Al Stewart may have sung about the Year of the Cat, but—you know—that was about a country where they turn back time. This is now, and in my book 2018 will be the Year of the App. Not the app as we know it, mind you. Just like infrastructure is becoming more and more invisible we’ll now see the birth of the invisible app: with the full power of automation behind it, built on microservices and serverless computing and patched together with no- or low-code development tools (oh hello, Microsoft, Mendix, OutSystems).
The invisible app will also be much more interactive, using voice- and chat-driven conversation systems that do not require a phone or a laptop. Indeed, Bot is the new App. And with so many organizations getting real with conversational commerce, we may not feel that awkward anymore about talking to our devices in public—albeit some of us will need to get used again to articulating clear intentions through full sentences. Alexa, how is that done again?
Organizations are opening up, enabling others to build applications on top of their platform. Regulations that drive openness, such as PSD2 in Financial Services, are in full swing and we already see bold, entrepreneurial companies that know how thrive in the API economy, creating new, unexplored business models.
2018 will provide us more understanding of both the pros and cons of 2-speed IT (I still definitely prefer our train versus scooter metaphor by the way, a true TechnoVision classic that seems to have inspired even the largest of analyst bureaus). IT departments better ensure more flexibility, app development power and “maker-movement-style” DIY capabilities to the business, but we need to prevent yet another burst of uncontrollable and non-aligned applications. This year brought us a lot of discussions with our clients on how to deal with different speeds and how to find a truly new balance between business and IT sides.
For the Year of the App I wish you a leapfrog in unleashing the power of new, spectacular applications towards the business. So that in the rhythm of the new-born day (thanks again, Al) they become the center piece of success.
Contribution by Frank Wammes
See the full No Predictions 2018 overview here