Predictions For 1993 and Beyond
The recession will be over but brace yourselves for a round of inflation and rapid technological change
With the upbeat attitude since the election and the reporting by the media that the sky is not falling, the economy is poised to move. There are a number of significant changes that are going to drive the economy over the next twelve to twenty-four months. They will be:
Implementation of many new client server applications:With the downsizing in the last few quarters firmly rooted as the new business culture, the only way to meet the processing demands of the economy will be with client server applications. Driving this will be:
- Falling hardware prices - 486's at below 386 prices;
- Release of several new PC based data base tools - Foxpro for Windows, SQL and others;
- Release of improved PC based multiprocessing operating systems - An improved OS2 and Windows NT;
- Falling network operating system, on a per user cost basis; and,
- Institution of new and better software licensing by vendors.
Macs will lose their monopoly position in graphical applications and electronic publishing With the advance of Windows, software companies are looking at IBM as the growth market of the future. Every major Mac software product will have a companion product that works on Windows. For example, Adobe Illustrator now works on Windows and at COMDEX in Las Vegas several other Mac only products had versions working on Windows. Has Scully been so interested in his own ego that he forgot about Apple?
One of the drivers of this movement will be the increase in the processing power that is available on the desktop. Most of these advances have been in the INTEL world of "IBM class" PCs. The open architecture of IBM will win here.
One of the questions that we have is why IBM did not make Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) truly open. This will be the telling year for MCA.
Design and implementation of Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications will be the focus of corporate America The availability of database and application generation tools for GUI applications will drive the demand for new application features and functions. This will have a very interesting impact on the existing applications and hardware in place at many companies.
No longer will IBM 3270 or VAX terminal type devices be the "heads" of choice in the user environment. Demand will place PC devices or X-Window terminals in the DEC world as the "work horse" display. The existing applications base will look old and not very glamorous. That will lead to many organizations questioning their platform. The result will be an acceleration in the turnover of MIS executives -- at least those who are not leading the charge to GUI.
Word processing will leap from text letter tools to electronic publishing drivers. With this advance of feature and function, it is difficult to distinguish the current suite of word processing packages from the electronic publishing packages (EPP) of a few years ago. As this trend continues, the areas where EPP will be able to have the technological advantage to justify the cost associated with them will be limited. Look for Microsoft to be one of the first vendors to cross the bridge from word processor to electronic publisher with Word for Windows. Also look to see what WordPerfect does to keep up.
Inflation will begin to run rampant eighteen to twenty four months from nowAs progress is made to move the economy, the deficit will continue to grow. The only solution will be to have inflation pay for it. Given this, it would be wise to pay for new technology with new debt. That is risky but there is no reason to pay for new technology with the scarce capital of today.