Top technology trends for 2012

1.       Cloud Computing
will be driven by low investment projects such as application development and

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.


4.       M-Commerce

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

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

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.

By Anil Bajpai, senior vice president & head –
Research & Innovation at iGATE Patni
[email protected]