IP Expo: Mike Lynch Says The Industry Is Not Playing Nicely
IT departments are facing a time of great risk and great opportunity, Lynch told IP Expo
The industry is scrambling to own its customers’ personal data, and recent wars between Apple and Samsung, and between the EU regulators and Google, show that big firms are not “playing nicely” anymore, Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has told the IP Expo event in London.
He also warned of limitations to the take-up of cloud, and big changes coming from the Internet of things, in a wide-ranging keynote based on his observations since leaving Hewlett-Packard, which bought his Autonony software company for £6.6 billion in 2011.
Limits of the cloud
The cloud is a challenge to the old-fashioned software vendors who want to gouge their customers, but there are still plenty of barriers that mean not everything will end up in the cloud, said Lynch. For instance, while new applications can be put easily onto the cloud, older stuff that works well in-house, such as ERP systems, will be very resistant to change.
Hardware manufacturers risk being left behind in a “re-ordering of the industry”, as the big players like Google and Facebook use commodity servers and re-define what they want through initiatives like Open Compute. These moves are destroying hardware margins, and might simply route around the traditional hardware vendors if they can’t adapt, he warned.
In this new world, owning data is important. “Facebook and Google are about that, and Autonomy was about that,” he said. Once data is in the cloud, it is more homogeneous and can be used with better results than if it was hosted in a single company, he said – and vendors are now trying to lock users in at the level of their data, instead of at hardware or software levels.
Despite all this, there is a “phenomenal opportunity” for IT managers, he said. “Ten years ago, people thought IT was done,” he said. Thanks to the development of database applications which solved most of the problems IT had, there was an expectation that IT would become a utility.
This hasn’t happened at all, and IT departments now face big risks and big opportunities, making them far more important to the companies where they reside: “The IT part of the company has become more and more important. We are about to enter a phenomenal new age.”
Among the developments he is watching are Big Data and the Internet of things – which for him add up to an opportunity for companies to increase their revenue. Instead of just selling a product, firms will keep contact with it forever, monitoring and generating new business.
Are you a Google expert? Try our quiz!