The modern PC turned 30 years old this year. That is a long life for any technology (with the exception of Ethernet). The personal computer has come a long way and permanently transformed business processes . Yet, says one of the creators of the original PC, “the PC is going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT, and incandescent light bulbs." That seems hard to believe today, but it may not be so far-fetched in the future.
In 2010, Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPad, ushering in the post-PC era. One year later, what does this post-PC era look like? After all, enterprises still rely on the power of the PC in a big way.
1 - Mobile Devices
The number of mobile computing devices will exceed the number of traditional PCs and laptops. Goldman Sachs estimates that tablets are replacing one of every three Windows PC sales. In fact, Deloitte predicts that smartphone and tablet sales will exceed PC sales this year.
2 - Mobile Applications
The number of mobile apps on the market will soon exceed desktop applications. In fact, more new apps are being designed exclusively for the mobile market, especially in vertical industries that support mobile-to-mobile device communication.
3 – The Desktop Transformation
More enterprises are foregoing the hardware of PCs and are investing in desktop virtualization, thin clients, and the latest trend, desktop-as-a-service. DaaS is server-based and easily customizable. Windows, apps, and other services can be scaled on demand, and since the service is subscription-based, enterprises reduce their capital investment.
4 – Voice-controlled Devices
Says GigaOm, a voice-controlled world is upon us. As future devices are developed, one common feature will be voice commands.
5 – Technology Investment
A significant shift of technology investment dollars will move from supporting and maintaining existing systems to investing directly in technology that grows business, reaches new customers, optimizes the customer experience, and drives profits.
6 – Managed Services
Enterprises will continue to leverage managed services for networks and security. Managed applications, desktop virtualization, and cloud services will become the new normal. And on the near horizon, expect to see Managed Enterprise Flash and Managed Analytics, as we talked about recently. With the rapid advancement of technology beyond the PC, enterprises will rely on managed services partners to compete and excel in the post-PC era.
Despite the excitement and innovation around new mobile devices, applications, and features, there is still a place for personal computers in the enterprise. What is interesting is that the post-PC era marks a moment in time when big things are happening: the passing of Steve Jobs and the explosive growth of mobile computing devices. For enterprises, it’s time again to transform.