I’m seeing 2016 out on a reflective yet optimistic note. ABC Data’s good financial results are a cause for celebration. On the other hand, growth in the kind of market we are in is not a rule by any means; if anything, rather an exception. It is great of course that it is ABC Data that has performed so well at a time when maintaining the status quo counts a success! But there are signs that our sector will have to cope with a market slowdown.
Fortunately, a noticeable decline in the most traditional areas of IT such as stationary computers, laptops, etc., have been offset in 2016 by growth in the more innovative areas of the business. To be completely honest, there have been a few star performers among the established products, but they were few and far between. A decline in the sales in the broad category of portable computers should be seen against growing sales in the relatively new solutions referred to as hybrids or 2 in 1. Smartphone sales have gone up too contrary to reports that the market is already saturated, and that it has been so for a while now! And that would be that, as Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski, profesor of “applied opinionation”, used to remark.
New technologies in the full sense of the word paint a completely different picture. The Internet of Things is growing at a rate of a few score per cent a year! I don’t mean only business solutions for logistics or transport. I’m thinking here of Smart Home solutions – intelligent household appliances, solutions designed to improve the comfort or security of their users, and (who would have thought!) wearables. The Internet of Things is a goose that laid the golden egg, especially that it is not just the sales of the products themselves but the value added – solutions requiring knowledge – that drive the market.
The story is similar with 3D printing, which year by year finds new applications while becoming more and more advanced technologically, thus further boosting its potential. Until recently, 3D was such a niche product that I was inclined to think it would be a long time before the technology found its way into people’s homes. I am less sceptical today. In fact, I am beginning to believe that next year might be the break-through year for retail sales of 3D printers and other hardware supporting 3D printing, including scanners, which are gaining in popularity.
Then there is Cloud Computing – an area which has been growing by a third from year to year. This shows how readily Polish business has embraced the cloud. Cloud solutions have simply too many advantages to be ignored. After all, each and every one of us who is an internet user operates in the cloud, and we view it as something quite normal. Companies always take a little longer to come on board, but I have no doubt that the cloud is the future of business in literally every single dimension.
Since I started with computers, I should close therewith. Some analysts don’t hold out much of a future for them. Well, we have often heard of all kinds of technologies being fit for the knacker’s yard – take traditional printing, for example, which at various times was to be replaced by electronic documents. But, lo and behold, it is doing fine. I have a feeling it’s the same story with computers. It is true that the majority of us change them rather infrequently, but the group of users who upgrade them regularly is growing steadily and some actually choose to get a replacement. I am talking here about gaming enthusiasts. Gaming is driving the market for computers, peripheries and gaming accessories.
Interestingly, the last few months saw the launch of a new generation of very powerful video cards. Since they are being fitted in notebooks now, they are capable of matching the power of desktop computers – an unlikely scenario until recently. It cannot be ruled out then that the new GPUs will boost computer sales, including sales of portable computers. Such a course of events is the more likely the more popular the virtual reality (VR) technology becomes. For its effectiveness, VR depends in turn, among other things, on new graphic design processes.
This post – should you have become distracted – is actually about this year coming to an end. I jump ahead a lot but we are due a festive season first, and it is the most magical of all festive seasons. So, here is good-bye to end-of-year summaries and a hello to the Christmas cheer! It may not look like Christmas being white again this year, but I’ve taken to humming White Christmas nonetheless:
I’m dreaming of a White Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
“May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white”
I’d be surprised if I was the only one so affected. I wish you all such magical Christmas too.
May your days be merry and bright!
Optimistic news and forecasts for the internet of things:
On an upbeat note about the cloud: Optymistycznie o chmurze:
White Christmas was written in 1941. It was first performed on the silver screen by Bing Crosby and Martha Mears in the unforgettable Holiday Inn, 1942. Here are some links to the original version and a few subsequent renditions (there have been so many since it’s hard to count them all).