What is Happening? As significant sections of the heavily populated Northeastern US are still recovering from the destruction caused by “Superstorm” Sandy, we are also approaching the traditional US celebration of bounty we call Thanksgiving. At Saugatuck we are thankful for avoiding injury and significant damage to our homes and our office space. At the same time, our hearts go out to many others who were not so fortunate.

In this environment of local problems and a world economy that continues to struggle, we felt it is appropriate for us to pause and consider other things to be thankful for. Primarily we are thankful for the continued importance of information systems. And, we are thankful for what we see as burgeoning changes in the fundamentals of enterprise IT. The net result should be increasing bounty for the IT industry at large, along with increasing and improved business effectiveness and opportunity for user enterprises.

Why is it Happening? In both northern and southern climes, November is a harbinger of significant seasonal change, and this November is no different. At this year’s Cloud Business Summit in New York last week, CIO after CIO, and CTO after CTO, spoke in depth about the challenges they face as this year creeps towards its end. Most of those challenges are similar to very traditional challenges faced by IT/IS organizations over the past 25+ years, and all revolve around growth and change in the sources, amount, and flow of data.

But beginning several years ago, and mounting to remarkable size and impact in the past year, we’ve seen rampant and rapid growth driven by the development, delivery, and use of Cloud-based IT and business resources.

When we look back on 2012, it’s quite likely we will see it as part of a watershed / tipping-point period, in which a critical mass of user enterprises reached a beginning ability to profit considerably and knowingly from Cloud use. In doing so, they unlocked the secrets of Cloud benefits, while simultaneously opening a Pandora’s Box of management challenges. As a result, more and more enterprise business and IT leaders are learning that in order to continue to profit from Cloud, they need new, more and better ways of managing it – and managing their own organizations and resources.

Saugatuck has labeled this emergent new reality “The Boundary-free Enterprise™”, and we’ve delivered insight and guidance on many aspects of it for our premium subscription research clients and recent conference event participants (“ Mobility in the Boundary-free Enterprise™: More Than Device Management”; “Evolution of Cloud Enablement to Boundary-free Enterprise™ Enablement”; and “How Is PaaS Evolving to Enable the Boundary-free Enterprise™”).

The bottom line: We’re at the beginning of a series of waves of fundamental IT and business change, the likes of which have not been seen since the availability of affordable business computing boomed in the early 1990s. How we do what we do in business has become almost completely shaped by the availability and use of IT in all its forms.

Now, those forms are expanding, shifting, growing and increasing faster than previously experienced. We can do more with less; we can build faster and cheaper; we can anticipate and respond better than ever. In sum, there is tremendous bounty to be had – once we all learn how to manage it and use it in the most effective manners.

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