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The 2018 enterprise software un-predictions

Jon Reed & Brian Sommer Profile picture for user jonandbrian December 13, 2017
Weary of tech predictions and 2018 game changers? You've come to the right place. It's time for a heaping helping of holiday satire - our second annual enterprise software un-predictions.

This time last year, diginomica went “all in” on buzzword disruption when Jon Reed and Brian Sommer issued a satirical list of enterprise software un-predictions.

Unfortunately for us all, we were actually quite prescient, as one of our predictions came true just as 2017 began. Those predictions that didn’t come true found new life in enterprise keynotes, leading us to another sanity check: the enterprise keynote survival guide.

Our "top 11" un-predictions for 2018 - autonomously self-correcting throughout the year

  1. An Alexa-like keynote demo will go horribly wrong with the device spewing all kinds of politically incorrect smack talk. Time to take the device to the woodshed and cloud-wash its mouth. Oops, that already happened…
  2. An over-exuberance of ‘smart’ technology is getting integrated into our lives and will result in smart clothes. Unfortunately, it won’t stop those smart shoes from getting chewed up by my dog or my smart clothes getting over-bleached.
  3. Giving up on the holy grail of “intelligent apps” for the “intelligent enterprise,” a vendor will finally issue its line of “semi-intelligent” apps for the “semi-intelligent” enterprise. Brian vows to only pay “semi-attention” to these.
  4. Some clever vendor will attempt to have Alexa deliver an entire TED-talk as a keynote. It works great until it asks Siri to advance a slide.
  5. A “digital twin” will be promoted as the solution to all remaining IT pain points. “Immersive experiences” are now out-of-the-box, as long as you take “cloud to the edge” on “conversational platforms” with “quantum computing power!”
  6. Rumors will explode when we learn that Pacioli, Einstein and Alexa are into group-chat. TMZ will break the story.
  7. The enterprise PR industry will go into an uproar when they are all put on an open source blockchain, where each PR claim about new technology is subject to blockchain’s “trustless” verification.
  8. Will this be the year that a vendor sues IoT devices, smart doorbells, autonomous driving cars and more for “indirectly” accessing their data? When my Buick gets hits with a subpoena, I’ll know this is going too far.
  9. Instead of adding AI, analytics, drone-support, etc. to its product line, one enterprise software vendor will (wait for it!) add new & needed functions and features to their software. Oh, the shock!
  10. We’ve got an algorithm for that!” will be the enterprise software meme of 2018.
  11. A vendor's conference menu will be hacked by a competitor, with all attendees upgraded to the venue's highest dining offering - a delightful sit down lobster lunch. The hack will be fixed just in time for brown bag sandwich roulette on day two.

More 2018 un-predictions, coming soon to an event near you

  • Deloitte will begin - and quickly rescind - the practice of suing anyone that utters "reimagine" now that they have their own Reimagine Platform.
  • Not to be outbuzzed by Workday’s Power of One, Oracle will announce its Power of Infinity!
  • Forget book bags and totes, next year’s conference swag will be an IoT light bulb. Bonus feature: the vendor’s logo conveniently shines on your living room wall!
  • Industry analyst Holger Mueller will finally find a conference that wasn’t ‘well attended’ to debut his new green and blue polka dot tennis shoes.
  • EVERY application in 2018 will now be ‘self-driving’ and ‘autonomous’ but some will go a step further and become ‘prescient’. Yes, prescient will be the enterprise software term of 2018. Sorry Ray Wang, but “infinite ambient orchestration” will have to wait until 2019.
  • The ultimate enterprise pickup line will change from “Would you like to see my IoT sensor?” to “Can I tell you more about my microvertical?”
  • Vendors will run out of obvious historical figures to name their new AI tools (e.g., Leonardo, Einstein, Pacioli, Coleman, etc.). They’ll start dipping into unexpected names like Nietzsche (his answers to queries are always “Your question doesn’t matter, the answer doesn’t matter, existence doesn’t matter”); James Joyce (every answer comes back with a stream of consciousness blast of verbiage); and, Hunter S. Thompson, who will encourage users to “buy the ticket and take the ride.”
  • Like #FakeNews, we’ll learn that someone used some old COBOL code to emulate an algorithm. This will create a big scandal between two major enterprise software vendors as one accuses another of FAKE ALGORITHMS.
  • Somewhere, somehow, someone will be thanked for their leadership. #TYFYL
  • And like last year, Brian still won’t get a Facebook account.

Breaking - new tech vernacular for 2018

  • Service as a Service – It’s just a way to re-badge something that hasn’t really changed in decades
  • Audit as a Service – Even if you don’t want this, more vendors will descend on your firm to find any reason to “shale-frack your wallet” for more fees
  • Snark as a Service – a courtesy service provided by most of the better industry analysts (and one that you don’t have to pay for!).
  • Lube as a Service – When a vendor brings its own K-Y Jelly to the contract signing to reduce the deal friction
  • Leadership as a Service – Sometimes you feel like a boss, sometimes you don’t.
  • Indirection – When a vendor can’t decide which way to take their product roadmap (e.g., cloud or on-premises)
  • Blamazoned – When a vendor gives up on their existing cloud strategy and partners with Amazon AWS.
  • “Glassed out” – Inspired by Google Glass, this happens when a vendor’s Virtual Reality pursuits run overbudget or lack adoption.
  • HeckOps – When “DevSecOps” (Development/security/operations) encounters a glitch and a security gap is revealed, the team must go into all-hands damage control. That’s “HeckOps”!
  • Sweatholders – The team that actually gets the short straw and builds the product or service that fills the needs of the “stakeholders,” doing whatever work the machines can’t.
  • URLtract – A software contract riddled with web url addresses that, like a bad politician, will continue to cause your firm headaches for years to come

Image credit - Fortuneteller dowsing with pendulum looking into the future © Kzenon -

Disclosure - Workday and Oracle are diginomica premier partners.

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