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Key Business Technology Trends and Themes

Posted by Hemant Puthli on December 18, 2009

It’s that time of the year again — as the holiday season approaches and the calendar year draws to a close, everybody is out there, trying to assess the year that was and trying to forecast the year that will be. In keeping with that tradition we have put together a list of trends and themes that emerge prominently out of our assessment of important developments that have shaped the growth of the business technology market in the recent past, and which will carry over their impact and momentum into the near future. Some of these trends and themes are at the ascent of their curve and approaching their peak, some have reached steady-state where they will continue for a while, while the others have run through their course and are beginning to enter the last leg of their life-cycle before they fade away (only to morph into new avatars of themselves — technology seems to do that thing quite often — the ‘back to the future’ thing).

We present two lists here: a list of 6 trends and a list of 6 themes, in no particular order. Trends pertain to the supply side of the market and are characteristics of products and services that are produced and delivered by vendors and providers. Themes pertain to the demand side of the market and emerge from major pre-occupations of most CIOs and their teams — their key concerns and the stuff that keeps them awake at night. A good way of reading these lists would be for vendors and providers to ask themselves how they can innovate and continue to develop products and services that leverage these 6 trends and help address their customers’ needs and concerns in those 6 thematic areas. Similarly, a good way of reading these lists would be for CIOs to ask themselves how they can stay focused on these 6 themes and deliver results by effectively deploying products and services emerging out of those 6 trends.

Trends (Supply-side)

  • Mobility and Mobile Computing
  • Web 2.0 / Social Networking and Social Media
  • Outsourcing / Off-shoring / Globalization of services
  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  • Analytics and Business Intelligence
  • Content and Knowledge Management

Themes (Demand-side)

  • Business Alignment: IT Strategy & Governance, support organizational / operational innovation and business transformation
  • Stakeholder Relationship Management: accountability to end-users, staff, suppliers, corporate leadership
  • Enterprise Architecture: simplification, standardization, consolidation
  • ‘Green IT’ and Corporate Responsibility: supporting social and environmental causes championed by the business
  • Cost Management: real-estate footprint, power consumption, procurement, licensing, maintenance, salaries and wages
  • Security & Risk Management: data security, customer privacy, access control, disaster management, business continuity

We recognize that there may be many trends as well as themes, other than those we have identified here above, that may be equally (or more) important within specific pockets or niches of the business technology market world-wide. By not including more trends and themes we are not suggesting that they are unimportant — we just wanted to keep our lists reasonably short and so decided to pick around half-a-dozen points for each (again, it was not a pre-defined number). Our lists only seek to represent the top few trends and themes aggregated across all industry verticals (such as banking, manufacturing, etc.) and functional horizontals (such as supply chain, customer relationship management, etc.) that the business technology market covers, across all geographies.

Do write in with your comments, especially if you feel we’ve missed out on something really important that needs to be captured in a high-level scan.

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2 Responses to “Key Business Technology Trends and Themes”

  1. Monisha Advani said

    All fair points. Personally think outsourcing/ offshoring will experience an unexpected spike in 2010. Have had the opportunity to examine western economies at close quarters recently and the fiscal damage of the last 1000 days will not translate into jobs but de-risked consumption of services. Here’s to catching the wave!

    • Thanks for your comment, Monisha, and also for sharing your insights and forecasts! The sooner we understand and learn to deal with the ‘new normal’ the better it would be for all of us.

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