“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and awhile, you could miss it.”
Sound familiar? It’s one of my favorite movie quotes, and one you may remember from the 1986 classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I have always loved that line, and I think many of us can relate to it — both in our personal and professional lives.
As we approach the end of 2016, I’ve been thinking about how much has changed in the world around us, and how those world changes have influenced major transformation in the technology sector. Things like mobility and the Cloud have forever changed the way we work and live. For HP — where I’ve spent the last 19 years of my career — we’ve experienced game-changing transformations in 2016, starting with the creation of HP Inc., followed by the unveiling of the world’s first production-ready commercial 3D printing system, and the launches of the x3 three-in-one, Spectre x360, the Omen X gaming lineup and new PageWide printers — some of our company’s most exciting innovations yet.
And I know we’re not alone. Since becoming the channel chief at HP about two years ago, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road meeting with our customers and partners, who have also experienced major transformations and as such, are also changing the way they do business as the pace of business and life continues to move faster.
So are we ready for what’s to come in 2017? What’s next? How will 2017 transformations impact the world we live in today? How will they influence what my business looks like? How might they affect we live and play? To anticipate what might be coming requires some reflection on what happened in 2016 that will pave the way for what’s next. Here are what I believe to be some of the biggest game-changing market transformations from 2016:
Consumerization of IT: The blending of our personal and professional technology platforms is a reality, a.k.a. the consumerization of IT. Perhaps the elder statesman on this list, the movement is constantly evolving and still very much in its infancy. According to Jan Dawson of Jackdaw, as consumerization increases within the enterprise, “we’re now seeing some of this technology going back the other way,” with a “new breed of enterprise applications threatening to come back into the consumer market.” Interesting perspective, as I believe we often think of this trend moving in one direction. This is a trend that will continue to evolve and create opportunities for sleek, secure, multipurpose solutions in the technology sector.
Millennials making their mark: It is all about the millennials, who are now the nation’s largest living generation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This generation is expected to have more than $8 trillion in wealth and make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 (so says BofA Merrill Lynch). Those are some amazing statistics, but millennials are not simply an age range or group with purchasing power, but a way of thinking, working and acting. They want outcomes and experiences, not just the cool, sleek products that may be capable of getting the job done. The influence of millennials is also prompting vendors to rethink the way they market their products and solutions, which I anticipate will continue to evolve in 2017.
Safe and flexy: Mobility and security will remain catalysts for change in the commercial space. We are more mobile than ever. As for security, the number, intensity, cost and sophistication of threats are all increasing. Both are important areas for us to consider as the line between consumer and commercial continues to blur.
Subscription economy: Subscription services continue to transform industries (with the incumbents displaced in most cases) as customers continue to seek more digital-focused, experience-based buying options.
Omnichannel: Like it or not, we must accept it: the omnichannel is here. Consumers and small businesses can buy anything, anytime, anywhere, yet the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that more than $4 trillion in purchases occur offline each year. A holistic and truly integrated experience to reach the customer and drive sales is a must in 2017. We certainly have our work cut out, but I anticipate those who can make omnichannel a reality over the next 12 months will be rewarded handsomely.
With change comes great opportunity. 2016 was a transformative year for many of us, and, considering the small sample of disruptive forces I have outlined, the stage is set for a dynamic 2017.
I am ready to capitalize. Are you?
Stephanie Dismore, VP and general manager of U.S. channels at HP, is a member of TWICE’s Women Of Tech advisory board.