In June 2010, Steve Jobs talked about the post-PC era
“When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them. And this transformation is going to make some people uneasy… because the PC has taken us a long way. They were amazing. But it changes. Vested interests are going to change. And, I think we’ve embarked on that change. Is it the iPad? Who knows? Will it be next year or five years? … We like to talk about the post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen, it’s uncomfortable.”
Jobs knew it would be uncomfortable for his own Mac unit, as iPads started to cannibalize them, but he said it anyways.
I have been waiting for an enterprise executive to step up and say something similar: We have entered the Post On-Premise Era.
But it is awfully tough
Look at Microsoft which has sunk billions into its Azure cloud. But look at the wimpy way it gets announced. Ed Bott at ZDNet has to highlight in bold You can no longer buy Office, Microsoft’s flagship product, on removable media.
Look at IBM which talks clouds in so much of its marketing. But look closer and there are proprietary data centers masquerading as “private clouds”
Look at SAP. Co CEO Bill McDermott said this about NetSuite 3 years ago “When Business by Design (SAP’s cloud offering) is coming at them like a 99-mile-an-hour fastball, let’s see how tough they are”. But even in 2012, cloud revenues were barely 2% of their total revenues.
Look at Oracle. I was pleased to see them take on Forrester’s recent report on Fusion. But look closer and you see the hedge of “co-existence” strategy with older Oracle apps.
As Steve Jobs said transitions are uncomfortable. But better if our big players step up and start talking about the post-on-premise era. Because Marc Benioff, Dave Duffield, Zach Nelson, Jeff Bezos are not about to stop talking about it.