Forrester: Top 10 Trends in Enterprise Architecture

forrester_logo Forrester recently released a report by Brian Hopkins, Principal Analyst titled: “The Top 10 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014″ that caught my eye.   The report identifies trends that are expected to have a strong impact on IT over the next few years.

Forrester sorts the ten trends into four technology categories: Application platforms, integration, infrastructure and operations, and mobile computing,

Application Platforms

1. Elastic Application Platforms Emerge.  Automatically scaling processor and storage resources up or down, depending on workload.

2. Platform as a Service Crosses the Chasm.  Application-development tools abstracted from the underlying cloud infrastructure, freeing developers from many of the tedious details with which they would otherwise have to cope.

Integration

3. Data Services, Virtualization Reach Critical Mass.  Extending enterprise data warehouse or to operate in a multitechnology environment with a mix of physical and virtual data stores

4. Holistic Integration Enables Agile Enterprises.  More comprehensive tools to achieve application, process and data integration

5. Social IT Becomes Enterprise Plumbing.  Social interaction will become part of normal workflows, and applications must be architected from the inception to enable this

Infrastructure and Operations

6. Improved Virtualization Sets Stage for Private Cloud.  Expect more focus on virtualization maturity to raise utilization rates, standardization and automation.

7. Always On, Always Available Is the New Expectation.  Building highly available infrastructures that can deliver continuous services to end users by leveraging technology improvements such as cloud-based disaster-recovery services.

8. Network Architecture Evolves to Meet Cloud Demands.  Building fundamentally different networks to accommodate advances in server and storage virtualization that pave the path to cloud computing.

Mobile Computing

9. Personal Device Momentum Changes Mobile-Platform Strategy.  Information workers are an increasingly empowered group and will dictate the technology used to solve business issues.

10. ‘App Internet’ Ushers in the Next Generation of Computing.  Improvements in the underlying mobile-platform technology to fully enable context-aware and secure application-based mobile computing.

The full report can be accessed at “The Top 10 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014

Cloud Computing Is Enabling The Next Phase Of The Internet Evolution

Carlota Perez wrote a book titled “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital” (2002) that is a real interesting read.  Perez says that there have been five historical waves of economic and social transformation in the developed economies of the world. Each of these waves have what she calls an Installation phase followed by a crash of some sort and then a Deployment period. 

HorizonWatching - Carlota Perz 5 Waves

Perez says that our global economy has now entered the deployment phase of the fifth technology investment cycle, which she says is the Age of Information and Telecommunications (see embedded picture).  Perez says that this will be a period of adjustment when novel business models will exploit the new IT infrastructure that is now being put in place that enable more porous, open, collaborative approaches that seek to leverage the economics and flexibility of global sourcing.  She expects enterprises of all sizes will employ technology to help them transform their business models, processes and operations.

As mentioned, Perez says we are entering this Deployment phase. As we do there are some key characteristics across our global economy that is impacting how this phase develops. The firms that will succeed are the firms that will embrace these characteristics and the change that is happening in order to innovate and leapfrog competition.

Important characteristics of our global economy includes:

  • A level, global economic playing field presents new opportunities, challenges and competitive technologies
  • New technologies, services and skills are emerging…and they are quickly being integrated into every aspect of business and everyday life
  • The pace of change is dramatically compressing “windows of opportunity” for real competitive advantage.
  • Billions of skilled people are entering the world’s economy, fundamentally transforming the mix of the global workforce
  • The interconnected nature of our world’s economy means businesses must be prepared to respond to – and capitalize on – changes in real time, with unprecedented flexibility.

While all this is happening, we are moving into what I believe is the third stage of the Internet. Call it Web 3.0 or whatever you wish, but cloud computing is perhaps the most important technology.  In fact, I believe that cloud computing is the key enabling technology for this next technological wave and the next phase in the evolution of the Internet.

HorizonWatching - Private Clouds Enables Next Wave of the Internet

Back in the mid to late 1990s companies were just concerned with getting websites up so they could have a presence on the Internet. It was all about providing very basic information to the public. But soon the so called e-commerce trend arose and business was being conducted on the Internet. Then Web 2.0 came into play and all users realized that they could share their ideas, create content, and collaborate online.  We are now well into this next phase of the evolution where the enabling technologies will be cloud, analytics, mobile, video, and semantic capabilities.  This so called Web 3.0 phase will provide applications that are much more immersive, social, and collaborative in nature.  Combined that with an explosion of networked sensors and advanced predictive analytic and all the Smarter Planet initiatives will become a reality. 

But the most important enabler will be the combination of private and public cloud computing infrastructures that will be the ‘engine’ of the future Internet.

Cloud Computing In 2011: Private Clouds Are An Important Trend

The cloud computing ‘buzz’ has been going on now for 3 years. IBM Cloud White Papers Benefits include reduced costs, improved service delivery and an enablement of business innovation.   Public clouds have been a major part of the discussion and experimentation.  However, many CIOs and business leaders are concerned with having their data residing outside their firewall.   So, in 2011, I expect we’ll see more companies adopting approaches to private clouds in parts of their businesses.  

Adoption Drivers

  • Commoditization and standardization of technologies,
  • Virtualization and the rise of service-oriented software Architectures,
  • Dramatic growth in popularity/use of the Internet and the Web.

Adoption Inhibitors

  • Bandwidth, Complexity, Standards, Security, Privacy, Compliance, Performance, Loss of Control of Data outside the firewall.

Analyst Perspective

As can be seen by the quotes below, more companies have begun adopting approaches to private clouds in parts of their businesses.  Analysts agree that enterprises will be interested in learning more about how to leverage private clouds within their own ecosystems.

“Almost one-quarter of the infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals polled in our Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2010 said that building a private cloud is a high or critical priority for them. Five percent said it is critical.” – Forrester Research (Link)

“According to recent IDC survey results, almost half of respondents, 44%, are considering private clouds.” – IDC (Link)

“The cloud market is evolving rapidly, with 39 percent of survey respondents worldwide indicating they allocated IT budget to cloud computing as a key initiative for their organization” – Gartner (Link)

“Private clouds’ are a natural next step in the evolution of data centers over the last ten years, toward consolidated, virtualized and automated IT service delivery environments.” – Frank Gens, IDC (Link)

“there is still some lingering apprehension over issues like integration, availability, security, and costs. These concerns, and how they are addressed by IT vendors, will continue to guide the adoption of cloud computing over the next several years.” – IDC (Link)

So the analysts agree that a growing number of organizations are turning to clouds to manage basic applications. Core business apps, IT infrastructure services, analytics, and app dev/test/deploy are next in line. However, as mentioned, since CIOs and business leaders are concerned with having their data residing outside their firewall, 

What To Expect In 2011

  • Expect to see mid and large-sized businesses to increase their experimentation and implementation of private clouds as the promise of the cloud delivery model is one that is just too good to pass up. 
  • There’s also a growing interest in private ‘community clouds’ hosted for a group of organizations who trust each other.
  • Something else to watch out for this year is how cloud computing will impact the mobile infrastructure and ecosystems in 2011.

Since cloud is a disruptive new way to deliver software & services, cloud will enable both new opportunities as well as new competitors in all areas of business.

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Successful Social Media Marketing Requires A Dedicated Community Leader

The social media marketing trend is an important trend for businesses of all sizes.  Business leaders and marketing managers are realizing it can be used to help strengthen relationships and perceptions people have with a company, a brand, a product.

Most social media marketing efforts today need to apply the basics of community marketing and management.  Because at the heart of it, social media marketing efforts should be launched to strengthen relationships the target audience has with the topics and people that are important to your company’s success.  A successful community can accomplish that and more.

91955 I see many social media and community marketing efforts fail because of lack of funding for community management resources.  Many of these social sites and community efforts are developed to support a product launch and then a few months down the road the blog posts dwindle to a few posts a month, the tweets slow down, and the conversation stops.

To be highly successful, communities need to be funded for and supported by dedicated professionals fulfilling certain functions. There are four key functions that can help result in a successful community.

  • Exec Sponsor(s): Serves as the group’s champion, internally and externally. Is able to envision the value of the community over time to both the members as well as the organization.
  • Community Leader(s): Plays the most critical role in the community's success by energizing the sharing process and providing continuous nourishment for the community. Communicates a sense of passion and guides the community towards its goals through consulting, connecting, facilitating, helping, guiding
  • Community Council Members: Advises community leader in launching and sustaining the community. Frequently takes on additional roles as listed below.
  • Community Members: Without these there is no community; the essence of a community is its members. Contributes and extracts value via content, programs, and social/professional network

The community leadership is the most important function. My experience tells me that many in management think that communities 'can run themselves' without dedicated community leadership. Without dedicated community leadership, communities are subject to the momentary whims of the members, relying on the members’ discretionary willingness to perform such functions. In most cases, leaving the community to the membership results in a decline in activity. It is a rare community that can continue to survive without dedicated support.

Forrester says that there are four key tenets of a community leader: 

  • Community Advocate:  The community manager’s primary role is to represent the members of the community. They must listen, monitor, and respond to requests and conversations, both within the community platform and in email.
  • Brand Evangelist:  Community manager promotes events, products, and upgrades using traditional marketing tactics as well as being part of conversations within the community. The community manager must first earn and maintain trust.
  • Facilitator:  Defines, plans, and executes content strategy. Uses forums, blogs, podcasts, and other tools to create content. Mediates disputes: Encourages advocates and deals with — or when necessary removes — detractors. Works with corporate stakeholders to identify content, plan updates, publish, and follow-up.
  • Research and Development Contributor:  Gathers the requirements of the community and presents to product teams. Plans and analyzes results of surveys or focus groups. Facilitates relationships between product teams and customers.

To Forrester's list I'd add the following tasks that many community leaders end up performing themselves:

  • Social Media Manager:  Manages the communities presence in the social media and collaboration sites
  • Meeting Facilitation:  Schedules and facilitates meetings. Ensures meetings stay focused on goals of the community.
  • Subject Matter Expertise:  Shares knowledge and experience.  Ensures the community continues to seek out new and innovative solutions and methods.
  • Relationship Management:  Builds relationships between the members to strengthen the overall community.
  • Knowledge Management:  Gathers, posts and organizes the community knowledge.  Ensures all members have access to content created or referenced by the community.
  • Analyst:  Analyzes the community content and membership network to identify and extract value.
  • Technology Management:  Ensures that the community platform and tools supports the goals and objectives of the community.

These responsibilities do not have to be managed by a single individual. Many times there is more than one community leader.  Also, a good community leader has a good group of council members and one or more of the council members may be accountable for multiple responsibilities, which is likely in the early stages of community development.

So what type of skills are needed by the Community Leader? 

  • Strong online communication skills
  • Approachable and conversational
  • Has the ability to relate to members online and offline
  • Comfortable with Web 2.0, social media, and collaboration tools

Two other important requirements.    The community leader must 

  1. Have a passion for the community domain (topic area)
  2. Have a passion for helping others learn and collaborate. They must experience job satisfaction from helping others.

Forrester: Seven Trends in Learning for 2010

forrester_logo Claire Schooley, a Senior Analyst at Forrester, recently published a post that caught my eye that provides a list of thoughts about trends in enterprise learning for 2010.  I found the post “Key Learning Trends for 2010: Are You Onboard?”  on Forrester’s Blog for Business Process and Applications Professionals.

Here’s a quick summary of the trends on Shooley’s list of key learning trends for 2010

  1. Don't expect to see many new hires in learning even with an economic upturn. However, expect to see existing staff using  tools that allow them to learn quickly and save money. 
  2. Expect more learning from video but not the high-end, carefully edited videos. Look for short YouTube-type videos (rather than longer and high quality videos) that quickly shows a process or procedure
  3. Watch for podcasts and more formal Webinars to grow in use. Podcasts and recorded webinars allow employees the opportunity to learn when they want to learn.
  4. Provide a good search engine that enables users to find the content when they need it.  Learning search engines help employees find the learning module, document, or video they need.
  5. Make sure you also provide "people searching" capability, sometimes called expertise location. This capability will continue to grow in importance, but requires employees to keep their profiles updated.
  6. Bring virtual classroom capabilities to your organization. Expect continued growth virtual and live online instruction as it brings people together online to share and learn.
  7. Expect mobile learning to increase.   The rise in the use of mobile technology and applications will drive the need for learning applications for mobile devices. 

Shooley points out that in 2010, learning will most likely be initiated by the learner and successful learning departments will have a blend of learning content, tools, applications and experiences available. 

Get the full detail by going to the post Key Learning Trends for 2010: Are You Onboard?

Forrester: Five Topics Will Drive Forrester’s IT Leadership Research in 2010

Forrester recently released a list of topics that will drive it’s 2010 CIO research content.  The list was revealed in a blog post written by Sharyn Leaver, a Forrester Vice President who leads Forrester's research into IT leadership and CIO issues.  The five main 2010 CIO research topic areas for Forrester are 

  1. Future IT trends & innovations. CIOs need heIp identifying the key emerging technologies that should impact their planning and investment.

  2. IT talent management. CIOs are very interested in current and future IT process, org design, culture, and leadership best practices.

  3. Benchmarking data (spending, staffing, leadership best practices). IT budget benchmarks continue to be a hot topic for CIOs.

  4. IT governance & metrics. CIOs continue to press for best practices that drive a culture of performance and value.

  5. Marketing of IT.  CIOs continue to work to perfect their methods for communicating IT value and activities.

You can read Sharyn’s full post at “CIOs Spoke, We Listened – Research Focus For 2010

Forrester: Five Advanced Analytics Predictions For 2010

forrester_logo I came across a 2010 trends list for business analytics at Forrester Research’s blog for Business Process & Applications Professionals.  The blog post was written by James Kobielus, a senior analyst at Forrester who researches and writes on data warehousing, predictive analytics, and data mining.

James came up with six trends that will shape advanced analytics in the year to come.

  1. Self-service operational BI puts information workers in driver’s seat
  2. User-friendly predictive modeling comes to the information workplace
  3. Advanced analytics sinks deep roots in the data warehouse
  4. Social network analysis bring powerful predictive analysis to the online economy
  5. Low-cost data warehousing delivers fast analytics to the midmarket
  6. Data warehousing virtualizing into the cloud

You can read the full post at http://blogs.forrester.com/business_process/2009/12/advanced-analytics-predictions-for-2010.html

Forrester: Ten Predictions For The E-Reader/E-Book Market In 2010

forrester_logoThe HorizonWatch Community first did a report on e-paper way back in August of 2001.   Since then, I’ve been interested in following this technology.  

Announced in November, 2007, Amazon's Kindle thrust the adoption of e-paper technology and e-books into the big time.  The Kindle combines the paper-like reading experience on a handheld display and the ease of wireless technologies. Users can browse, select, purchase and download books, blogs and articles, and do it all on the go, without a PC. 

Forrester analysts Sarah Rotman Epps and James McQuivey recently published an article at paidContent.org giving us ten predictions for the e-book market in 2010.   Here’s the list…

  1. E Ink will lose its claim to near-100% market share for e-reader displays.
  2. Dual-screen mobile phones and netbooks will eat into e-reader demand.
  3. Apps will make non-reading devices more e-book-friendly.
  4. eReaders will get apps, too.
  5. Amazon will launch a suite of new touchscreen e-readers.
  6. B&N will steal market share from Amazon and Sony.
  7. E-book content sales will top $500 million in the U.S.
  8. E-textbooks will become more accessible, but sales will be modest.
  9. Magazine and newspaper publishers will launch their own apps and devices.
  10. China, India, Brazil, and the EU will propel global growth, but the U.S. will still be the biggest market.

The full article has much more text behind each of the ten predictions above.  Check it out “Ten Predictions For The E-Reader/E-Book Market In 2010

Forrester’s Top 15 Technology Trends For Enterprise Architects To Watch

Forrester_logo

Last month, Forrester published a report The Top 15 Technology Trends EA Should Watch that listed 15 technologies with the greatest potential for business impact over the next three years.   The report was presented on a November 4 conference call by two Forrester VPs, Alex Cullen and Gene Leganza. 

Forrester opened up the presentation by discussing the reasons why companies need to monitor new and changing technologies.  Simply said, IT organizations need to understand how changes in technology will impact IT and business operations, both short-term and long-term.

To come up with the list of 15 technologies, Forrester used three criteria during the selection process.

  • Impact on the Business and/or IT Operating Model
  • Newness of the Technology, which translates into lack of understanding/experience
  • Complexity of the Technology, which can minimize ability to leverage the technology or can translate into risk of failure

Forrester grouped the list of 15 into five major themes.  Here is the list of 15 below.

Theme No. 1: Social Computing In And Around The Enterprise.  The social computing trend will have a huge impact on business…as it is having in our personal lives

    1. Collaboration platforms become people-centric
    2. Customer community platforms integrate with business apps
    3. Tele-presence gains widespread use

Theme No. 2: Process-Centric Data And Intelligence.  This theme emphasizes the shift from batch analytics to real-time business analytics.

    1. Business Intelligence goes real-time
    2. Master data management matures
    3. Data quality services become real-time

Theme No. 3: Restructured IT Service Platforms.  This theme is about providing greater scalability and flexibility while reducing support costs.

    1. Sass Will be ubiquitous for packaged apps
    2. Cloud-based platforms become standard infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service
    3. Client virtualization is ubiquitous

Theme No. 4: Agile And Fit-To-Purpose Applications.  This theme signals that improving a firm's application flexibility is getting easier for EAs

    1. Business rules processing moves to the mainstream
    2. BPM will be the Web-2.0-enabled
    3. Policy-based SOA becomes predominant
    4. Security will be data-and content-based

Theme No. 5: Mobile As The New Desktop.   During the next three years, mobile computing will expand dramatically as a business platform.

    1. Apps and business processes go mobile
    2. Mobile networks and devices gain more power

The list above (especially the themes) really hit home with me.  I like the list and plan on using this list as input into my 2010 Trends report I'll be delivering in January.

For more information, you can