Look Behind, Lean Forward: 2013 v 2014


Look behindAhhh…it’s that time again, time for the old year-in-review article plus predictions for the year ahead. I’m shooting from the hip on this

one, as I refuse to look at the other pundits’ prognostications being published in a year-end flurry in the partner community. You get the full Harrybbb with this one.

The Year in Review

  • We’re still here! A big hug to everyone reading this. You are still here. So are we. The Story of the Year has to be the fifth-year recession creating a “goldilocks macro economy.” There is a huge disconnect between Wall Street being inflated with record market highs and Fed bond buybacks and the small business suffering on Main Street. Quite frankly, it sucks. I know this reality because I’ve been on the road visiting you this past fall as part of the Million Mile Migration Madness tour for Windows XP Migrations.
  • Slow starter: April 8th migrations. OK, our forecast model was wrong. Earlier this spring, I predicted a land rush to leave Server 2003, Office 2003 and Windows XP before the end of support deadline in early Q2 2014. My belief was that we’d see a significant spike in migration activity starting this past July and continuing forward. It’s just now, late in Q4Q 2013 that these migration conversations are just starting. My first inclination to such was the way folks in the US Federal government didn’t respond to the budget matter until AFTER the deadline had passed.
  • Security: This evergreen topic became even greener in 2013 with notable security breaches that amplified the conversation in our community. Nary has a week crossed by without a breach somewhere.
  • Microsoft: This company took it on the chin this year with SMB IT Pro sentiment trending towards negative and the change at the top being a leading conversation. But whatever you feel, Microsoft has been a good citizen and it’s not going anywhere.
  • Mobility: Heck there are days I only use my mobile phone. I’m still not in agreement with analysts who believe tablets will overtake PCs and laptops as a working tool. Really?
  • Passings: We lost some good ones this past year highlighted by Alan Shrater, the founder of the Denver Small Business Server User Group.


  • First half: Migration Madness. Again, I implore you to embrace the April 8th deadline and resulting migration work opportunities. You heard it here first (okay, it’s the second time I’ve told you about this).
  • Security: Of course. Look for more here. I recently attended the West Sound Technology Association (WSTA) holiday party where a young enlisted man from the local Navy base raised his hand and asked what technology niche he should pursue as his civilian career. I recommended IT security as the evergreen of IT careers. I suggested being a good old fashioned computer guy (like us) isn’t necessarily the most lucrative decision for a young man. Why? Because infrastructure has become increasing simplified while security has become more complex. The value equation points towards security. I bet the NSA will increase its head count next year LOL!
  • Economy: Ummm…I’m actually afraid to predict it’s going to get better. Okay, I will. I do think 2014 is the year of recovery. You will be amazed at how well things are in your life with another $10,000 in your pocket you didn’t expect.
  • Second half: Hang on fast, but in late 2014 I predict that Office 365 will gain wide spread acceptance and be the chosen path for many SMBs. Guys, it’s just getting better and better all the time!
  • Passings: So let’s not make news here. I’m proud to report that I worked out 446-hours (about 8.5 hours per week) in 2013 and I suggest you consider the same. I’m talking an hour-a-day for a walk or a ride. Something. We need you here!

Have a great New Year’s Day and see you on the flipside.

PS – SHOUT OUT! See the “Marching Orders” prediction piece in Redmond Channel Partner magazine. Well played. http://rcpmag.com/articles/2013/12/01/marching-orders.aspx