For the New Year Eval-Source has compiled a list of 12 technology trends and predictions that should play out this year. These predictions and trends are based on what we see with our customers, what are their concerns and what organizations will need to address as these predictions have started to permeate organizations already.
- ERP SaaS spending will increase – pointed solutions were bought because of the recession. Companies are starting to realize the implications of doing business globally. They also now understand that their existing system(s) must accommodate global factors, ease collaboration issues, reduce administration costs, simplify usage and force greater adoption within the company, manage social aspects of their business, manage content for dissemination and overall save money in doing so. Since companies have purchased point solutions they are now looking to unify all the systems. Organizations will try to unify all their applications in one place using the cloud. Also there are many new SaaS ERP applications with specific functionalities and industry specific solutions. Software evaluation will become more difficult as hybrid models and SaaS differentiation pricing models will complicate decisions.
- Rise of cloud providers – cloud vendors will become cloud brokers by providing application, hosting, infrastructure and platform all from one source. Many complementary vendors will partner with other providers and application vendors to provide an end-to end customer solution. Large software vendors such as SAP/LAWSON/ORACLE etc. will team up with IBM, TATA, CGI, ACCENTURE, SATYAM etc. The service based providers of business process outsourcing (BPO) not only resell but have started to realize if they team up with vendor to split the implementation management IT failures are becoming reduced. Many other tier two software resellers are becoming cloud brokers as they have started to build their practices by looking for Cloud Architects.
- Solution sprawl will complicate software evaluation. Once specialized vendors have started to include additional and complimentary functionality within their applications. As these apps become larger customers will have more choice of vendors which will drive monthly subscription prices down. Vendors will start to diversify their application portfolio to include much more functionality ie. SFDC picking up HR vendor leads to more competitive pricing for consumers. A possible problem that consumers will face with this approach is that organizations will have to pay closer attention to software evaluation as the additional features and functions will complicate an already difficult process and may lead to increased IT failure if the wrong solution is selected due to the extras that may not cover the original business objectives.
- Start-up buying frenzy. Larger vendors will purchase start-ups with actual sales. They will be purchased by larger companies to grow their portfolio. It is often easier for companies to buy an existing vendor with marketshare or customers to increase application portfolio sizes. This will cause applications to become more diverse and larger than before. This has become a trend in software development as in-house development has taken a back seat to just buying the vendor straight out. The solution sprawl this causes will also complicate software evaluation for organizations. Large industry players will start to acquire smaller and complementary solutions to grow their portfolio – similar to the Google/Hubspot acquisition.
- Integration between systems becoming easier and less time consuming. Once integration was a big part of the software selection and implementation process, this is no longer the case. Open API’s, SDK’s, EXCEL, CSV files, import tools provided by vendors have made implementation simpler. This also includes additional solutions that can be integrated with other point solutions are now significantly easier than before. See our integration as a service post to describe this. Many software vendors are now the external links that are providing integration, data aggregation and pushing of data into other systems. Integration as a Service http://tinyurl.com/62djwxn. These vendors have provided organizations with additional workflow capabilities which further simplifies integration.
- Consumerization of IT in enterprises will differentiate quality employees from one company to another. The younger workers in the workforce are demanding enterprises to adopt the technologies they grew up with. Whether it is gamification, bring your own devices (BYOD) to work and other technology perks will be determining factors for employees to select the companies they want to work for. Options such as work at home and other collaboration options will influence employees as to which companies they will work for. Organizations will have to become more creative as to how to recruit new employees and be able to keep them. Organizations are now starting to realize the cost of employee turnover with having the position open for a length of time, the HR component, the loss of customers due to decreased customer service that the vacant position serviced, ramp up time to bring the employee upto speed (training from other and senior employees), understanding the position requirements and get comfortable in the role are main reasons that organizations have started realize how turnover is hurting them.
- Mobile device management and security have to be addressed. Organizations that support multiple device and OS’ will have to become more diligent as to how security is handled from an enterprise point of view. Mobile device management will become disruptive to large organizations with large workforces to administer, control, inventory, upgrade etc. Also how is additional security managed for the additional devices and rogue devices that are added to the network without IT permission? See a post we did on What’s Next for Mobile Securityhttp://tinyurl.com/ce46c88
- Data explosion and content management will disrupt IT organizations and architectural organizational strategies. The explosion of social media, the infrastructure that is required to support the social aspect and data created by newly created collaboration, both internally and externally will become an issue to manage. Organizations will have to look at new content management systems to unify the many disparate silos throughout the organization to unify data for use. This will include new applications for content management, whether it is a SaaS or on-premise model and how does this impact your internal application strategy ? Mobile devices out in the field will also cause further content management issues for organizations.
- Does your organization have social media policies in place as this is becoming a very hot-button legal issue. Organizations that have a social media strategy should have a code of conduct for usage. Many lawsuits have emerged on the issue of who owns the followers of a social media account the company or the individual acting on the company’s behalf. Codes of conduct, disciplines, dismissal behaviour should all be defined and users of these company accounts should be made aware of the implications of using social media on a company’s behalf. See our post for social media policy creation
- The rise of internal collaboration tools. – Not using email. A few large companies in Europe have said they are not going to use email. This is a great way of getting your article read which is just not the case. What they said is that email usage will decline due to more internal collaboration. Email still has many business uses especially for privacy within companies and external privacy issues. It has been my experience even with larger companies internal collaboration is still very difficult among team members and even worse across various departments throughout the organization. Collaboration vendors will have to focus on the message of how companies will be using internal collaboration tools to expedite requests and reduce traffic and duplicate content. Many tools of this nature already exist such as Chatter, IM, Lotus Notes collaboration. Organizations will deploy these types of systems to leverage data, answers and form a central repository.
- The rise mobile applications. Tablets and smartphones are playing an important part of the enterprise. Applications will become more distributed and organizations will have to pay attention to mobile device management, further application security measures and enterprise applications in general. These applications will become harder to monitor, controlling content and storage of such data will lead to an explosion of metadata within the enterprise.
- Organizations will increase adoption of infrastructure and platform (IaaS, PaaS) for their foray into cloud. These services will open new doors to companies to get into cloud and easily build SOA infrastructures without large outlays of cash. The new platforms will allow for greater business agility for companies to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. These will also provide the basis for organizations to foray into cloud further by adding additional SaaS and other services to the expandable cloud platform.
Eval‐Source is a consulting firm that provides enterprise software selection and strategic technology consulting services for organizations. Our consulting practices encompass cloud and on-premise software evaluation services, ERP, Supply Chain strategy, social media and technology consulting. Eval‐Source is an industry leader in the analysis of software technology and our thought leadership has placed us in the elite of consulting/analyst firms. What sets us apart is our unbiased best in class consulting services that provide our clients with value, direction and success in selection, planning and infrastructure planning of their technology systems. Eval-Source can assist organizations in any phase of their selection process.