The Complexity of Predictions: Hedging Your Purchasing ‘Bets’ for 2010

22 December 2009

As another year draws to its close, brows furrow in concentration across the silicon embedded hills and valleys of the technology industry. What’s in store for the year ahead? Which technologies will rise and which will fall? Yes its predictions time once more.

Technology predictions are a tricky call for even the most informed expert to make – so much can go very wrong or very right. For analysts it can be a particularly difficult task – even with all the data they have at their disposal. True, few other individuals have so much privileged access to data from such a wide variety of sources – but then again few other industries are as complex as the technology sector. Analysts have the best view of the industry, but as they and the wider industry knows, they can only hit the nail on the head on so many occasions. Very few things are for sure in the technology sector.

One prominent analyst recently shared the following insight with the H&K AR team, “We are occasionally wrong, but we are often right. Even when we are wrong, it is often because we are a barometer of what our clients think.” It’s a nicely put summation of an analyst’s dilemma. Analysts have their own sophisticated insights on what’s likely to happen – but these views are informed by and built upon layers of data provided by others. Often they can be uncannily prescient, at the same time they are heavily dependent on their client’s experiences. Some have said that an analyst is ‘only as good as what they know and who they heard it from’.  Analyst’s clients are uncertain about 2010 and are looking for reassurance and guidance on their purchasing choices.

Analysts will have many interesting and informed views on the performance of a number of technologies in the market place. Will companies delay their internal server refresh for another year or will they take the plunge and invest in the latest server architecture? Will they turn outwards to the cloud for costs savings or will they prefer to retain their data on premise for security reasons? Will they consolidate their software and licenses or will they look to make IT savings elsewhere in the business?

In 2010, analysts will doubtless make some safe predictions as well as some more risky ones.
We can even make a few of our own – albeit without access to the same data the analysts have. For cost control reasons Virtualisation is certain to continue growing, the continued rise of mobile applications remains a pretty safe bet and cloud will no doubt continue to be hotly debated – even if actual adoption rates vary wildly across vertical markets. But amidst all the wider uncertainties one thing is certain – it’s never been a more challenging, or interesting, time for the analyst community.

If you are interested in engaging with the analyst community, or would like to discuss the possibility of leveraging the upcoming wave of prediction reports, why not get in touch with the team here at H&K.

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