5 Twists On 2012s Big Tech TrendsI wish I could pen a 2012 predictions piece without reference to theusual suspects of cloud, mobility, social media, and the commensurateexplosion of data. But the fact is, these remain the biggies, and for goodreason. Theyre no longer isolated trends but intertwined opportunities--intertwined with one another and with your efforts to build lasting digitalbusiness strategies.Where I deviate from the normal outlook piece is to predict that weshouldnt expect big-bang changes. Instead, next year will be one ofimportant advancements in established trends. Here are five evolutionarysteps coming in enterprise IT during 2012.
1. More-Nutritional Enterprise Social AppsDespite explosive growth in social technology adoption on the home front,only 12% of U.S. information workers even have access to an enterprise formof a social app, according to Forresters survey--and even fewer are usingwhats available to them. Outside of customer service applications, IT leadersare hesitant to invest in enterprise social. Why? Collaboration initiatives, towhich social capabilities are tied, are often viewed like eggplant--no downside,but also little nutritional value.Enterprise social apps will gain momentum in 2012 at companies where theresa change of objective: Instead of just trying to connect information workers toknown peers or defined repositories, the new goal will be helping them findexpertise beyond their Rolodexes. The concept of a social graph--a virtual mapof whom users are connected to and the content that those users access andcreate--will underpin these strategies. When companies learn how to use socialapps to drive revenue from this information, well see more offerings andfinally more uptake in demand.
2. A Focus On The App InternetMobility used to be simple: Support the BlackBerry. But smartphones andtablets from Apple, Google, and other platform providers besides RIM haveredefined expectations for executives and employees. For IT, there are nowmyriad mobiles apps in the development queue that are aimed at reachingcustomers and business partners. Device-resident apps that rely on cloudservices will continue their ascent. Thats in direct contrast to the browser-based Web model that dominated the PC world for 10 years. At Forrester, wecall it the "app Internet.“Devices will always advance (see my next nugget), but the greatest change inmobility in 2012 will be around this app Internet. Companies will get moreserious about the leadership, governance, and processes needed to delivereffective apps. The largest companies will appoint someone as the leader of amobility council, responsible for the portfolio of employee, partner, andcustomer apps.
And companies will start creating their own app stores. At most, these appstores will remain in planning stage next year. But eventually, employees willable to download preapproved apps they need and charge them back to theirbusiness unit, or theyll let managers sign off on employee app downloads justlike they do a travel expense. Expect these app catalogs to support multipledevice platforms.The developers behind Orra Health are of the strong opinion that in order tofacilitate the multiplication of several app stores as rivals to the existing Appleapp store and the Android market place, the multiplier effect in the field of appdevelopment needs to be manifold. It may be a distant dream for the year2012, but not an out-right impossibility.