Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 Predictions Scorecard

It’s the end of the year, the time when many pundits like to publish their predictions for 2013. I have already started working on mine but since I am not an industry analyst, I like to first revisit how I did with my Content Management Predictions for 2012. So, here is the scorecard for my 2012 predictions:

1. Big Data will be the hype of the year
Boy did I get this one right! There is hardly a day without some article published about the Big Data revolution. Throughout 2012, Big Data was the solution for the problem - any problem. You take 10 experts and you’ll get 10 definitions of Big Data. In reality, most people started saying Big Data when they just meant ‘data’ or when they meant ‘understanding the data’ which really means analytics. Yet, no conversation could go on and no press article could be written without mentioning Big Data. Big Data became the hype of the year.
Verdict: Hit, Score: 1/1

2. “Social” becomes a feature
This prediction has also come true. Salesforce already had released Chatter last year, now SAP has Jam, and Oracle has different social offerings integrated with the respective applications: Oracle Social Relationship Management, Oracle Social Network, Oracle Social Marketing, etc. OpenText (my employer) ships today OpenText Tempo Social as well as capabilities such as Social BPM which is a social-based decision-making step in a business process. The stand-alone social software market is being rapidly consolidated with players such as Yammer acquired by Microsoft and the once red-hot Jive trading below the level from 12 months ago.

My prediction that SharePoint 15 - now called SharePoint 2013 - would be the catalyst for this featurization of social software has also come true. Well, at least that was the message about Yammer that Microsoft offered at the SharePoint Conference 2012.
Verdict: Hit, Score: 2/2

3. SharePoint will solve every problem, again
My prediction was that Microsoft would freeze the market in 2012, with aggressive marketing of the not yet shipping SharePoint 2013. That’s what happened with every previous version of SharePoint and it was not a stretch to expect that it would happen again. Yet, Microsoft has had a different idea. They have bet the farm on Office 365, Windows 8, and Surface. SharePoint didn’t get anywhere near the attention of the years past. In fact, Microsoft recently increased the pricing of SharePoint by 15% which makes me speculate that they have reached the point of market saturation. This move suggests that Microsoft came to the conclusion that new features no longer help to add new customers. I’ve failed on this prediction as SharePoint is obviously no longer a strategic priority for Microsoft (I’m sure the SharePoint product team will disagree with me but well, my blog my opinion...Besides, I’m losing a point here, OK?)
Verdict: Miss, Score: 2/3

4. Rise of the hybrid cloud
Throughout 2012, it became apparent that the cloud is the way to go. Many original concerns related to cloud deployments such as security have been set to rest. That said, customers are in no rush to move their existing applications, and certainly not existing data into the cloud. That leads ultimately to discussions about what information should reside in the cloud and what should remain on premises. A private cloud is a popular alternative when concerns about issues such as legal discovery and data sovereignty arise - as the public cloud services are usually fairly ignorant about such issues. Finally, I also see that some of the mature cloud vendors developed many on-premises add-ons and integrations - just see how Salesforce is being integrated with on-premises ERP and Marketing Automation software. All of that mix of public, private, and on premises deployments is basically the idea behind a hybrid cloud.
Verdict: Hit, Score: 3/4

5. Cloudy outlook for open source
My argument here was that the cloud would obscure the open source argument - if I’m running my software in the cloud, who cares if it is open source or proprietary, right? On one hand, I stand behind my prediction. Customers using cloud services such as Evernote or Dropbox don’t care whether such services are based on open source software or proprietary code. That said, many of the clouds have been heavy adopters of open source technology, primarily motivated by the need to keep the cost as low as possible. That actually promoted open source to some degree in 2012. Also, my point above about integrating cloud applications with on-premises software makes open source cloud applications interesting for developers again. Hence, this one is a tie.
Verdict: Tie, Score: 3.5/5

6. Consumerization is here to stay
Oh yes, consumerization has taken hold in the enterprise. The new term is “bring your own device” or BYOD. If Big Data was the top buzzword on 2012, BYOD was a close second. Consumerization arrived and it is wreaking havoc in the enterprise. The plethora of mobile devices in the enterprise is actually a much lesser problem than the consumer-class services that are being used by employees with no regard to corporate policies, regulations, legal exposure or compliance. I expect that fixing this issue will be a major source of my paycheck over the next ten years.
Verdict: Hit, Score: 4.5/6

7. End of convergence
My argument was all those electronic gadgets will not be replaced by your smartphone. This is  one that many pundits might disagree with. I’ve been reading about how smartphones are replacing cameras and GPS devices. Yes, they do, when you don’t have a camera handy and forget to bring your GPS! Similarly, the iPad didn’t replace my laptop and I have my little Canon camera always with me. While the Swiss Army Knife is very cool and every guy wants to have one, it doesn’t replace your bread knife, butter knife, and carving knife.
Verdict: Hit, Score: 5.5/7

8. HTML5 won’t kill apps
On November 19th, Apple supposedly reached 1 million apps submitted to the App Store. Those are native apps. There is nothing wrong with HTML5 and it will gain a huge popularity but no, it hasn’t replaced the native apps in 2012.
Verdict: Hit, Score: 6.5/8

9. Tipping point for analytics
Analytics have been enjoying a big buzz in 2012. Mostly because of Big Data - analytics seem to be the universal cure for all aches related to Big Data. In fact, when people say Big Data, they usually mean “understanding the data” and that’s where analytics comes in. Analytics are hot and a lot of innovations occurred in 2012. At OpenText, we've released Auto-Classification - a new product based on a powerful content analytics technology. Other vendors are following suit. Yet, analytics have not quite entered the mainstream as I had predicted. It’s happening but it takes longer and I’ll call it a tie.
Verdict: Tie, Score: 7/9

10. ECM, what’s next?
I had predicted that the industry’s quest to find a replacement term for ECM would continue but that we would stick with ECM yet again. We did. The vendors tried various terms. AIIM’s “systems of record” and “systems of engagement” terminology actually stuck, but it didn’t replace ECM. In fact, even the hip new vendors like Box are now talking about Content Management. OpenText introduced its new positioning leading with Enterprise Information Management (EIM), but ECM remains a key EIM category. ECM is still the term that rules.
Verdict: Hit: Score: 8/10

Well, that’s it. The score of 8 out of 10 is not bad, is it? This has been an exciting year. The convergence of many technology trends continued and their impact on the enterprise started to take shape. 2013 will be even more interesting, I’m sure! I plan to publish my 2013 predictions in the first week of the new year. Until then, Merry Christmas and a happy new year!


  1. I think predictions should be specific enough to be either right or wrong. Dow hits 15k, Miami wins Superbowl, etc. These seems a bit general.

    1. Well, yes. Perhaps that's the difference between predictions and forecast? Thanks for commenting!

  2. I have a feeling that some of these predictions will still be making their presence felt at the middle part of the year. I think this holds true for hybrid cloud specifically, considering how marketers, industry bosses and other top movers are putting far more focus on the system than before.