Editor’s note: Peter Drucker said, “The only thing we know about the future is that it is going to be different. We asked several software executives two questions about their hopes for the industry.
The first question was “What aspect of the software world do you hope we’ll finally stop seeing in the news and/or on social media in 2016?” We then asked interviewees to fast forward 10 years and share what they hope we’ll see in the software world at that time.
Hopes of what we won’t see in 2016
Nearly everyone replied “security breaches” and that they would like to stop seeing this happen but they are realists and are not holding their breath.
Mike Rozlog, CEO of dBase, observed that, “So far, most of the attacks have been to ‘get’ information and not to ‘destroy’ information. The cyber attacks that are occurring in governments around the world are very serious. I believe we are at the very beginning of a huge battle coming very soon.”
Aside from concerns about cybersecurity, Sujatha Kashyap, VP of technology at Robin Systems, commented, “One of the banes of the software industry coming back to light lately has been the conundrum of zero-revenue companies with billion-dollar valuations. Even for those of us who make a living in this industry, it has a Bizarro-world-like quality. With the NASDAQ finally beating its dot-com high in 2015 after 15 years, reconciling this difference between revenue and valuation is becoming increasingly urgent to put fears of another bubble to rest.”
Suresh Chandrasekaran, senior vice president at Denodo, says he hopes to stop seeing “excessive hype cycles on technology ‘features’ before they are demonstrated to address business problems. I also would like to see an end to Everything X or Everything Y. We live in a heterogeneous world and will continue to live in a heterogeneous world. Fit for purpose with flexibility, agility, abstraction and decoupling should be the focus. Finally, I would like to see a swing of the pendulum from all business-driven shadow IT back to a balanced role for IT as capability, data and application service providers to enable agile business self-service, with a joint role for governance.”
Al Ramadan, Chris Lochhead and Dave Peterson, co-founders and partners at Play Bigger Advisors, hope we’ll stop hearing about tech unicorns.
Hopes for what we’ll see in the software world in 10 years
Andrew Atkinson, senior director of product marketing, Cloud Cruiser: “I hope to see software products that are vastly more powerful and intuitive than what we see today – tools that increase human productivity by orders of magnitude and are fun to use. For this vision to have any chance of happening, we will need a robust ecosystem of software companies with continued world-changing innovation bubbling up from entrepreneurs throughout the world – the whole world. The more creativity and passion that has the ability to participate in the software market, the more remarkable that future world will be. Fortunately, current trends in cloud and open source software are lowering the barriers to entry of innovation daily; so I expect the future of the software business to be brighter than ever.”
Walter O’Brien, founder and CEO, Scorpion Computer Services: “I hope we’ll see software percolate further into the education and training space. We have opportunities to dramatically advance learning and skill-building with improvements in software and the way it augments teaching. Augmented reality will play a role in reducing otherwise costly experiential learning.”
Avinash Lakshman, CEO and founder, Hedvig: “I hope quantum computing becomes ubiquitous in the next 10 years. It would fundamentally change the way systems are built. If you’re not familiar with the promise of quantum computing, I recommend educating yourself. There’s a good description here.”
Ron Bianchini, co-founder, president and CEO, Avere Systems: “I hope and really believe that we will see the complete leveling of the business playing field, especially between small companies and mega corporations. We’re already seeing this to a certain extent now, but with the public cloud, soon everyone will have access to world-class infrastructure.”
Suresh Chandrasekaran, senior vice president, Denodo: “I hope we’ll see three things: (1) things work as vendors say they do … more function transparency; (2) things cost as vendors say they do … more cost transparency; and (3) ecosystems have more power in encouraging innovation within smaller organizations and less domination by larger vendors, more open attitudes among companies to embrace innovative best of breed and open source.”
Darren Cunningham, vice president of marketing, SnapLogic: “Everything delivered as a service. Elastic, pay-as-you-go, utility pricing. Vendor practice transparency that goes beyond simply hosting a trust site. I think we’ll also see a Bill of Rights introduced that is similar to what Ray Wang at Constellation Research has developed.”
Mike Rozlog, CEO of dBase: “I hope we’ll see understanding that there are no silver bullets in software development. It takes good ideas, great talent that can work together, and a fairly good change management procedure. Software development is one of only a few disciplines where major requirements of what is being developed can change up to the very moment you ship or release a product.”
Al Ramadan, Chris Lochhead, and Dave Peterson, co-founders and partners, Play Bigger Advisors: “We hope we’ll see a return to focusing on building enduring Category King companies.
Joan Wrabetz, CTO, QualiSystems: “I really hope that software quality will improve, but I have little hope. It has been 30 years since Deming’s quality principles came to software and there has been little adoption and little improvement in software quality since. The market is doing this all over again with Lean and Agile programming. But frankly, the same mistakes are being made – lack of serious measurement, poor customer input, poor coding practices – to name a few. We have hundreds of new programming languages, but none of them are really built to improve quality. I still sit with my Mac on which Microsoft Outlook crashes multiple times a day. And, no offense, but automatically sending an “error report” doesn’t seem to have helped software vendors to solve problems any better either. There is a reason that the degree is called “computer science.” We need to start treating programming and software development as a science and not an art.”
When the curtain rises on the software industry stage 10 years from now, what do you hope will be different? Please click below to share your comments.
Andrew Atkinson is senior director of product marketing at Cloud Cruiser where he has responsibility for working with engineering, product management and sales teams to bring products successfully to market. He has proven ability to achieve and act upon a deep understanding of customers, markets and competitors. Previously at E2open, he has more than two decades of startup, international and IPO experience with various software companies.
Ron Bianchini is co-founder, president and CEO at Avere Systems. Prior to Avere, Ron was a senior vice president at NetApp, where he served as the leader of the NetApp Pittsburgh Technology Center. Before NetApp, he was CEO and co-founder of Spinnaker Networks, which developed the scale-out storage clustering technology acquired by NetApp. He was also vice president of product architecture at FORE Systems and co-founder of Scalable Networks (acquired by FORE).
Suresh Chandrasekaran is senior vice president at Denodo. Throughout his career in product management and marketing roles at Vitria, Alta Vista, Compaq and as a management consultant at Booz Allen, Suresh has helped businesses leverage information through the medium of technology to deliver a competitive advantage. He speaks frequently at conferences on technology and its business impact, drawing from 15+ years of experience in leading integration middleware and Web companies. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sujatha Kashyap is VP of technology at Robin Systems. She spent 13+ years understanding every aspect of performance across enterprise-class workloads, from impacts of micro-architectural trade-offs to complex interactions between data center components. She led benchmark publications for several generations of IBM servers and resolved critical performance problems at Fortune 500 companies. She worked with marquee names in the financial industry to create extreme-performance solutions for high-frequency trading. She holds 11 patents. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Avinash Lakshman is CEO and founder of Hedvig. He founded Hedvig in 2012 after co-inventing Dynamo while at Amazon (2004-2007) and Cassandra at Facebook (2007-2011).
Walter O’Brien is the founder and CEO of Scorpion Computer Services, Inc., CEO of Scorpion Studios, and executive producer of the hit CBS television show, “Scorpion.” He is a frequent media commentator on topics in technology, cybersecurity and counter-hacking measures.
Al Ramadan, Christopher Lochhead and Dave Peterson are co-founding partners at Play Bigger Advisors, a San Francisco-based category design firm that coaches technology executives to build market-leading companies. Follow them on Twitter.
Mike Rozlog’s 20-year software and technology industry experience brought him to dBase as the CEO to build the next-generation business intelligence products and data management tools. He is known for driving innovation, product development, market analysis and product evangelism efforts. He has hands-on technical experience across architecture, enterprise and commercial software development. Contact him at email@example.com.
Joan Wrabetz is CTO for QualiSystems. Earlier she was VP/CTO for EMC’s emerging product division. Joan has over 20 years’ technology executive experience. She was founder/CEO of Aumni Data, CEO of Tricord Systems (now Adaptec), VP/GM at StorageTek, founder/CEO of Aggregate Computing (now Platinum Technologies) and held management positions at Control Data Corporation and SRI International. She was a BlueStream Ventures partner, served on the board of many startups and holds multiple tech patents.