Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, kicked off today's CIO Summit by getting to the heart of the decisions senior IT executives must make to ensure the survival of their businesses beyond 2010. The thrust of his keynote speech was that CIOs and vendors need to embrace the emerging "third platform", the combination of cloud, mobile, and social business.
According to Gens, third platform uptake will grow 13 to 20 times faster than the PC-based second platform technology after 2012.
"We're in the midst of a once every 20 years shift to a new technology platform," says Gens.
"The decisions you make in 2012/2013 will decide the success of your business or cause its failure."
Gens recalled the late-1980s with enterprises moving from their first platform (mainframes and terminals) to the emerging second platform (PCs, clients, relational databases).
Technology giants like Wang Labratories, which at its hieght had annual earnings of US$3 billion, failed because they did not adapt to the introduction of personal computers, Gens says. Today's vendors and businesses could face the same fate if they do not adapt to and embrace cloud technologies, he warned.
Gens says vendors will increasingly create cloud and mobile services with emerging markets like China, India and Latin America in mind. Like those emerging markets, New Zealand has a relatively large number small to medium businesses, so technology executives here will benefit greatly from this move.