An all process-driven biz model won
In 2011, enterprises will have to start innovating along a new business model that strays from the traditional inclusive and predictable approach made popular by enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. That’s just one prediction that Constellation Research has in store for enterprises in the new year.

“What the ERP is missing is a giant ‘discuss’ button. Everything is submit and cancel,” said Sameer Patel, an analyst with Constellation Research who is also a partner with Sovos Group.


For the past decade, ERP and CRM systems have streamlined repeatable processes within an enterprise. But the problem, said Patel, is that businesses require the ability to deal with ad hoc situations arising from customer and prospect interactions.

This outward-looking model, predicted by Constellation Research, acknowledges the necessity for repeatable processes, yet relies on disruptive technologies such as social media for other things not so repeatable.

“There are changes going on with how customers expect businesses to deal with them these days,” said Patel.

Another prediction for 2011 by Constellation Research is that enterprises will realize that social media is no longer sexy when it doesn’t integrate behind the scenes. Enterprises will need to build integrated platforms that work with social media tools.

“Everyone wants to be social because it’s cool, but you must have a business reason,” said Esteban Kolsky, advisor for Constellation Research, as well as principal and founder of ThinkJar.
Moreover, Kolsky thinks enterprise social media strategies seek to gather valuable data from customers, but often forget that these customers won’t be social in return for nothing. “Turn the tables,” said Kolsky, and recognize that customers want the advantages of product news and discounts.Make sense of social media at IT World Canada’s Tech Learning Space 
Another prediction for 2011 by Constellation Research is that technology refresh cycles will shorten as a result of enterprises choosing to test drive social media technology. “The appearance of social technologies came right in the heels of nuclear winter when companies don’t spend money on anything,” said Kolsky.

After the negative IT expenditures seen in 2009, enterprises must plan for a different refresh cycle that will include a “staged approach” to deploying social media technologies. Despite what Kolsky describes as a “social explosion” in 2011, he anticipates there will nonetheless be a lot of caution among enterprises toward social networking.

“Will see a more trial approach to doing things than we have more in the past,” said Kolsky.

And let’s not forget the cloud. Another prediction by Constellation Research for 2011 is that the cloud hype will continue to grow as will the level of caution exercised by enterprises. Kolsky said the combination of industry failures, lack of understanding of the cloud, and wasted IT dollars implementing the cloud will slow the rate of adoption of cloud computing technologies. “The cloud is a joke right now. The cloud is a misnomer,” said Kolsky.

Enterprises will have to wait until at least 2015, when cloud vendors really get their act together and customer return on investment gets more significant, said Kolsky.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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