So here’s a few thoughts on the year that was in 2011.
Office 365 – one of the more important things to become available in my opinion. Although still far from a perfect product it certainly is a marked improvement from BPOS. The upgrade to the latest versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Lync as well as the inclusion of Office makes this product a real winner in my opinion. The result has been the adoption of Office 365 from the two extremes of the market towards the middle. By that I mean, I have seen Office 365 begin widely adopted by large enterprises as well as very small businesses. From here I expect that to start moving towards the middle of the market and encompass traditional small to medium businesses that traditionally relied on products like Small Business Server (SBS).
In short this means that I expect to see more businesses adopt Office 365 this year, especially in the traditional SBS market. I was also amazed this year ay how many businesses are still running on old versions of server software like SBS 2003. The main reason? Costs. It is a tough market out there and that isn’t likely to change in the near future either so moving to the cloud is certainly a way that many businesses see in reducing their IT overhead, rightly or wrongly. This IS the way things are moving.
IPad – having the second generation released in 2011 has really grown the adoption of this product. Hell, I even got one myself and am amazed at how useful it is for business and pleasure. The average consumer wants simplicity, especially when it comes to technology, and the iPad does this in spades. So many technology people I know deride the tablet or look to Android equivalents but I can tell from what I see with customers is that firstly the tablet is here to stay so deal with it and secondly the competition to the iPad has a long way to go.
The other change in my thinking this year, brought about by the iPad, is the question of apps. These are what makes a platform. They also make life much simpler for consumer and also represent a massive opportunity for developers. To my way of thinking, we are now in the age of developer and standard old IT support is so passe (given tools like search engines). The real money now is in developing apps but not only for iOS but also Android, Windows Phone 7 and even the Xbox as I have mentioned in a previous blog post.
Kindle – This is the year that I got serious about e-readers and bought myself a Kindle. As I have mentioned many times, I love the device and everybody I know who has one, even if they are a book reader, love their Kindle.
To me the Kindle and the Amazon ecosystem just works so well. I have bought so many more books this year because of that fact. Conversely, I have also read many more books for that reason. Honestly, if you haven’t looked at e-readers then I recommend that you give them a go (they are so cheap now) and for my money the Amazon Kindle is the best by far.
So there are some parting thoughts for 2011. I’ll take this opportunity to thank anyone who reads my blog. I also thanks those who have left comments or contacted me directly about what I have written. It make doing this so much more worthwhile when you get feedback, good or bad I welcome it all.
See you all in 2012.