The days of viewing everything in the cloud through an application lens is nearing its end. Instead, we are evolving into a world where quantity, processing speeds and distribution of data compel IT professional to see data as a platform in its own right.

Gavin Michael - Global Managing Director, R&D and Alliances, Accenture - Structure 2011

Gavin Michael - Global Managing Director, R&D and Alliances, Accenture - Structure 2011The days of viewing everything in the cloud through an application lens is nearing its end. Now, we are evolving into a world where quantity, processing speeds and distribution of data will make us see the world through a data lens, according to Gavin Michael, global managing director for R&D and alliances at Accenture, during GigaOm’s Structure on Thursday.

“We see data taking its rightful place as another platform inside enterprise,” Michael said.

Michael was on hand to present the Accenture Technology Vision 2011, a cross-industry research project that takes stock of the evolving trends in IT and how they will impact business and society as a whole. The research team looked into 400 hypotheses based on input from scientists, architects and engineers. They found fifty that held true, which they consolidated into eight trends:

  • Data takes its rightful place as a platform.
  • Analytics is driving a discontinuous evolution from business intelligence.
  • Cloud computing will create more value higher up the stack.
  • Architecture will shift from server-centric to service-centric.
  • IT security will respond rapidly, progressively—and in proportion.
  • Data privacy will adopt a risk-based approach.
  • Social platforms will emerge as a new source of business intelligence.
  • User experience is what matters.

During his presentation, Michael underscored the idea that data in the cloud has all sorts of different shelf lives, with some information only useful for minutes. “Distributed data is rapidly becoming the new normal,” he said.

He also emphasized the idea that cloud computing will create more value higher up the stack.

“We look at the cloud and notice it’s time for a new convergence away from infrastructure as a service to value coming from the cloud as we move higher up the stack,” he said. “Cloud will have its real impact in areas such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS).”

Finally, he said consumers are diving the major evolution in IT trends like never before.

“Technology is back on the agenda from a point of innovation and growth,” he said. “We are entering a new reality where consumers are more demanding through the emergence of technology. And the way in which we make decisions based in enterprise is changing based on analytic power of these new platforms.”

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  1. oy, so good

  2. I know that buzzwords are huge attraction for people who “writing or blogging or talking” for living, but name and content of this article/post above is way too funny and attracted my comment too (could not resist, sorry):
    1) Data is the platform for last 60 years at least for intelligent humans (my mom suggested to me to stay away from unintelligent ones).
    2) Business intelligence was never a real thing – it was a marketing umbrella, abused by over-sized monsters like IBM, SAP, SAS, Microsoft and Oracle who are trying to buy “intelligence” from other companies instead of building it from within/inside.
    3) That means that statement like “Social platforms will emerge as a new source of business intelligence” is unintelligent and means basically “Time Wasting Sites will emerge as new source of Nothing”
    4) Intelligence is a human attribute and cannot be artificial or business or social


    1. Andrei
      I would agree/reinforce some of your analysis of this article, but kindly disagree with other points…I think Gavin Michael is simply revealing where the use of technology in the business world has already arrived, though its use is still in the early stages.
      To your points:
      1) True. every client facing application used today has some sort of data platform behind it. MS Word even has to have it, how else would they be able to run a spell check? It checks my word against a set of data…
      2) Business Intelligence is simpy a fancy buzz word for “Reports”. The information that is collected to be analyzed to look at historical and current business decisions, in an attempt to predict future opportunities.
      3) Given the redefinition of #2, the author is simply saying that Social Platforms(fb,Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) will emerge as a new source of business reporting and analytics. I say to this, it is already here, not emerging. However, the potential use of this amount and type of data is larger than what is currently being used today. And companies will be trying to use the information gathered in the social network arenas to help drive those business decisions that increase their worth.
      4) Agreed. the intelligence is not in the data, it is in the person that is putting it all together and can lead others using what the data has to offer.


    2. Nicely stated!….’Data is the platform’ is marketing buzz tripe and those ‘8 trends’ that Gavin Michael stated are obvious ( well worn repeats ) or axiomatic.

  3. We forget that “Social” means “Facebook” and are mistaking trend for vision.

    1. It’s just a fizz that will dissipate slowly..

  4. This is a Joke, How many times these “Analysts” wrong then right? they are good at speculating but never accurately. None of these “Analysts” predicted anything right, cloud, facebook, iPhone list goes on… They should stop paying high fee and bluffing us, Just look into any social media page, you get more insights.

  5. “Das leben der anderen + a gazillion ambiguous buzzwords”
    “I wanted to invent facebook and posess all that precious data but I have no clue whatsoever so I pretend to foresee the future”

    How much sarcasm is needed to push the ICT market from a hollow buzzwords culture to a no-nonsense get things done culture?

  6. “Data is the new platform, and social is the intelligence” and you will find neither data nor intelligence here. But pointless waffle abounds.

  7. Christopher Regan Friday, June 24, 2011

    Yikes! This article out-buzzwords even Gartner and Forrester — and, that’s a difficult task. Have to go — I think my cloud is converging.

  8. David Andersen Friday, June 24, 2011

    What a pile of drek.

  9. I honestly try not to listen anymore when Accenture comments on technology futures. You know the saying about “even a broken clock is right twice a day”, well more and more that clock has managed to be wrong less than twice a day…

  10. Shankar Saikia Friday, June 24, 2011


    This is another case Accenture trying to hype social media and “big data” without any cogent explanation or proof. As one of the commentors points out, I would not trust Accenture’s views. Besides, these points are way to general. This is a horrible post on Gigaom.

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