Vice President, Rational Smarter Product Development
IBM Software Group
We all know that an Engineers work is never done. If you had to help friends and family fix their computers and networks and phones this holiday season, you know that already. But, what is changing in the market is an increased consumer expectation that products will continue to improve even after you buy them. We are entering the Age of the Upgrade.
This article only touches what this means for us. It is common now when you turn on your camera, computer, phone, streaming TV box, and even turn on your car, that you are told that there is an upgrade available. This is a moment of joy for some users who are waiting for cool new features, and a moment of dread for some as they know the bad things that can happen during a failed upgrade. But this experience is here to stay, and it is expaning in it's reach as more devices become connected.
This past week, Ford announced software upgrades for 3.4M cars. This is to address frustrations among their users and to continue to expand the capabilities of their cars.
This week at CES, Google, GM, Honda, and Audi announced the Open Auto Alliance This will bring a new level of consumer 'smartphone-like' capabilities to cars using Android.
This week, Samsung is announcing an open platform for smart appliances, LG is announcing the ability to send text messages to your appliances, and smart TVs, smart watches and streaming devices continue to proliferate.
It will be a huge challenge for companies to make the never ending upgrade cycle painless and to be seen positively by users.