Accenture Technology Vision 2012

Dr. Gavin Michael, Scott Kurth and Michael Biltz have written the Accenture 2012 Technology Vision statement. Typically these documents, in my opinion, are broad and obvious, but in this case I was positively surprised.

The highlights are:

– Context-based services

– Converging data architectures

– Industrialized data services

– Social driven IT

– PaaS-enabled agility

– Orchestrated analytical security

To me the above are all interconnected and parts of the same conversation…

Contextualization can be through aggregating multiple dimensions of data (such as the social driven dimension) and having the ability to data mine across the aggregated data set. Human analytics will be slowly automated using AI to empower the masses. Putting events in geo context is obvious. Having AI that understands sentiment and word associations is a bit less obvious. The futuristic goal would be AI that places events in conceptual context. This is only enabled if we collect and aggregate data on events from multiple perspectives. I’d claim that cloud and PaaS (Azure), to be specific, are driving integration and data aggregation. ‘A maturing platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market will shift the emphasis from cost-cutting to business innovation.’ In this sense I would have focused more on the ‘innovation’ potential in this report, rather than the deployment agility angle… but hey, I am not a doctor.

Converging data architectures is about mixing structured and unstructured data. In cloud environments data is split in structured relational data and unstructured blob data. Unstructured is much cheaper operationally and hybrid architecture optimization is key to minimizing operating costs. Distributed data from a cloud perspective means that we tap into data from multiple services and not just from the two structures.

The Azure Data Marketplace is a marketplace for industrialized data services. I ask all ISVs that I talk to what their data play is and to date I have not stumbled upon a single one with an aggregate data monetization plan. To me this means that a whole heck of a lot money is being left on the table.

Orchestrated analytical security is an interesting highlight at the end of the report. I have put a lot of thought in this and to me its is just one possible manifestation of innovation based on maturing PaaS. Devices do not cause data loss… people do. In this sense device management is always reactive. Enterprise network security has matured to the point where it is preventing security breaches in real-time against known attack profiles and possible permutations of those known attacks. I believe that the future is more a kin to the movie Minority Report. The more we are able to aggregate data on events from different perspectives and intelligently analyze that information the closer we are to being able to truly predict behavioral patterns and prevent data loss even before it occurs. Orchestrated analytical security is really a possible outcome of the other identified themes and as such sticks out in the report, but definitely a nice closer to the report that gets our imaginations turning.

In a past blog I used a macro economic study of the emerging markets to understand cloud ecosystem growth issues. According the macro economic study the reason why China is outpacing India is because China fully utilizes also the female population and has a higher general level of education. This applies to cloud vendors as well. Accenture’s vision is only possible if the whole partner ecosystem is educated on the ecosystem nature and innovation potential of PaaS. Would be interesting if Accenture would reach out to their clients to see if the clients understand and can envision the vision.


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