Looking Back on 2012
Among the positive trends we observed in 2012 include relatively strong continued adoption of richly structured data across all major industry clusters. A significant portion of senior managers have just recently engaged in an attempt to seriously understand how best to optimize structured data for their organizations and partners, with an exceptional minority now experiencing big aha moments. Until recently semantics was limited primarily to R&D, and analytics was restricted to a very few people in the organization with a fairly limited scope. A growing minority are finally connecting the dots and incorporating semantics into their ‘big data’ analytics strategy.
We changed a few global strategic plans with our Kyield pilot presentations in the past year as organizations began to realize that what seemed futuristic a few years ago is now executable in near real-time. However, what is still missing is a competitive ecosystem that could be called upon to serve the specific needs of customers in a triple win manner. As is often the case with emerging technologies– individuals, small teams and companies engage due to a combination of motivating factors that includes independence, compensation, and to change the world for the better, but in order to achieve much in the enterprise market we need fully functional ecosystems.
A combination of assets must be offered in a highly efficient and credible manner, including very experienced management, superior technology, deep technical talent, appropriate financial structure and professional services, which is usually far more than even the largest companies can provide on their own. So job one for the emerging semantic enterprise community is to learn how to work together towards building a functional ecosystem, which means creating and offering mutual value while serving customer needs in win/win/win scenarios.
We held discussions with a few companies interested in partnering who underestimate the risk they face and overestimate their power, some of whom apparently don’t understand how to form mutually beneficial partnerships. In Kyield’s partner program we will only consider triple wins. And BTW, don’t expect anything but obstacles thrown in the way from the trillion dollar global integration machine, which is a mature, highly sophisticated ecosystem with unlimited funds that is threatened by independent standards and lower TCO. Customers have a special responsibility to assist the emerging semantic ecosystem as they are the primary beneficiaries of the technology and have a very important strategic interest in helping to ensure that the semantic ecosystem becomes more viable and sustainable.
Expectations for 2013
An interesting event recently occurred at a leading bank that could be telling for the near future with respect to semantics and data standards in 2013 and beyond. The bank recently announced large layoffs that included 25% within IT. The bank previously invested heavily in internal proprietary systems and are now moving towards standards where they expect to see a significant ROI with speculation that other leading banks will follow. Banks were late to semantics and obviously some proved that their proprietary risk management and governance systems were systemically dangerous, but we’re seeing a positive trend now. These layoffs may sound like bad news, but we should remember that the primary role of leading banks is to lend modestly leveraged capital to others, which creates far more jobs in a more diverse manner than when employed internally at a bank for proprietary systems and integration work. This is an important trend toward higher efficiency in a more economically sustainable manner thanks largely to adoption of independent standards. When combined with proper governance and advanced analytics throughout the financial system, this trend can become powerful indeed.
The big question in 2013 more broadly is to what degree the EU and U.S. can get their long-term fiscal house in order. The macro economic environment can easily dominate technology adoption and business creation. There is a direct relationship between balanced federal budgets, job creation, and sustainable economic progress. Clearly the U.S. culture is in a deep state of denial relative to sustainable economics reflected in a severely dysfunctional political system, and it’s having a strong negative impact even for those who offer an exceptional ROI. In the case of Kyield, for example, the macro environment has resulted in some customer prospects in otherwise strong organizations freezing new projects until political and fiscal uncertainty is resolved, which in turn of course deters any prudent entrepreneur, investor or other decision maker from taking risk that may have seemed rational in the past in a much different macro economic environment. Since those in the health management business of elephants don’t have the luxury of being trampled more than once, Kyield plans to continue with our lean organic hybrid approach in partnership with customers and partners and leave speculative build outs to those who enjoy rolling the dice.
I am confident that in 2013 we’ll see the competitive gap continue to widen between those who adopt more advanced, efficient, intelligent systems, and those who don’t, especially new systems that reduce lock-in and improve interoperability resulting in a sharply lower TCO. There is a strong compounding effect that occurs with adoption of rich data standards containing more integrity with advanced knowledge systems and real-time analytics, and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to deny as organizations that master this technology pull ahead of competitors. Smart adaptive people working with smart adaptive computing is a powerful combination not to be denied.
To good health in 2013 for you, family and organization. – MM