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CIOs need to prepare for a future business computing model without the PC

Matt Ballantine | Feb. 3, 2017
Matt Ballantine proposes nine reasons CIOs need to start preparing for business without the PC

Just remember that startups these days will often start with mobile (iOS, then Android), then Web. Then stop. Meanwhile software in the office produces content that is next to unconsumable on a mobile screen (yes you, PDF). Because proper work produces documents that are designed to be printed.

4. SaaS

But of course that is changing. Software as a Service is now becoming mainstream, and by Software as a Service I mean the proper stuff with everything delivered to browser or mobile app. None of that software subscription with a bit of cloud storage that some vendors think will suffice.

5. Web 2.0/The Social Web

Because outside of work we now realise that collaboration doesn't have to revolve around email and documents. We use WhatsApp, or Slack or Facebook or LinkedIn or a dozen other services to perform a series of complex collaborative tasks in ways that makes the office feel like the middle ages. And not only do we expect to be able to work in these new ways, we also expect that the information and processes with which we are interacting exist on whatever device (or in whatever other service) we are using.

6. APIs

And that is enabled by the consumer web's whole-hearted embrace of APIs to reveal data and functionality outside of the constraints of just one user interface.

How many APIs has your business exposed internally to allow your staff to mash up the business services that are available? What's your business's internal equivalent of Zapier or IFTTT?

7. IoT

Because this isn't saying that we are going from PC to mobile. It's we're going from PC to many things. From the PC to the Internet of Just About Bloody Everything.

Yes, yes. Security risks. Yes, I know, "not proper computing". But if we've been complaining about the workplace not being as advanced technologically as the home for the past ten years, just imagine how big that gap is about to get.

8. New interaction patterns

Because you've got a strategy for Voice integration across your application estate, haven't you? And then one for gesture-based computing. Or Augmented Reality. Or whatever will come next. It's unlikely to just be the mouse and QWERTY keyboard, long-lasting as those two devices have been.

9. Nothing lasts forever

Because, ultimately, nothing lasts forever. Not the Fax Machine. Not the Mouse. Not the Smartphone.

Not the PC.

It won't disappear overnight. It will be a useful device for some tasks for many years to come. But defining future business computing around a UI paradigm developed in the 1960s isn't just risky. It's wrong.

It's time to think long and hard about #noPC.


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