Ten years ago the world economy was mired in a financial crisis. But for Dan Saks, he was optimistic and launched his own startup, called AppDirect. His focus was on helping businesses leverage cloud applications.
Now the early days were not easy. Keep in mind that he spent much of his time in Europe selling his vision to telecom operators!
But of course, the effort paid off in a big way. AppDirect has gone on to raise $246 million and has amassed a large customer base, which includes biggies like Comcast, ADP, and Deutsche Telekom
Yet success can be fleeting – so this is why Dan takes a long-term view of things. Let’s face it, the cloud industry will look much different in the next ten years. There will probably be some well-known companies that will crater along the way.
“I believe there will be a recession in the next several years and in this downturn, the victims will likely be the traditional workers that don’t have skills in the knowledge economy,” said Dan. “Many will be quick to blame technology and automation. In the next 10 years, there’ll be a transition from this predicted recession to an emergence of new trends in the cloud. There’ll be a less of a focus on cloud as a hot, new technology as this technology will become commonplace. Terms like cloud and digital won’t matter because they’ll be so pervasive.”
There are already signs of this. “New applications and services are emerging based on specific verticals and geography, creating proliferation of apps everywhere,” said Dan. “What’s interesting is the intersection of technologies that’ll continue to emerge as service-enabled.”
OK, so what are some of the other trends he is counting on? How might things develop during the next ten years?
Well, here’s a look:
Vertical SaaS That’s Powered By AI
“There’ll be an emergence of smarter computers among AI companies. The way we have viewed software over the last 40 years will no longer be relevant. Meaning, the days when we used to type a query into an IBM system and get output back are far behind us. By leveraging large datasets, vertical SaaS, and workflows, software will be able to work for you. You will no longer need to click in and enter information to get information out. Instead the computer will just push information to you.”
“There’ll be a proliferation of devices and enhanced technologies that interact with computers (e.g. keyboard, mouse, voice controls), making the technology more sophisticated. As it becomes more advanced, you may not even have to open an application, but rather it can tell you what you need proactively.”
Extension Of IoT (Internet-of-Things)
“Connected devices will proliferate everywhere data is aggregated in mass amounts (e.g. sensors). These connected devices need a SIM card for connectivity and an identity in order to drive commerce. There will be digital channels to buy, sell and manage services in your home and work life. Proliferation of devices reinforces the use of AI and creates many more digital channels than before.”
“The tech industry needs to ensure that businesses and consumers can keep, delete and manage the data they want. We need policymakers to become focused on how data privacy will be regulated as more data is produced.
“In the future, the entire digital economy will be driven by SaaS, and how we regulate data privacy will be important. We also need to be able to make decisions taking into consideration the chances of being hacked.”