What is Happening? Over the past year, our survey and interview research among IT buyers, users, and managers, and research work with IT vendors and services providers, has helped shine some light on several trends that we expect will become widely apparent, and disruptive to the business of IT, within the coming year.

The driving force behind these is the continued, and accelerating, emergence of the Boundary-free Enterprise™ - a framework and architecture based on loosely-coupled IT and Business services, technologies, and operations that are in turn enabled and driven by Cloud-based innovation. That innovation continues to evolve in unanticipated ways through the increasingly intertwined uses of Cloud, Mobile, Social/Collaborative and Analytics technologies, devices, and services, often in unusual synergies, and always in transformative ways that herald new ways of doing business shorn of the old limitations of time-of-day and physical place.

This Research Alert is the first of a two-part series identifying the most impactful, emergent trends we see as clear and undeniable evidence of this transformation. Each is accompanied by a Saugatuck Strategic Planning Position (SPP) that lays out specific expectations regarding its relevant impact and timing.

  1. Development of personal Cloud ecosystems, with a requirement to integrate multiple devices and their data based on individual user requirements. This will become increasingly urgent in 2013, and will have a variety of consequences, including the need to maintain some separation between business and personal device Clouds. SPP: By YE2013, Personal Clouds will need to be integrated into IT management and security offerings, which will create new markets, and result in a re-adjustment of requirements for software and services meant to provide unified solutions.
  2. Increased emphasis upon the Velocity Component in Big Data, resulting in a shift in emphasis from Hadoop – and from and concentration upon volume alone – toward a more complex vision. The increasing velocity of business will require changes to data warehousing, and it will definitely favor Cloud deployment (892RA, Switched-on: Cloud IT is Now About Business Velocity, 25May2011). SPP: By YE 2013, we will see widespread business reliance on real-time predicative analytics within and across business functions and operations in all industries – which in turn will create new and unexpected business opportunities for user firms, and for the providers enabling those opportunities.
  3. Significant move by telcos into mobile SaaS provisioning, as has started to happen, with a few missteps. This is being tried around the world as a way for the telcos to gain more margin. Since they have greater control over mobile networks than over fixed ones, they have special leverage here. Currently, they lack sophistication in this area, but that is likely to be temporary. This goes along with increasing channels for marketing SaaS solutions. SPP: By 2015, telcos grow their share of the mobile SaaS market by at least 15 percent.
  4. Rapid Evolution of IT organizational processes, and therefore IT’s organizational responsibilities, roles, and influence, will occur as a result of widespread use of multiple emergent, shifting, and unstable enterprise Cloud ecosystems.  SPP:By YE 2014, this evolution will require significant change in the roles and responsibilities of IT, while becoming a major cost center in at least thirty percent of large enterprises. SPP: By YE 2013, we will also see the beginnings of this with a transition of traditional enterprise systems integration into business process integration.
  5. Cloud platforms and software suite offerings will expand quickly and substantially along industry verticals as customers realize the business value of integrative, industry / vertically-optimized Cloud solutions. SPP:By YE 2013, at least one-quarter of new business software will be acquired and delivered as industry / vertically-optimized solutions, including “suites” integrated from multiple vendors via a single Cloud platform.
  6. Analytics will be increasingly woven into Cloud-based offerings. SPP: By YE 2013, at least fifty percent of major Cloud-based business management software offerings will include integrated Analytics to provide insights into usage of the offering (for vendors) and insights into value of the offering (for users).
  7. Adoption of mobile commerce will be governed mostly by social factors, similar to those that governed the adoption of Smart Cards, rather than by technological factors. SPP: Through at least 2014, Mobile commerce will be primarily a user-driven innovation despite attempts of technology providers and participating businesses to shape its adoption and usage.
  8. Mobility will catalyze better integration and interaction between IT and LOB leaders to a level not previously seen. This will happen partly because of Mobility’s massive scale of use, partly because of its promise to deliver benefit through integration with Cloud, Mobile, Social/Collaborative and Analytics, and in part because of its exceptionally-accelerated pace of development and change. SPP: By YE 2014, “Mobility” will be the leading force in all aspects of enterprise business and IT planning, budgeting, and management – and will be the pervasive force driving real Business and IT alignment as a result.
  9. Mobility will dominate. SPP: Through at least YE 2015, the single greatest driver in IT and Business org and operational change will be Mobility, based on its “90/90/90” influence factoring: 90 percent of business users in 90 percent of IT vendors’ targeted markets have a mobile device in reach or in use 90 percent of the time.
  10. The strategic business benefits of Cloud IT will not be realized, until development and integration efforts/investments focus on optimizing Cloud for business workloads and vice-versa. SPP: Until at least YE 2015, most Cloud implementations will exist as limited-scope, point-oriented and tactical paybacks, and will continue to increase IT and business management costs.

Why is it Happening? As we noted after our first Cloud Business Summit in New York City more than a year ago: Cloud changes everything, or more accurately, Cloud turns everything on its head  (read “Seven From Four: Enterprise Application Best Practices from the Cloud Business Summit”).

Changes in the way that technology is configured, delivered, and consumed are not only reshaping enterprise organizations, structures and operations into Boundary-free Enterprises, but also are disrupting traditional ways of doing business between technology buyers and their suppliers and services providers. New types of partnerships and new distribution channels have already formed to facilitate these business relationships that are disrupting the micro- and macroeconomics of technology markets. 

For an extended version of this Research Alert, visit Saugatuck Technology.

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