Forrester’s Gene Leganza compiled a list of the hottest trends enterprise architects and IT managers need to watch over the next two to three years. Forrester began summarizing technology trends last year to help enterprise architects create their organizations' technology watch lists, and this year have identified 15 technology trends for enterprise architects to watch. What were this year's categories? "Empowered" technologies, process-centric data and intelligence, agile and fit-to-purpose applications, and smart technology management.
This first item on the list was business intelligence, as it increasingly combines real-time access with pervasiveness, agility, and self-service: “Firms will increase their use of analytics to improve their speed of response to changing market conditions…. IT needs to enable successful end user BI self-service to keep runaway BI costs in check.” (Forrester, 2010).
Third on the list was the standard adoption of SaaS and cloud-based platforms: “Even if IT mostly uses IaaS and PaaS options, the business will benefit from rapid deployment…. IT execs must triage where they invest their resources as well adopt new application support practices for SaaS, while completely re-evaluating capacity issues as well as architecture standards for applications developed or hosted in the cloud.” (Forrester, 2010).
Another interesting technology identified in the list was the targeting of text and social networks with web analytics: “These new technologies bring powerful analytics to bear on rich areas as yet untapped for intelligence about customers and products…. They will provide a challenge for information architects and tax the semantic capabilities of existing investments.” (Forrester, 2010).
Other trends in the top 10 included: business rules processing and policy-based SOA moving to mainstream adoption, system management enabling continued virtualization, collaboration platforms becoming people-centric, and integration of customer continuity platforms with business apps.
Gene Leganza states on his blog the reason behind the annual publishing of The Top 15 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: "You need a technology watch list. You need to know what’s coming, what’s beginning to be adopted, what’s reaching the mainstream now. And more than a watch list, you need a process for regularly evaluating the capabilities of emerging technology and mapping them to the needs of your organization."