Forrester: 15 Technology Trends to Watch out for

IT departments must keep their eye on 15 technology trends over the next three years, according to analysts at Forrester.

In a research paper, Forrester examines technology across four categories: "empowered" technology, process-centric data and intelligence, agile and fit-to-purpose applications, and smart technology management.

The first category, empowering technology, includes mobile business apps, cloud computing, telepresence, collaboration, and customer community platforms. Of these, Forrester analyst Gene Leganza said software-as-a-service and cloud platforms, as well as collaboration platforms, will have the greatest business impact.

Cloud and SaaS will also have the greatest impact on IT, it said, as executives determine where to invest resources, adopt new application support practices for SaaS, and re-evaluate capacity issues and architecture standards. Leganza said enterprises should "think outside the box, and enable employees to do so, by evaluating the key technology trends driving empowered technologies".

The second category, process-centric data and intelligence, includes next-generation business intelligence, text and social analytics, information-as-a-service, and master data management.

Out of these, says the analyst house, next-generation BI will have the biggest business impact because firms will "increase their use of analytics to improve their speed of response to changing market conditions".

During the next three years, says Forrester, real-time information on customer behavior and market conditions will become more prevalent, making it even more critical for organisations to understand the role unstructured data plays in daily operations.

Improved service orientated architectures (SOA), Web 2.0-enabled business process management (BPM) and the wider virtualisation of technology will support the other two categories.

The Forrester research was based on an online survey of IT professionals from firms of all sizes.

Trends to watch:

1. -Next-gen BI takes shape, combining real-time access with pervasiveness, agility, and self-service

2. -Business rules processing and policy-based SOA move to the mainstream

3. -SaaS and cloud-based platforms become standard

4. -System management enables continued virtualisation

5. -Collaboration platforms become people-centric

6. -Event-driven patterns demand attention

7. -Customer community platforms integrate with business apps

8. -Apps and business processes go mobile on powerful devices and faster networks

9. -Analytics target text and social networks

10. -IaaS finds a broader audience

11. -IT embraces planning and analysis tools to manage the future

12. -BPM will be Web-2.0-enabled

13. -Client virtualisation is ubiquitous

14. -Master data management matures

15. -Telepresence gains widespread use

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