Adobe has announced the end of Adobe Flash. If you are in the web business, whether PC- or phone-based, Flash has been a staple (and bane) of your existence. Well, no more. It’s being phased out in lieu of HTML5. HTML5 offers many of the features of Flash, but hopefully without the additional feature of crashing your browser once or twice a day.
In and of itself, this isn’t huge news for the IT industry (although web and web-app developers may disagree). But it does highlight the one constant in our universe: change. Many companies have formed around Flash-based product development. These companies will need to re-tool, just like every business where change occurs frequently within an industry.
I wonder how many of us in the IT industry make poor assumptions about the long-term viability of our business model and/or the products that we support. At Puryear IT, we know that things can and will change. For example, we like Microsoft Exchange. We install it and manage it for our customers. But we also know that it’s not the right fit for everybody, and that sometimes Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365, both hosted-offerings, are a better fit.
If we had designed our core business around in-house installs of Exchange, we’d be in serious trouble. But since we’re not focused on the product, but rather on enabling collaboration, a change of technology isn’t a deal-breaker for us. In fact, it’s helpful since we constantly have new features and possibilities to offer our customers.
Are you in business where you are so focused on a product or service that a sudden change in the industry would destroy your company? If so, you should re-evaluate what it is you are truly selling: Is it a product or a benefit?