Monday, Jan 15, 2018
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Executive Viewpoint 2017 Prediction: Unitrends – A Less is More World

I recently came across a quote from the great jazz musician Herbie Hancock: “It’s easy to get sidetracked with technology, and that is the danger, but ultimately you have to see what works with the music and what doesn’t. In a lot of cases, less is more. In most cases, less is more.” In 2017, I see the technology industry, particularly the backup and business continuity sector, entering a “less is more” world.

Look around and you will see the “less is more” refrain throughout our culture. We have combined our ability to document life through photos and video to manage our business affairs, and to entertain ourselves by music and film into a single device that fits in our pocket. Communication is often via text messaging and online missives of 140 characters. 81 percent of American households have DVRs, subscribe to Netflix or use some other on-demand service to streamline their television viewing. Time is what there is too little of, and we are doing everything we can to save a few minutes whenever possible.

In our industry, the smart companies are running toward complete solutions and that will continue in 2017. Hyper-converged; all-in-one; purpose-built appliance; and fully integrated – these are all phrases that have been and will continue to be hot this coming year. In backup and business continuity, you will see customers demanding a single vendor approach that encompasses all their data protection and recovery needs regardless of where the data sits or is to be recovered, on-premise or in the cloud.

Often, the technology industry has a tendency to stick with the old way of doing things a little too long. The legacy companies that are cobbling together solutions that require a mashup of components from multiple vendors will be left behind. A company offering a product that only partially meets a customer’s need will be replaced. Complexity and niche are words for the past.

I am lucky enough to spend much of my time meeting with customers and I am hearing a consistent message. People in our industry want fewer vendors, easier solutions to manage, products that work out of the box, and investments that are quicker to provide a return. The companies that succeed in 2017 are the ones that meet these criteria, and the vendors who offer an all-in-one approach, give time back to their customers, provide a back to pat, will meet the needs of a “less is more” world.