This year enterprise technology will become more about the "fabric" and less about the "fashion," predicts Logicalis, a global provider of high-performance technology solutions. Corporate enterprises are going to spend their IT budgets on technologies that help extend their business, which means a focus on back office processes, not hot products.

The on-demand software model, known as software-as-a-service, will see escalating corporate adoption, especially in SMB and mid-market companies. Long term, this trend has the potential to cause a ripple effect in the industry, decreasing the need for both corporate software and hardware purchases. Watch for shifting priorities among software and hardware vendors as the trend of software-as-a-service sweeps away old business models.

These trends are more like waves that have been approaching the enterprise shore for some time and are going to crest in 2006, sometimes with unsettling force for those who are not prepared.

The Logicalis Top Technology Trends to Watch in 2006:

Software-as-a-service will become a corporate standard. Driven by a common sense, pay-as-you-go approach to software needs, Logicalis believes that 2006 will finally be the year when the ability to purchase hosted software, such as customer relationship management applications, email and enterprise resource planning packages, is fully embraced by corporations.

Service-oriented architecture will be the glue that binds. Web services and service-oriented architecture, which serve to expose and link data sources among partners, will continue to be prevalent in the enterprise as companies increase their ability to integrate back office systems to suppliers and partners in order to drive revenues.

Software will become more "verticalized." Corporate IT will benefit from a renewed focus on vertical industry-specific solutions and business processes by large enterprise software companies like IBM and HP. IBM WebSphere is already being used to develop industry-specific portals. And HP OpenView is being enhanced to drive actual business processes

Security and compliance will become more important, and more complex. SEC regulations for public companies, privacy regulations for industries such as healthcare and the increasing use of mobile devices and IM at work will continue to place an enormous strain on enterprise IT resources for security and storage. Couple this with the fact that the current Internet architecture is inherently "insecure," and security will remain a focus for the IT world.

2006 will be all about access. The consolidation of voice, video and data networks coinciding with the explosion of powerful mobile devices - combined with the trends above - will begin to remove any remaining barriers to the "virtual corporation."

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