My blogging hiatus has been longer than Jack's, I'm afraid. One of the boons and banes of being an analyst is that you think in public much of the time. I needed to think in private for a few weeks, so took the month of August for myself. Consider it a mental vacation.
During my absence from public view, I've been pondering trends for 2010. At this time of year, Burton Group fields requests from the press and clients about our vision for the next 18 months. This month, I wrote a document that outlines the highest level trends: 2010 Executive Planning Guide: The Difficult Path to Recovery. Each of our coverage areas will incorporate aspects from my writing into their domain-specific planning guides.
In addition to global economic and societal trends, I discuss three related concepts impacting enterprise IT: externalization, consumerization, and democratization of IT. These trends have been coalescing for a while and will persist past the artificial boundary of a guide for 2010.
The Externalization of IT
Externalization plays an important role in IT economics, prompting value assessments of what capabilities should be treated as commodity. Enterprises are refocusing their efforts on core business capabilities while examining alternatives for the non-core activities. The benefits of IT externalization include the potential of reduced cost, renewed focus on the core, and strategic partnership with the business. A growing number of options for externalizing IT, including the cloud, holds the promise of streamlined and efficient operations, demand elasticity, and more effective business-driven priorities.
The Consumerization of IT
The average person has become a sophisticated technology user and this is reflected in the desire for individual choice of devices and applications for maximum personal productivity. The growing trend of allowing information workers to choose their own equipment imposes significant burdens on the enterprise; it`s hard to secure equipment you don`t own, and it`s hard to manage and support a very diverse hardware and software base. IT innovation, once emanating from internal IT out, is now predominantly driven inward by employees and customers.
The Democratization of IT
Democratization is evident in the rise and importance of social networks within and outside the modern enterprise which changes the "ways of work" and challenges traditional organization structures and schema. The challenge to the organization is to facilitate the coexistence of hierarchical and democratic styles of communication and choice-making. Democratization is being forced by generation Y`s familiarity with technology, and new social networking solutions within the enterprise.
You can read the press release regarding our Executive Planning Guide here: http://www.burtongroup.com/AboutUs/newsdetail.aspx?id=33