Reading the market to predict future developments is the traditional pastime of industry pundits especially pre-Xmas and post-New Year.
That their outcomes always tend to be exercises in stating the obvious is nothing new. But there are two sides to the Predictions coin. On the one side there is the worn out tradition to deliver the obvious, sprinkled with Christmas glitter to elevate the appeal of ‘big themes’, which are of course the mere continuum of existing trends.
On the other side is the total unpredictability of the time to come. We are after all living in uncertain times and the real forces at play that may come out of the blue and massively impact our industry are not yet so obvious.
Who could have predicted Labour’s intent to nationalise fibre deployment? Nobody saw that one coming. What else lies in store? To this question the industry must remain ever vigilant as out there, beyond our immediate world, there are developments and forces that could over the short-to-mid-term – and almost certainly will over the long term – impact the channel’s traditional working model.
In truth, all business models are up for grabs for anyone with an alternative idea that makes sense to ICT consumers, including businesses, and with pockets deep enough to overturn existing sectors.
A consumer might ask: Why not a one-off sub-£100 charge for superfast connectivity? Another may see greater merit in sourcing their broadband from a satellite provider with unfathomable cloud compute resources and everything else to offer in voice and data, like Amazon, a true giant we are all more than happy to use.
At this time of year, and all other months, it pays to read events outside our immediate marketplace, and identify narratives that could one day become our big and super disruptive story.
Stuart Gilroy, Editor