Many individuals have written articles on their New Year’s Predictions filled with enthusiasm for the future.  Although, many leading experts write New Year’s predictions, many partners have traditionally ignored them.  This year, Howard Cohen takes a new spin on the traditional New Years predictions as he chats with us about what he has “seen over the past several years which has been gradual but tremendous change in the way people use technology to improve their work and their lives. The people have transformed. How they approach life has transformed. Much of technology has adapted to accommodate them.”   Read Howards article here

Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford 

Hey nation nation back with Howard Cohen and Happy New Year Howard and also happy anniversary. 40th anniversary.

 

Howard Cohen 

40 years being weird. There. We know that long term married couples are weird. With with the outliers. Yeah. Well, no. They’re your hairy, Happy New Year.

 

Harry Brelsford 

Thank you. So you’re keeping up your activity. I oversee it. Redmon channel partner magazine. In you’re doing good work, you have some 2022 predictions, the six Shifting Paradigms if you don’t mind. Let’s walk through them. Number one, augmented thinking what’s going on?

 

Howard Cohen 

Well, I augmented thinking goes back to 1972. Alan Kay, the guy who gave us small talk and the icons and the drop down menus in the mouse, the guy that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates visited at the same time, long before that, he came up with this thing called the Dynabook. Now, the Dynabook kind of looks like that, if you look at a drawing of it, but what he said was in plain language, you can talk to it. And it will bring you any information you need anywhere from, you know, anywhere in the world. He we had had the app ARPANET for like three years at that point, that it was NASA, it was not anywhere yet. But he foresaw this opportunity to have a handheld device, even call it a personal digital assistant. And the Dynabook was going to be everything, you could do everything on it, it will bring you everything. And basically, if you think about today, you know, what is everybody’s response when you tell them to look something up? Once you Google it? Yes, everybody Googles it. With apologies to Microsoft. I didn’t say Bing. I’m sorry. Seriously, Google, Google it. And honestly, I think a lot of people don’t remember stuff that they know they can Google just like Einstein. They thought he was stupid. But he said, Why should I remember anything I can look up. It’s the same thing. So I think that people are doing a lot of augmented thinking these days, they’re just using the internet to store their information, they pull it up when they need it. Yeah, not exactly the matrix. But you know, getting there.

 

Harry Brelsford 

Number two, place lessness.

 

Howard Cohen 

I’ve been talking about place listeners for a long time, the first person who really talked about place lessness was Marshall McLuhan when he talked about the idea that once we can communicate with anybody, anywhere, at any time, it doesn’t really matter where we are, you know, you and I carry on very enjoyable conversations, as if we were in the same room, you know, having coffee or some more interesting beverages. And just it’s very comfortable every time, you know, we don’t have to be in the same place at the same time. And especially in the age of COVID. It’s become immaterial, where people are, you know, all of a sudden, everybody’s hiring people from anywhere they happen to be in the country. You know, those of us in tech show, we’ve been doing that for years. But every business is doing it now. Yeah, we’re all we’re all becoming places, doesn’t matter where you are, you can do what you need to do, because you’re part of the network. Yeah. So I should be getting bigger and bigger.

 

Harry Brelsford 

Oh, no, absolutely. No, maybe push back. Well, not pushed by, I’ll add to the conversation. One of my big clients, I’ve told you about a data center in Austin, Texas, the founder is still physical. There’s, there’s a little bit of tension sometimes because I can do my work from anywhere. But there’s just a little bit of attention with my travel schedule. And you know, I do three or four things, right. And Thing, Thing number one will have me go to events in tech. And you know, it’s it’s he’s old school, what am I trying to say, man?

 

Howard Cohen 

There’s still plenty out there. There’s

 

Harry Brelsford 

the perception I’m not working. So unfortunately, he doesn’t listen to my, my, my blog. So in the event cloud, ubiquity,

 

Howard Cohen 

number three, cloud ubiquity. Okay. Ubiquitous means everywhere, of course. And what we’re seeing now is having standing up servers in your own data center, where your own network closet. Very unusual these days. Very few people are doing it, much to the chagrin of distributors and manufacturers, but much to the benefit of the people who are doing it. You know, we’re seeing more and more Clap, clap. becoming normal. And everybody still talks about hybrid cloud. Everything’s hybrid. I don’t know anybody who has just public cloud or just private cloud, or even just cloud. I mean, most people have something on prem. So it’s all hybrid. And I stopped, I stopped using the word. Cloud is everywhere. Everybody uses cloud. Everybody’s become very comfortable with Cloud. You know, I think we’re all realizing it. It’s a data center. That’s another data center. It’s hundreds of data centers, each of which I can reach out to and get the services I need when I need them. You know, there’s more flexibility and people are really feeling more limber, more agile. And I think that’s just going to get deeper and deeper in us until people don’t remember a time when you had your own servers. Yeah, think about that. Yes. Wow.

 

Harry Brelsford 

I still remember. Prem SBS. Alright, number four, automation everywhere. Big, big topic in the community right now, automation.

 

Howard Cohen 

Yeah, I’ve had several people recently complained to me about automation. They’re getting too much automation. Yeah, I agree. You know, one was talking, we were talking about a project management system. And one of the people in the organization keeps on automating different processes. He’s hooked on the automation, he’s hooked on doing it, a lot of the automation she set up, don’t really need automating. They don’t really contribute that much. But they drive everybody else crazy. Because they don’t expect that to just happen by itself. So there’s a little bit of communication issue there. But I think that not for nothing. But I think as we go ahead, and we can we can automate, we will automate, because we can. And if you look now at no code, low code, no code platforms, where you can just move tiles around on the screen to create a workflow. You know, automation is in everybody’s hands. Yeah. So I think I think it’s gonna proliferate like crazy. And I do think the 2022 is the year where it really all begins.

 

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, and I mean, I get it intellectually. But by analogy, here’s what frustrates me about automation. And I’ve had some, some sharp words with one or two people in my personal life. Like you, I enjoy cooking. Okay, I enjoy chopping and cooking. Now, you know, really putting an emphasis on barbecue and rubs and that kind of thing. I really enjoy it. That’s how I relax. We are brethren there. Yeah. And I’ve got one or two people in my circle that are like, why that’s so much work. Harry, why would you ever do that? We can just get DoorDash. Or we can just go to a restaurant? And I’m like, No, I actually enjoy working with my hands. So by analogy, DoorDash is automation. Okay, versus I enjoy cooking? Does that make sense?

 

Howard Cohen 

Oh, it makes it makes totes, you know, a mentor of mine loves to talk about how we’ve suffered a loss of grace. In our, in our environment, our community, people aren’t as gracious to each other as they used to be the quality of relationships has become more transactional, and less emotional over time. I think it’s the same thing there. You know, yeah, I can, we could have ordered DoorDash last night. Instead, my son had a chef come in, and prepare a sumptuous meal for us for to celebrate our anniversary, that the quality of that meal was infinitely different than what we would have gotten from DoorDash. Yeah, and that’s the issue. Are we willing to tolerate a loss of quality to get an increase in convenience? I think everybody answers that for themselves. But over time, I don’t know. You know, we may

 

Harry Brelsford 

tend to end on that topic, you raise a valid point, the, the relationships, you know, you and I go back to when there was not much automation, we did it by hand. And the relationships were stronger today. The relationships just are not a full handshake in many cases with peers, you know, it’s a little bit like this to your point transactional? Number five, do it yourself low code, no code apps. What’s going on?

 

Howard Cohen 

Yeah, I talked about that a few minutes ago. It this has been developing over the past few years, I encountered my first product four years ago. Now, if you look on if you Google it, you’ll find dozens of them. These platforms, they basically say if you know your process How your process works, you can now program automation for your process, right? You can program a workflow and you don’t have to know a stitch, your code will just give you this interface where you can move tiles around what looks like a flowchart. And you’re literally constructing a flow. So this really puts the real power of computing completely into the hands of business managers in a way it never has before. And anything that can eliminate code is plenty of people who will support that is plenty of people who don’t want to know how to code. Only people who would like to do something else who like to sleep at night, perhaps take the toothpicks out from their eyes, you know, but um, I think, you know, I’ve seen them proliferate, to a great extent over the last four years or so, maybe a little more. But I think that that’s just accelerating. So I see in 2022, more and more people, I also see more and more channel people who can’t imagine how to become an app dev, because their infrastructure business has gone away. Right, the cancel servers anymore, they can’t service servers anymore, your cloud is replaced all that they need something new to do. Well, at Dev seems like the most obvious thing. But that means going and learning code. And that’s a long process or an expensive process. If you want to hire it. Here, perhaps you can become the expert at using low code, no code to create processes for your customers, until they discover that, like they discovered so many other things. They could do it themselves.

 

Harry Brelsford  

Yeah. Yeah, just had a podcast earlier with the Nitro postings, Microsoft defender in the Power BI area and analytics, quite quite smart guy. And we had a similar talk that Joe the computer guy, well, his business has gone away. And is, you know, for now, coming up on 567 years, I’ve carried the flag for analytics, whether it be Tableau or Power BI or you know, whatever your flavor. And, Howard that’s, that’s just to, at some level, not our audience, and it’s even a shorter learning curve than coatings, you know, now there’s a learning curve, it’s a different animal. But, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, yeah, yeah, I I’d like to see more movement in there. Hey, finally, a subscription economy? What’s going on with number seven?

 

Howard Cohen 

Well, I think everybody has seen that. Those of us in the channel have gone from selling boxes, to selling subscriptions. You subscribe to all of your cloud services, you now really subscribe to your circuits, if you’re doing long lunch circuits. MPLS. If you don’t want to use the internet for certain applications, you’re subscribing to literally everything. And it’s become a subscription economy. Friends of mine have already regaled me with tales of subscribing to their car. It’s no longer a lease, it’s no longer a rental. It’s great. It’s like so many other things, right? If you change the name of it, it’s something completely different. Yeah, but I think that there’s in a society that really is getting allergic to commitment. Subscription makes a lot of sense. You commit yourself only so far. And then you have to get renewed. Well, there’s a certain amount of control over your environment that you get with that. And that, I think makes it better for customers. I think customers appreciate that more. I mean, the idea that, you know, you’re going to shift from one ERP to another, used to be like, mind blowing technology debt coming out your ears. Yeah. Now changing ERP is like, okay, so I’m going to end that subscription. And I’m going to start that subscription. And off we go. Yeah, of course, there’s a data migration in between, but that’s,

 

Harry Brelsford 

yeah, there’s Well, yeah. And I remember, in by I’m sold, they call them conversions. We didn’t even call them migrations, but I remember people in my early technology career to savings and loan early NetWare. And so one or two people retired. It’s like, I don’t have another conversion and make

 

Howard Cohen 

I quit. They were painful. And we all I mean, think back. We all depended upon that. Yeah, the key to stay sticky with our customers. We depended upon the idea that they don’t want to move they don’t want to migrate. That’s too painful, but not so painful anymore. Now, the bank Namic is going to change. But it’s all based in the idea that I subscribe for everything. And I end the subscription doesn’t mean I’m throwing something out, I just stopped, stop consuming it. It’s a very different way of thinking about things. But it establishes a very different relationship between provider and consumer. And I think we’re gonna see the dynamic of that emerge over the next few years, much more even even then now.

 

Harry Brelsford 

Yeah, and I’ll end on this again, by analogy, probably use the wrong word of arbitraging subscriptions. But but we’re leveraging here’s what I mean. My beloved Seattle Seahawks didn’t make the cut this last weekend in the playoffs, right? They they had a bad year. And the only way I could hear them in real time. And that’s a whole nother podcast about the NFL, it’s control, but was my Sirius XM, subscription. And I added the sports package, right at the beginning of the season, you have the sports package, and other three some odd dollars a month. And I can hear the Seahawks in real time. And you know, it’s exciting. It’s the best I can do. Being in Austin, Texas. Well, now I have a yellow sticky over here, I need to call them in, take the sports package out because I don’t have a need for nine months for the sports package. And again, by analogy, there’s, I’d like that flexibility, right, just turn it off.

 

Howard Cohen 

Well, the whole experience, the whole experience of television is rapid. I mean, we all moved off of cable TV, on to Firesticks, or Roku or what have you. Now people are realizing, hey, you know, I don’t I’m never gonna change the channel anymore. To see a program when it’s scheduled. I’m simply going to subscribe to their streaming content. And watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. You know, the whole concept of chat. I mean, you I think you know that Larry Walsh was so impressed with Mike column, the changing channel, that he now calls his program changing channels, and I’m very flattered. But there’s no there’s not going to be any more changing channels. It’s just going to be subscribe, watch. And then when you get tired of it, and your subscription will get that app to remind you to end your search.

 

Harry Brelsford 

Alright, well, again, congratulations on your 40th anniversary and happy new year and we’ll we’ll pick it up next time. You’re always you’re good. There’s always something going on with you.

 

Howard Cohen 

Hey, you won’t be here for another year if I don’t stay on the charts right? So. Alrighty.

 

Harry Brelsford 

So. Alrighty. Okay, talk to you soon. Bye bye.

 

Howard Cohen 

Bye.