1. Cloud Computing will be driven by low investment projects such as application development and testing
Although global customers have been discussing cloud computing and the probability of adopting a cloud strategy, we have seen very little adoption in the last year. The year mainly focused on creating consensus among CIOs and CTOs to analyse the impact cloud computing can have on businesses. However beginning 2012, we are expecting low cost cloud based projects to pick up, especially those which do not necessitate heavy investments. For instance, cloud computing can play a role in applications that need to be developed from scratch and eventually tested as such an activity does not demand locked infrastructure. However, we are yet to see traction with legacy applications that need to be moved to a cloud environment.
2. Usability now in enterprise applications from just end user applications
For the uninitiated, Usability refers to making products more convenient, practical and functional; and this principle is now being applied to software applications as well. Until now, Usability as a concept used to be associated only with those applications that were focused on end-users. However, with enterprise applications like CRM, Business Intelligence, ERP etc becoming accessible on mobile devices customers are increasingly looking at infusing the element of usability for enterprise applications as well to garner higher and faster adoption of such applications in a corporate environment.
3. Content Management being monetised
Initially organizational content such as documents, videos, web based applications, mobility applications was delivered only through traditional technologies. But increasingly content delivery and distribution is undergoing a transformation. The boundaries between e-commerce and content management are shrinking and companies are thinking in terms of how their content can be delivered across various devices and how this delivery can be eased creating a business value out of it. Hence companies are putting focus on how content can be managed within the organization, how it can be distributed and how it can be monetized.
In the wake of explosive mobile phone penetration, mobile commerce and Near Field Communication will see a surge in 2012 and serve as pivots for an intelligent ecosystem towards customer delight. For instance - Advertisements on mobile phones customised to a user’s location and preference will become mainstream. If a user while strolling on the road does a Google search to find the nearest restaurant, the advertisements from the nearest restaurants will show up on his mobile screen to satiate that specific customer need. On the other hand, mobile payments will revolutionize the transactions scenario. Tightening the biggest challenge of security on this platform will ensure that user concerns are allayed thereby making this platform much more popular than web based banking in the near future.
5. Social Media Applications
Over the next two years, we will see social media applications being created by traditional technology companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple; committing themselves to interoperability and platform agnosticism. With the big guns entering social media analytics scene, smaller and niche social media companies will need to reconsider their strategies to adapt or they will perish. To analogise, consider the dot com companies that went through a boom cycle until traditional companies started foraying into their domain which led to their burst. Similarly, traditional companies will start raking in greater profits in the social media space than the niche social media and analytics companies. Separately, we will see social networking sites catapulting to the next level to serve the purpose of corporate interactions. We will also see very interesting applications being built on social networking platforms for corporate interactions customized to each company’s need. This will be typically beneficial as a collaborative tool for geographically dispersed teams.
6. Zero Footprint Technology
In sectors that are concerned with confidential data or regulatory compliance etc where security is key, we are seeing the use of zero footprint applications whereby the application doesn’t save any data, code, link, history, and temporary files etc on the device. Zero footprint applications run on web based servers and can be accessed on either a traditional PC or a mobile device such as tablets etc. Zero footprint technology will see an increased adoption in 2012, particularly in markets such as US and Europe which have laws like HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley etc.
7. The rise and rise of ‘Bring your own devices’ movement
With the increasing accessibility to and affordability of mobile devices such as smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc; bringing technology to the workplace is definitely an upcoming trend in the near future. This is in-line with the global trends of “Consumerization of IT” and “Bring Your Own Device”. In today’s cloud era, the PC-server environment will undergo a change transforming the future of business by redefining the workplace. However, while companies embrace this new trend, they will need to mindful of challenges such as security risks and managing the life cycle of mobile applications and devices, right from procurement to de-commissioning stages.
- Anill Bajpai, Senior Vice President & Head - Research & Innovation, iGATE Patni