We are entering a time of rapid change in the IT industry which will cause considerable disruption and change in business, IT companies and the way that people perceive and use technologies. This dislocation is similar to the PC and internet revolutions in terms of scope and effect, touching millions of people, huge marketplace, models of commence, ways of making money and IT usage. It has already spawned new marketplaces, industry’s and multibillion dollar companies, has engaged hundreds of millions of people and will have a dramatic effect on all aspects of business. Microsoft strongly believes that this dislocation is underway and we are just in the early days of seeing how it will to effect all our lives.
The driving forces behind this dislocation are the same ones that have driven the previous dislocations we have seen in the IT space; Creativity, Communication and Commerce. People want to be creative and individual, they want to innovate and build, to make new things and generate new ideas. Additionally people want to communicate and share with one another, to work in teams, to collaborate, discuss and interact both locally and globally. This desire to share and the value that can be created by collaboration is tearing down organization barriers, blurring the divisions between consumers, suppliers and business and making all enterprises more transparent. Finally people and organizations want to expand their businesses, marketplaces, revenue and profit; to benefit from their endeavors. Microsoft calls this triumvirate of Commerce, Collaboration and Creativity the Experience hub; it is the driver for the services platform which will provide the infrastructure for all these experiences.
The tipping point that is enabling this dislocation, as in the previous ones, is technology. The lowering cost of bandwidth, the availability of computing in new and cheaper form factors and devices and the increase in productivity and ease of use enabled by simple web based applications and tools have caused a massive uptake of web based applications; the so called “web 2.0” space. This dislocation is in it’s early days yet as yet and the full ramifications of what will happen and who will be the leaders has not yet emerged but the opportunities are clearly all around us and those people and organizations which recognize them will be the ones to benefit going forwards.
What is happening at the moment is the learning’s, businesses, activities and technologies that have been incubated in the consumer space are rapidly migrating to and being assimilated by organizations of all sizes. Senior executives in businesses and their families are being able to create, store, find, communicate and share content faster and better than ever before for nothing and are wondering why the same isn’t true in their organizations. People expect at least the same if not better facilities at work than they have at home. This expectation will cause many of the consumer based techniques and technologies to move rapidly into the enterprise and forward looking companies are already investigating ways of utilizing this dislocation for their own growth and profit. Talking to the business side of organizations of all sizes this assimilation of consumer based ideas and techniques for innovation and growth in product development, marketing, sales, support and training.
Finally the incredible business opportunity that has been demonstrated by the use of an advertising based revenue model to provide “free” services has created great interest in businesses of all sizes in new charging and revenue models and the associated growth and profit potential. It is clear that moving forward there will be three commerce models: unit, subscription and advertising based.