I recently read an interesting book by Michio Kaku, called Physics of Future. The book contained his predictions about science and technology over the next 100 years based on leading research being done today. He predicts many things from self-correcting genes to space elevators, and some of his most interesting concepts relate to the world of computers.
Based on the exponential increase in computing power and continual reduction in processor sizes, he predicts a world in the next 20-30 years where computer chips are cheaper than paper, and distributed throughout the environment. People can control machines with their minds, access the internet through their contact lenses, and have robots performing many human functions. He also discusses how hardware continues to follow this path of improved performance, while software struggles to keep up because a human actually has to write the code and program the software, while a laser can create a microchip barely larger than an atom. The world he depicts seems so automated, so easy, that you would think all the problems and challenges of the IT world have been solved.
I contrast that to today, where users continue to get error messages, it is a challenge to integrate best of breed applications across multiple platforms, and everything does not quite seem to ‘work’ all of the time. The amount of calls and emails we get in our Customer Care center attest to the fact it isn’t quite all figured out yet. Whenever it seems like progress is slow, I only have to think back to my Apple IIe computer (with no hard drive and a monochrome screen) to realize how far we have come in the past 30 years with systems and technology.
Recently, at Convergence there was a lot of hype about Windows 8, the Retailer of the Future, and using Xbox Kinect functionality to manage a warehouse. People were using tablets as a front end to Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage sales remotely, with all the data analytics and intelligence needed to close the sale. Everywhere I look, people are using their iPhones to talk to Siri, and getting advice on where to eat dinner or things to do over the weekend. With all the transitions to the cloud, Office 365, Lync, and Azure I can see many positive moves into the direction of this bold new future.
I also know that we won’t get there unless we make it happen, and do this one step at a time. It is exciting to see our clients pushing the envelope, whether it is retailers using dream rooms to help customers visualize what their home could look like, route sales teams using our mobile CRM application, or life sciences companies using collaboration software to help create the next potential cure for a disease. All of them are looking to do things simpler and more efficient, yet with more powerful analytics and seamless integration and have tools that just ‘work’. It is great to be partnering on these projects and providing insight into how this can be accomplished and helping to make it happen. When I step back to look at this progress on a broader scale the predictions for the future don’t seem that impossible any more.
Eric Casazza, CEO
FMT Consultants, LLC