The 2022 enterprise software un-predictions

Jon Reed & Brian Sommer Profile picture for user jonandbrian December 6, 2021 Audio mode
Summary:
The tech soothsayers, prognosticators, and growth ninjas are at it again - but so are we. If you're fed up with vacuous tech predictions, Jon and Brian serve your revenge piping hot, via the ultimate NFT: the annual un-predictions.

fortune-teller

The continuing supply chain woes impacted Brian and Jon this year, delaying their annual un-predictions list by a couple of days.

Our tastiest bits of snark, snide puns and more were stuck off the coast of Long Beach - waiting to be unloaded into this piece. On the bright side, no PR wordsmiths were harmed in the creation of this year's awards list!

We've been doing the un-predictions for many years now - and we've had our share of close calls Terrifyingly enough, one of our unpredictions from last year came accidentally  awfully close to being a real thing:

With all manner of in-person events canceled in 2020, Marketing peeps will spend much of 2021 trying to unload tons of irrelevant 2020 conference tote bags, water bottles, name badges, etc. Industry analysts will receive 100 commemorative 2020 tote bags apiece, delivered by forklift, when in-person briefings resume.

As it turned out, vendors didn't load up folks with outdated tchotchkes (although Flair buttons are definitely getting new life!). No, they re-purposed old marketing bromides, second-hand slide decks, spit-polished it all in low-code, and pushed that Miracle Whip out to us via Zoom/Teams/et al. Classic lesson from enterprise software: never let a good marketing euphemism go to waste - boost your sustainability KPI and recycle it!

The top 20 un-predictions for 2022

  1. A circus gymnast will be fired for not being resilient enough. This is the only resiliency-related career hit for 2022.
  2. After Al Gore successfully claimed to have invented the Internet, he will now take credit for the term: AlGoreRythmic.
  3. Someone predicts that there will be no more ‘predictions lists'. (Whoops - that's already happened).
  4. A new cryptocurrency for dolts is created. It's called ‘blockhead chain'. Crypto-for-luddites is also in beta, project name crypto-ludes.
  5. A software vendor is forced to cancel its "masterclass" when the slide deck is found in a pre-school coloring book.
  6. Another new cryptocurrency will appear based on the rise/fall of mushroom and fungi prices. It will be the world's first Non-Fungi Token (NFT).
  7. The mixing together of big, dark, transaction and other data for ML analysis will now be called ‘blending'. If it delivers real business insights, it will be called a ‘smoothie'.
  8. A pi**ed off police officer using a self-driving service management application, cites it for a moving violation. A judge decides to toss the case as the app was supposed to be ‘ticketless'.
  9. A major enterprise software vendor will get sanctioned by the government for selling vaporware. The vendor will maintain that its non-existent product is the epitome in ‘no-code' software.
  10. A well-known consultant is forced to remove "Growth Ninja" from his LinkedIn profile, after a real Ninja challenges him to a street duel.
  11. In a legal first, a chatbot will sue a vendor for discrimination as the company is marketing an ‘in-person' user conference - this discriminates against virtual beings. Alexa files an amicus brief on behalf of chatbots everywhere.
  12. One of the last vendors still developing on-premises solutions will create new vertical apps for the telegraph, facsimile, film photography and horse drawn carriage industries. They will also proudly announce they're the top-rated vendor in the Better Late Than Ever research quadrant. That's the sought-after quadrant for the most redundant and least timely solutions known to humankind.
  13. A particularly out-of-touch industry analyst thinks ‘game-changing' is what happens when you flip between two televised football games.
  14. Pundit/Industry Analyst Ray Wang set a New Year's resolution to go a whole year without saying the word ‘digital'. He breaks down in less than 1 hour (he was asleep when this happened, but he wasn't too tired to tweet!).
  15. An old-school pizza chain will create a special VR version of itself for customers. It'll be called Chuck E Chatbot. The customer experience, though, is supposed to be really ‘cheesy'!
  16. An "intelligent nudge" will lose its technical meaning. It will go back to being what a long-time lover gives their partner when they fall asleep in the midst of the action.
  17. A hacker will deepfake everyone on a Zoom call, thus momentarily creating pandemonium. Interestingly, everyone on the call suddenly starts to pays attention and companies start requesting deepfake as a feature!
  18. Confirmed bachelors everywhere are resisting the call to become "engaged" workers.
  19. Because valuations have gotten so frothy lately, investors need a new mythical word to describe something bigger than a unicorn. So, we'll start to see griffins, centaurs and jackalopes.
  20. A machine learning algorithm will epically fail when the underlying pattern it detects is ‘plaid'.

Enterprise event predictions for 2022 - our top ten

  1. An excitable event marketer will ironically call its pandemic-related masterclass a ‘disasterclass'.
  2. A keynoter at a major HR software show will struggle to choose his/her next happy talk(happy talk will be a strikethrough) webinar topic. This substance-free presentation will either be titled:
    1. "Making the employee experience - experiential!"
    2. "Engagement- It's not just for weddings anymore" Or,
    3. "Why win the war for talent when you can just go work for a better employer!"
  3. Marching bands will reappear at user conferences. As before, we have no idea why this happens, or its purpose!
  4. Some vendors will try to make the virtual aspects of their 2022 conferences a VR world of wonder. Instead, they'll turn a metaverse into a perverse, when VR goggles and online chatrooms collide.
  5. Controversy ensues when a software CEO's hologram delivers a keynote, and later signs an SLA.
  6. A non-politically correct software executive gets booed off the stage for joking that ESG stands for ‘especially silly garbage'. Attendees are left wondering if the joke also applies to his software.
  7. An unscrupulous vendor hacks the COVID contact tracing technology at their conference - to see which prospects attended a competitor's conference.
  8. A vendor will deploy spyware to its virtual event to see whether attendees are actually watching the talks. They quickly drop the practice when they learn that their CEO is the least watchable speaker they have.
  9. A new Mar-Comm vendor employee hires LensCrafters to help their leadership team develop a compelling vision for their "hybrid" events. To their surprise, the LensCrafters proposal is better than the in-house version.
  10. A whole bunch of demos get borked as laptops start installing Windows 11 during live presentations. Somehow, even pre-recorded demos are toppled by a rogue Windows Update.

New tech jargon for 2022

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

  • Plataganda - when an ERP vendor overhypes its technology platform
  • Diversive - when an HR diversity app gets an immersive UX
  • In-Flight Service - it's what on-premises software users want from their vendor while they are fleeing to a new cloud solution.
  • Customer Suxless - A more accurate alternative to so-called "customer success" programs.
  • Intimidator - What you call an integrator that keeps trying to shove pointless upgrades and tech platform changes onto your firm - while threatening to bad-mouth you to your CEO.  
  • Sin Tech - This is where all that VC money that's earmarked for Fin Tech is really going.
  • TikTik - Not a clone of TikTok, but a new app that senses if you got Lyme Disease after all.
  • Catlittering - When a software vendor's "dogfooding" doesn't work out, and the product has to be phased out..
  • Quadrantitis -  medical diagnosis for an executive who becomes addicted to socially sharing their company's analyst ranking. Currently an incurable condition.
  • Antivirus MF (Machine-First) Protection - when your laptop gets protected from Covid and other viruses, in order to safely work with you.
  • Algoripped/Crapbot - when an algorithm offers up a really bad recommendation, users rename the system to this.
  • JiveG - a derogatory term consumers start using in disgust as telecomm's 5G propaganda falls short of reality.
  • Devangelist - when a software "evangelist" no longer meets the KPIs for blatant brand promotions, excessive product enthusiasm, and vigorous retweets of their executive team.
  • Anti-VAXxer - what you call someone who wouldn't buy DEC VAX mini-computers way back in the 1990s  (e.g. "I wonder if they are still an anti-VAXxer".)
  • The Great Insubordination - those workers who aren't able to participate in The Great Resignation figure out the next best thing.
  • Withoutcomes - the opposite of the "outcomes" software executives keep pitching us.

The 2022 un-predictions generator

The Un-Predictions Generator was a big hit last year. Here it is again with all-new content. So, for those of you who don't have Jon's and Brian's free time to develop your own un-predictions, here's your free tool. All you have to do is pick something from each column and voila, you've got a winner!

unpredictions generator 2022
(Your 2022 un-predictions generator)

And as always, Brian still won't sign-up for Facebook.

The ultimate enterprise pickup line will change once again from "If you're feeling hyper, I can scale!", to "How low can you code?!" (Jon's fave) and "Would you like to experience this employee?!" (Brian's fave)

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

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

End note - credit to Den Howlett for the usage of his copyrighted phrase Suxless, which he has applied to many occasions. Howlett, now retired from diginomica but not from the un-predictions game, has issued a few of his own on LinkedIn as we lead up to our video debut.

Image credit - Feature image - Telling the future, @EverettCollection, from Shutterstock.com. Un-predictions generator created and copyrighted by Brian Sommer.

Disclosure - No vendors were financially involved in the satirical production of the un-predictions, thankfully for them and us.

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