Forrester: Survey data dispels 'myths' about software industry trends in 2013

ERP (enterprise-resource-planning) applications may run the core operations of companies around the world, but enterprises are placing a higher priority in 2013 on other types of software, in particular BI (business intelligence), according to a new Forrester Research survey.

“BI leads the adoption priority list, both in terms of expanding or upgrading existing installations and new implementations,” Forrester analyst Stefan Ried wrote in the report, which is titled “Ten Myths and Realities of the Software Market in 2013.”

The notion that public social networks “have entered the enterprise” is another “myth,” according to Ried. “Not quite right. While employees value the open collaboration of social technology, they aren’t moving collaboration to public social networks like Facebook and Twitter.”

Nearly half of the companies Forrester surveyed “are concerned about corporate collaboration issues and are keen to keep Facebook and Twitter streams clearly separated from corporate applications,” while only 14 percent want to integrate them, Ried wrote.

Yet another current myth, in Forrester’s view, is that custom application development is dead, having fallen out of favor and supplanted by packaged products, according to Ried’s report. “Definitely wrong,” he wrote. “Enterprises spend about the same on custom-developed business applications as on packaged business software.” Packaged applications are accounting for 25.8 percent of software spending while spending on custom software stands at 25.6 percent, according to the report.

Lessons to be learned

The lesson for CIOs is that there’s no need to purchase a major suite of package software “if you need only a small part of it,” Ried wrote. “Custom development can be better as long as the business logic isn’t subject to legal or tax regulations, such as financial accounting software.”

It’s also wrong to believe that SaaS (software as a service) will replace on-premises software, according to the report: “Replacements drove only the first wave of SaaS adoption; the future will be hybrid.”

In a related note, the idea that hybrid clouds are “just another load of hype” is another myth, according to Ried. In fact, Forrester’s survey data shows that one-third of companies now trust hybrid scenarios, he wrote.

Other topics covered in Ried’s report include PaaS (platform as a service) and app stores.

On the first, data shows that PaaS will end up coexisting with traditional middleware and platform services, and won’t replace it, according to Ried: “This is similar to the hybrid future for on-premises business applications and SaaS applications in the cloud.”

And expect that “growing customer demand will soon drive app stores into corporate environments,” he wrote. “Most enterprises are keen to control and govern the software content—apps and add-ons—from which their employees, administrators, or subsidiaries can choose. This is driving demand for internal enterprise app stores or private “views” of approved content in public and mobile app stores.”

To that end, this week BMC announced the acquisition of Partnerpedia, which offers software that companies can use to create secure, governed app stores for employee use.

Forrester’s report was based on data collected in a survey of 2,444 IT decision-makers in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and the U.K., conducted in November and December 2012.

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