Enterprise IT Context for the CTO

Bob Gourley

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The Story No One Cares About: PC Sales at lowest number since 2007

Bob Gourley

The analyst firm IDC reports that worldwide PC shipments in 2015 were about 300 million units, on par with 2007 numbers.

The PC market continued to face persistent challenges from longer-PC lifecycles and competition from mobile phones and tablets, despite the slowing growth in those markets. However, economic issues like falling commodity prices and weak international currencies, as well as social disruptions in EMEA and Asia/Pacific that disrupted foreign markets were a larger factor for 2015. Changes in the OS market also had a significant impact with the end of support for Windows XP and promotions of low-cost PCs driving a surge in replacements in 2014 that combined with the launch of Windows 10 and a free upgrade program to delay new system purchases in 2015. Lastly, while some very attractive new PCs have been launched, the market is taking some time to respond to new OS and hardware configurations – deciding when to upgrade and evaluating slim, convertible, detachable, and touch variations vs. more traditional PCs. Nevertheless, many of these products have received positive reviews and there's potential for a faster commercial transition to Windows 10 in 2016 than we saw for prior versions of Windows."

What does this mean for us? Strategically it means that traditional desktop computers have reached market saturation and since they are built better with very powerful processors they are lasting longer. PCs are not going away. They are the workhorse of the enterprise.

But we are definitely in a mobile era and new modes of delivering computational power will continue to dominate the ecosystem. What will the future bring?  We recommend tracking the trends and building projections along these lines of analysis:

Cloud Computing: The efficiencies of this new architecture are driving compute costs down.

Artificial Intelligence: Science fiction has brought this term to be a household word, but few realize the reality of this field of computing.

Mobility: This is the greatest leap in humanity's ability to stay connected since the advent of spoken word.

Big Data: For years now people and our sensors and our computers have been generating more information than we can analyze.

Robotics: Operating along a spectrum of human controlled to semi-autonomous to totally independent, robots are already operating in our world.

Internet of Things: Today's Internet connects people, governments, academia and business.

CyberSecurity: Some of humanity's greatest thinkers, business leaders and computer scientists have struggled for years trying to enhance the security of our computers and networks.

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com