As January 2014 rapidly approaches, Saugatuck analysts have taken a look back at some of the most significant trends of 2013 – with an eye toward those that will have important long-term impacts.  A companion Research Alert will be issued next week, when we identify key emerging trends that we believe will have broad and significant impact on enterprise IT in 2014.

Earlier this December, Saugatuck held a series of Research Meetings that focused on the key trends and events that have and will help shape business computing going forward. This included reviewing myriad research that we published earlier this year, as well as key trends that are influencing the evolution of enterprise IT. We grouped these 2013 trends into the following three overarching themes:

  • Uncertainty and Unlimited Potential
  • Integration and Synergy
  • Organizations and Transformation.

In this Research Alert, we briefly define and discuss each trend, and conclude with some actionable guidance. For our premium subscribers, a more comprehensive assessment of these trends with actionable Strategic Planning Positions (SPPs) are presented in a 5-page Strategic Perspective (Saugatuck Trend Watch, Part 1: Looking Back at 2013, 1304MKT, 23Dec2013).
2013 Theme 1: Uncertainty and Unlimited Potential. Throughout 2013, Saugatuck observed that IT leaders in all types and sizes of user enterprises continued to express and demonstrate uncertainty about Cloud. However, that uncertainty has progressed, from vintage 2010 “fears of the unknown” (typically expressed as “Is Cloud safe and right for us?”) to more current concerns about minimizing costs and maximizing returns (e.g., “When and how do we adopt Cloud?”).

The consequence of this evolved and continuing uncertainty is that Saugatuck sees unlimited potential for Cloud providers as enterprises expand their adoption of Cloud-based offerings.

Saugatuck has identified the following trends as the key components of this Theme:

Accelerating Pace of Change. 2013 demonstrated that the pace of change continues to accelerate across several aspects of IT and business. This includes accelerating new product introductions, and the entry of a significant new crop of providers targeting new market opportunities. The pace of vendor acquisition / merger has continued, although in many regards it has shifted from the acquisition of legacy on-premise assets to next-gen solutions that help established vendors create beach heads to the future.

Hybrid Solutions. Respondents to Saugatuck’s most recent worldwide buyer demand survey expressed a desire for integrated suites over best-of-breed solutions (which previously had been the preferred mode). However, expediency may be the overwhelming factor in 2013 as Saugatuck observed an increasing adoption of hybrid solutions.

Big Data, Sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT). While the concept of Enterprise Analytic Solutions is now well established, many enterprises are uncertain how best to pursue it. Key questions that we see influencing enterprise buyer and provider decisions include the following: Should enterprises establish and maintain their own data environments and hire data scientists? Or, turn to services providers for Cloud solutions, Managed Services, BPO or BPaaS that includes these value-add capabilities and skills? Or, perhaps, wait and develop/adapt hybridized versions of both?

This creates an interesting, rising tension between the firm belief that advanced analytics will be critical to competitive success, and the concern that enterprises do not know how to put that in place.

2013 Theme 2: Integration and Synergy. As briefly described under Hybrid Solutions above, Saugatuck has observed that integration and synergy continue to be both a key objective and a major challenge for IT organizations. This has led to at least the following three key trends through 2013:

Cloud Integration Imperatives. Saugatuck observed that as more Cloud-based offerings are adopted, there has been an increasing requirement for facilities that provide data and process integration. Given the increasing propensity for Cloud-based workloads, it is logical for this integration functionality to also be Cloud-based.

Mobile, Social, Analytics Synergies. Saugatuck’s recent 2013 global survey confirmed our expectation that buyers see occasional value from the synergy of business solutions and one of these platforms (e.g., Finance and Analytics), but in the main buyers expect the combination of Mobile, Social and Analytics together will prove more valuable.

API Management Acquisitions. 2013 saw a spate of acquisition of API management startups by more established providers. Clearly, while synergy in the use of APIs generates significant value, managing API versions and interface metadata will be a critical component in sustaining that value.

2013 Theme 3: Organizations and Transformation. As the impact of the Cloud, together with Mobile, Social and Analytics, has become almost universally felt over the past year, organizations are accommodating a new set of challenges from BYOD to crowdsourcing. These challenges reflect a new self-image for the enterprise, a shifting balance in the IT-LOB relationship and new alternatives for accomplishing work.

Boundary-free Enterprise™. The combination of Cloud access to information and business processes, to social networks and communities of interest, with near-ubiquitous usage of mobile devices, has redefined the nature of the enterprise and challenged its self-image, prompting significant culture change.

Balancing the IT-LOB Equation. Selection and acquisition of Cloud-based offerings have continued to shift to enterprise business units and away from the purview of IT. The good news is that the business units are getting the solutions they are seeking. The bad news is that IT organizations are challenged with 1) integration of the Cloud-based offering with existing systems, and 2) ongoing operations oversight to strive for service levels desired by the business units.

Scarcity of Skills. Saugatuck has observed since 2007 that Cloud will catalyze requirements for new skills in IT organizations. We first articulated this as a shift from managing IT assets to managing relationships with Cloud providers. In 2013 IT management executives began to struggle with the need for skills in data analytics, in mobility, and in social.

Crowds and Communities. One increasingly-appreciated facet of the Boundary-free Enterprise™ has been the transformation of work by use of crowdsourcing and open source communities in which work is increasingly collaborative; and a recognition that work is often motivated by more than money. Value for an enterprise is now being created by highly-expert individuals and groups in multiple geographies, often simultaneously, for a fraction of the cost.

Clickhereto read the market impact.

This blog was originally published atSaugatuck's Lens360 blogon December 26, 2013. Published with permission.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access