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The 2020 enterprise software un-predictions

Jon Reed & Brian Sommer Profile picture for user jonandbrian December 5, 2019
Had your fill of smug, obvious and self-congratulatory tech predictions? You've come to the right place. At diginomica, we don't play the predictions game - but Brian and Jon have your un-predictions covered.


Those technology savants, Brian and Jon, are at it again: predicting things no other prognosticator can (or will!). They have teamed up once again to determine what 2020 events will/won't happen.

Of course, Brian and Jon provide these tongue-in-cheek un-predictions with their usual snark, flippancy and self-mockery. Let's hope they are wrong as often as they (usually) were in 2019, or we're all in trouble. Enjoy!

Top 11 Un-Predictions for 2020

1. A courageous Silicon Valley firm makes news when it hires its first over-50-year-old coder.

2. An ERP vendor's development team goes into crisis when its new intelligent analytics solution suggests that the "next best action" is to destroy itself.

3. WeWork, a purveyor of office space, rebrands to be a provider of frat houses. They claim it will be a "smooth transition" for its brand image.

4. A leading CRM vendor apologizes for announcing its brand-spanking-new "Customer Data Platform," when their CDP is found on a five-year-old product sheet - under a different acronym.

5. A Gartner analyst is relegated to doing a mainframe Magic Quadrant after they label the Forrester Research Wave Methodology as "Visionary."

6. SAP executives mistake a customer's letter to them mentioning X's and O's as a love letter instead of a customer experience query. The confusion reaches a peak on Valentine's Day.

7. Oil producers flock to old-school ERP vendors in 2020 to learn best practices on wallet-fracking, and are humbled to learn so many new ways of milking their install base.

8. A major hyperscaler will claim that its Ritalin-powered sales force is more "hyperactive" than that of its competitors!

9. Amazon and Microsoft agree to settle their legal maneuvering over the JEDI contract award. Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella will go at each other with Light Sabers instead - may the force be with the winner of this one!

10. Google proudly declares it has achieved the sought-after state of "Quantum Absurdity." (Quantum Absurdity is achieved when 1,000 tech writers have compulsively written about your as-yet-unproven questionable myopic threshold of Quantum Supremacy)

11. A group of robots walks out of an enterprise event to protest an all-human panel.

New tech buzzwords for 2020

It wouldn't be a new year without some shiny new, self-driving buzzwords to impress your synergy-weary friends.

RIPA - in 2020, RPA will morph into: “Rest In Peace Automation” as the planned market uptake hasn’t even sniffed the hype that has accompanied it.

Chatbotch - this is what happens when a chatbot's AI logic gets confused when vendors load it up with crappy data sets, and set it loose in the wild.

The algo blues - this describes how users feel when an algorithm robotically delivers unwelcome news (e.g., when an ATS unceremoniously rejects a jobseeker’s application).

Altitude sickness - when a hyperscaler sends one of its customers an unexpectedly high bill.

Fraudit - how an ERP vendor cooks up a bunch of audit charges that can miraculously go away with the customer buying a bunch of new shelfware.

Platulence - the result of marketers hyping up a pile of unrelated micro-services as a “platform.”

Systems of disengagement - What you call a software suite that is so ugly, so expensive and so complicated that prospects flee for their lives.

Big gamification- when vendors turn the exceptional challenge of understanding their big data strategy into a contest.

Kubernutty - What coders call a bad design decision that their manager insists they program.

Eleven more un-predictions for the toasty tarmac

  1. Based on the 20+ ex-jock keynotes he endured this year, Brian finally acknowledges that "giving 110 percent" isn't good enough. He commits to "giving "125%" in writing up future vendor conferences.
  2. Jon gets booted from an analyst summit when his Emotional Support Shetland Pony kicks five software executives each time they say the word "synergy."
  3. A vendor hands out branded handkerchiefs in advance of their CEO's emotional story of overcoming adversity as a middle-class child growing up on the mean streets of Atherton, California.
  4. The first use of new drone tech by an ERP vendor is to unleash them inside a customer's data center and work areas to monitor customer software usage.
  5. An enterprise software customer requests that the FTC add their software salesperson to the Do Not Call List. Sadly, this works as well as the real list does with telemarketers.
  6. A vendor's "smart assistant" keynote demo goes horribly wrong when the assistant asks the CEO if it needs to reschedule his Oriental massage appointment. No happy ending here, folks!
  7. Two leading IoT executives must be separated during a heated argument over paternity rights for the term "Industry 6.0". A baffled Maury Povich is unable to determine ' who's the father' .
  8. Quantum computing saves AI, embedded analytics saves data visualization, and CDP saves CX.
  9. Facebook announces a bold new Libra cryptocurrency beta on a 5G-powered, serverless blockchain, dedicated to the fashion marketplace needs of the hot yoga community.
  10. To complement today's autonomous databases, vendors create autonomous contracts that dynamically change. When customers request a discount, the autonomous contract helpfully changes it to say "increase document surcharges."
  11. The top five enterprise motivational speakers are all forced to leave the circuit when software vendors implement mandatory drug testing for keynote speakers. The speakers blame the issue on a hands-on demo from Cannabis industry customers.

All good things must come to a (robotic) end...

  • Jon and Brian announce this is the last year of hand-crafted un-predictions. Next year, a bot will craft the “artisanal un-predictions 2.0.”
  • Some things never change - - - Wally from Dilbert is still stuck on his project, lost in scope creep. Brian has never gotten on Facebook.

Sneak preview - upcoming tech entertainment for 2020

We thought readers would want to know which blockbusters will strike a chord with IT leaders in 2020. So, get your popcorn ready for:

  • Mid-way - A CGI powered saga about the ERP project that never implements
  • Maleficient II- The heart warming story of a software saleswoman trying to close a major cloud renewal deal
  • Ford vs. Industry 4.0, a logistical love story - What happens when a major industrial manufacturer falls for a cute-as-buttons chatbot
  • The Avengers: Reboot - Job applicants excluded from consideration by recruiting algorithms confront a beleaguered HR department
  • Transformers on Assignment - Outer-worldly superbots finally meet their match while facing off against real world change management requests
  • Game of Drones - The suspense is palpable as machines perform routine deliveries
  • CSI Cloud - Watch TV ratings skyrocket as forensics experts dissect a bad software deal to uncover the real villains
  • Keeping Up With the Kubernetes - A reality show that focuses on a family of private equity investors and the havoc they cause with the employees in their portfolio firms

The ultimate enterprise pickup line will change again: from “How would you like to try out my immersive experience?” to “Can I give you my X’s and O’s?

And: somewhere, somehow, someone will once again be thanked for their leadership. #TYFYL

If you're looking for more, track Jon and Brian on Twitter - we'll be sharing some doozies from the cutting room floor. Jon also has a penchant for satire and strikethroughs in his weekly hits/misses roundups.

Image credit - Fairy magician - a spell in old book, by @alexkich, from

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