DEMO Keynote: Sergey Belousov on the Future of Tech Companies
The first DEMO Europe conference, held at the Digital October Center June 3-4, featured a series of lectures in keynote format — unique “notes in the margins” from the leaders of the IT industry, observations, and suggestions about what to expect from the industry in the coming years.
The first lecture was given by Sergey Belousov, founder of Parallels, senior partner at Runa Capital, and currently CEO at Acronis.
Observation Number One
“Does it seem like CDs and DVDs were just recently the next big thing, while as it stands nobody even uses them anymore? I think that in three years boxed software will have completely disappeared from store shelves.
“When Amazon first introduced the idea of the cloud it was a major discovery. Two years later there is already nothing out of the ordinary about it at all. Beginning next year we will stop talking about the cloud as some sort of phenomenon, as it will have become the norm.
“If I ask you in twelve months who has their own server nobody will answer, because cloud solutions will have become cheaper than supporting your own server.”
Observation Number Two
“When I started working for Runa I thought that working as a venture capitalist was really easy. I didn’t want to just sit at the seaside with my pension and looked at working at a fund as a different sort of alternative. If you look at how ‘easy’ it has been for me to travel constantly around the world in the last year you will understand that being an investor is no walk in the park.
“Here are a few observations I would like to share about the condition of the market overall that I have drawn from my time in this area.
“In the last few years Google has come out with a number of important innovations: Android, Chrome, Google Glass. That last one is a long story and, I think, a significant one. Google is becoming a new platform.
”Google may even be the next Microsoft.
“Everyone is on the edge of their seats to see what Facebook will do next. Being a platform for communication, a social network, is already a blast from the past. It’s time for them to move on from traditional business, though nobody understands yet what that will look like.
“It isn’t clear what will happen next with Apple. Of course, it’s still a huge company and they still have the biggest share of the market from the point of view of mobile app usage. But they have many strong competitors.
“Apple, it so happens, is more about innovation than being a platform; that is, they need to keep releasing something new to keep their head above water. When Steve Jobs was alive it was clear in what direction they would develop, though what will happen next…we shall see.”
Observation Number Three
“Big companies are historically the major consumers of IT products, as on average they spend $2000 per person yearly on such products. On the other hand, small business historically spend less on IT — the small business market is so complicated and there are so many companies, each with their own needs, that nobody has developed it.
“With the introduction of the cloud as a way to offer services, small companies will be offered the same level of IT. I predict that
cloud solutions for small businesses will be for one of the key IT growth markets in the near future.
The market is already appraised at $95 billion by 2015.”
Beloussov Runa Capital