10 Lessons the European Consumer Tech Industry Has for Enterprise Computing - Page 2

  • 6. Green isn't dead. The green movement is still a big deal in Europe. At every press conference, the vendors went out of their way to describe in detail how their product was green. That green was reached at no extra cost to the consumer and also was captured in the lower power consumption of the products. In the United States, the green movement may have been temporarily suspended by a staggered economy, but it will return as the economy improves. This is particularly true for international vendors who find they cannot afford to build separate computer models for different world areas. Europe as a whole will contain the countries that together have the toughest eco regulations and vendors will adhere to those regs as the worldwide baseline.

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  • 7. Devices come, devices go. Should you develop specific applications for dedicated devices or develop specific applications to run on general purpose computers? The iPhone has shown that creating applications such as GPS location services can do most of the functions that were once the province of specific GPS devices. Companies such as Philips are coming up with devices that are dedicated to remotely monitoring the health status of an aging population. The problem with general purpose devices taking on lots of applications is they soon become overwhelmed with too many apps. While trying to maintain distinct devices can mean the user starts walking around with a bandolier of devices. In business, there will always be a need for dedicated devices. Security is still best accomplished with a dedicated device. At the IFA, one IT exec I ran into uses the Peek, a super thin, super cheap e-mail-only device (www.getpeek.com), to distribute to the IT team to get system updates.
  • 8. Big trade shows aren't dead. The enterprise computing industry used to revolve around one big trade show named Comdex. That doesn't happen anymore and many in the United States bemoan the loss of a big event that draws the entire industry together. The IFA show is a big event that draws the European consumer technology industry together even in a crummy economy. I'm not sure whether the U.S. business tech industry will ever see a big yearly event again, but at least IFA proves it is not impossible to create a big event that is also an economic success.
  • 9. Design matters. Business and the concept of design have long been at odds. Have you ever wondered why all those PCs were shipped in those beige boxes that looked like, you guessed it, beige boxes? Apple in the United States proved design matters and Europe has been ahead of the United States in using design as a differentiator. But as your computer becomes your business computer, you want a design that says you are not a boxy, beige type of exec.
  • 10. There is no business that can't innovate. Coffeemakers, refrigerators and washing machines are all undergoing a technology revolution as was evidenced at IFA. That should give pause to any U.S. business or IT exec who thinks there is nothing that innovation and technology can't do to revitalize their business.