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IDC Software Predictions 2008


Thanks to my friends at IDC I got to attend an IDC Breakfast on their predictions for 2008. First up was Henry Morris discussing general economic trends. He pointed out that economic indicators are mixed and that IT buyer confidence is low and IT spending very sensitive to GDP. In particular, Japan , NA and Europe are all trending down, while Latin America and AP up. As the major economies are trending lower, so the overall picture is lower. He highlighted three trends:

  1. Accelerated Consolidation – BI consolidation expanding into related technologies now the big acquisitions are made, application acquisitions are becoming more vertical specific while middleware acquisitions are moving to management / lifecycle
  2. Mid-market is a prime target – SaaS, Appliances, industrialization of software replaces labor outsourcing
  3. Virtualization is changing software licensing

Next up was Steve Hendrick, who focused on application development and deployment. This market is very focused on Americas so a recession there makes a big difference. In particular he noted that the top 5 companies in application development software account for 50% of the spending and these same 5 have a bigger percentage of overseas revenue than the market as a whole. This implies that smaller companies are VERY focused on (and therefore exposed to) US recession fears. Steve split his predictions into three tiers. SOA, BPM and EDA are tier 1 because higher impact and long lived. On demand Application Development, Virtualization and a focus on the mid market are tier 2, while usability, appliances, open source and IT project/portfolio management are tier 3. He discussed some of these but I am going to focus on the top 3

  1. SOA becomes a critical foundation of “in the cloud” computing.
    A key issue he sees is that semantics will constrain the extent of the interaction
  2. BPM becomes “must have” despite gloomy economy
    Thanks both to a faster time-to-value and cost cutting support. Real time monitoring increases visibility while modeling and rules are critical.
    Key issue is whether enough people understand the value of what is a new approach to application development
  3. Event Driven Architecture – not just tickers and tags
    Currently most applications use synchronous I/O in in-line r batch applications that are hard to change. EDA gives more control through change of state, asynchronous operations support parallel operations and EDA is very consistent with BPM/SOA/BRMS. Steve sees BRMS acting as an intermediary between events and processes and the value of analytics in supporting this decisioning
    Key Issue is that applications needs to become more data driven and process aware?

Mike Fauscette was up next discussing software strategies across applications and the business of software. He identified 4 broad themes in his predictions:

  1. Growing affect of SOA on applications and on application vendor ecosystems
  2. Web 2.0 in the Enterprise such as tagging and social networking
  3. SaaS becoming mainstream
  4. Software mega-economies impact the ecosystem

He gave a few sample predictions of which some interesting ones are:

  • Social networking gaining a foothold in enterprise
  • Economic models centering around Oracle, SAP and Microsoft as smaller vendors pick application mega-vendor of choice
  • Unified communications start to change applications
  • SaaS moves beyond enterprise applications towards things like backup or content management, data quality – Everything as a Service

Henry Morris wrapped up by giving some predictions from the information access space.

  1. Unified access to information (structured, semi structured, unstructured and rich media) thought enriched metadata and unified management
  2. Rise of applications that mine the wisdom of crowds – recommendation engines, data mining, sentiment extraction, reputation monitoring
  3. BI consolidation moves to domain specialists and smaller technology vendors with specialty expertise such as text. Also ISVs in emerging markets
  4. BI and search divide into stuff for masses, stuff for specialists

All in all some great information and lots to make me think that the power of decision management to glue all this together in a smart (enough) way is going to be key. Some related posts include: