Douglas Adams had it right. In the late 1970’s, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy introduced the concept of a hand-held device that contained the sum total of all universal knowledge. In 2007 Bill Gates and Steve Jobs re-mixed this idea by talking about a “post-PC” world, a time when the PC went the way of the Dodo bird. Although the fight over terminology made for entertaining media posts, it’s stunning how fast the post-PC vision has come to pass. The Internet is the now source of universal knowledge and smartphones/tablets are the devices nearly everyone is glued to for hours every day. At least on this planet, science fiction has become reality.
Most research now shows that we’ve just now reached the tipping point. According to Gartner, 2013 marks the year that more people globally will access the Internet through mobile devices versus desktop computers. Here’s a post about how Facebook traffic has shifted the same way. The mobility revolution has changed everything. The resulting transformation in consumer behavior is shaking up whole industries. And if you believe in the law of exponentials (see Ray Kurzweil’s “The Age of Spiritual Machines”), we’re just getting started. It’s still early days!
Well, if you’re in business – ANY kind of business – you need to care about this deeply. The decisions you make today about how to go mobile, how you think about Web development and how to create amazing customer experiences are critical, as they will affect your business in fundamental ways. As technology advances accelerate, businesses need to think about how to drive agility – the ability to respond quickly to unpredictable change. It’s not about features per se; features are transient. They simply don’t last very long as competitive advantage in today’s hyper competitive landscape. The real meaty decisions now involve how you approach Web development holistically to include a wide range of touch points, including mobile, TV, kiosks and more. And how to invest in architectures and approaches that drive better agility with lower cost.
We’ll be continuing the dialogue on these topics (and more!) moving forward, but to get things started, take a look at this new infographic that drives home the post-PC perspective.
Welcome to the future!