevant)
9. Time-shifting and space-shifting and device shifting become standard
10. Long-tail opportunities are everywhere.

Tomorrow: Personal View

TECH TALK Disruptions+T

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.