Business Software Trend-Watch 1: Death of the PC

Bart Nachimow discusses his predictions for 2012

In this series of articles we ask industriy experts for their view on the key business software trends that will define 2012…

Back in the 1970s when Bart Nachimow was getting his minor degree in computer science, software was like an ankle-biting knave hovering for attention from its hardware king perched high in his tower.

It was a world where the all-powerful mainframe was a pinnacle of engineering and even architectural pride, and once the power was unleashed onto the PC, woe-betide any piece of software that didn’t comply with its every need.

Now Nachimow, the founder and CEO of – New York’s leading tech firm – believes the tower is tumbling down.

Tumbling Towers

“I wouldn’t want to be in the PC business right now. Just look at the manner executives are interfacing with data. They’re rarely using the PC. More often they’re looking at their tablet devices, or even their mobiles, and they’re using these as means of gaining quick information wherever they are.”

Nachimow can see in the tech world what Malcolm Gladwell so brilliantly illustrated in his book The Tipping Point. The industry is on the edge of change, and it is people, like those thought leaders of the 1970s, who are continuing to push for not only advances in computer technology, but ways to liberate man from machine.

“There are two mistakes taking place right now. There is a denial in our software business community that this tidal wave called the Cloud isn’t going to wash over the shores. And on the consumer side, there’s a perception that embracing the Cloud means the tools are going to be easily implemented and they can do it themselves.”

But even with all the mobile access, ERP solutions are a complex business. And pulling out the power from even a cloud-   based system is going to require training.

Unleashing True Power

It’s a bit like Nachimow’s first true software love – Excel. The self-taught user can get virtually immediate gratification for relatively simple, previously time-consuming tasks.

“It’s not until you understand the pivot table that you’re really unleashing that power,” he says. “That’s when your eyes pop open, and that’s really what our charter is when it comes to working with our clients. How are you going optimize the power of new technologies, like Microsoft’s CRM 2011. That’s the real question.”

And there is a certain symmetry about the cloud appearing just when the economy appears dim, to say the least.

“It’s a little bit scary right now. Earlier this year I would have predicted a very solid year for business. But with what’s going on in Washington and the economic stats, real concerns are growing with regard to another recession,” he says. “There is a cloud over the economy and it could take a lot of us by surprise.”

Cloud to the Rescue?

So where does this leave the PC and business computer? Even laptops are feeling like clunky dinosaurs, and unnecessary costly investments. And in the work environment, it’s no longer practical to limit the number of users having access to one program simply because of budgetary concerns.

The Cloud is here, and in this era of economic uncertainty, Nachimow says it will be those who buy into the Cloud and make a concerted effort to squeeze every ounce of juice from it, that will remain not only standing, but tower above the rest.

The new tower of business computing is personal power – a sense of self-determination that says: I know what data I want, and I want to access it when it serves me.

If you still want to risk clinging to the past, Nachimow offers up a Jack Nicholson nugget.

“The truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

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