What tech trends in 2024 do you need to watch out for your small business?
Broadcom buys VMWare
The Broadcom purchase of VMWare exemplifies tech trends for 2024. Larger company buys out existing tech company, cancels perpetual licenses, cancels services with no notice plus creams their customers (by cream I mean get rid of small clients who don’t generate tons of revenue).
Why are the bigger companies buying smaller tech companies? It drives up stock prices. However after the stock price glow, the bigger company usually reduces staff, changes purchasing/pricing on the product, cancels services like in the Broadcom purchase of VMWare.
What are perpetual licenses? Software company offers perpetual license at a higher cost guaranteeing annual upgrades. Great idea for small businesses who don’t have steady cash flow but occasional big months of revenue. The problem is that every time there is a recession software companies cancel the perpetual licenses, or limit the version or the software company gets bought out and the new owner cancels the perpetual license. I’ve seen this many times over the years. I recommend you avoid perpetual licenses and switch to annual if you have bumpy cash flow.
AI hype continues a year after the first rush. Some AI trends to watch out for:
- Software companies adding/using “AI” features to drive up prices, you can’t opt out
- Hackers using AI to craft more realistic and tempting phishing emails
- Multiple governments working on AI legislation
Remember AI products are bleeding edge. I don’t recommend you buy until the technology has matured and most importantly governments enact AI legislation. You could end up buying a product that then gets changed by legislation.
Another developing AI story is that these AI data centres require huge amount of power to operate. Microsoft has hired folks to develop nuclear powered data centres for their products. That could lead to more legislation.
Web Services Trends
I’m seeing a lot of web services companies automatically make your service renewal for three years. There’s usually a drop down where you can change it to one year. Watch for this.
Another fee I see added to purchasing is “Onboarding fees”. These fees range from hundreds to thousands of dollars in some cases almost as much as the annual price of the service/software. You might also see extremely high setup costs. I had one client where the setup cost from a supplier was almost 5 times what it actually cost to set up the new software for the client. I know because I did the software research and testing.
Environmentally Friendly Accessories
Lots of fun stuff at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month. The one item that grabbed my attention is a Logitech prototype of a keyboard that is powered by your fidgeting. Yes, the more you fidget at your desk, that energy is transferred to the keyboard. As cloud service data centres demand more power for AI, we might all be fidgeting (or cycling) to power our office devices.