The future of IT: No big bangs, information everywhere

Don't wait for blockbuster technologies like the Internet to stir up corporate IT in the coming years. Instead, existing trends will continue to evolve and expand, says Forrester Research.

Mike Ricciuti Staff writer, CNET News
Mike Ricciuti joined CNET in 1996. He is now CNET News' Boston-based executive editor and east coast bureau chief, serving as department editor for business technology and software covered by CNET News, Reviews, and Download.com. E-mail Mike.
Mike Ricciuti

There's plenty of technological innovation headed to the enterprise in the coming years, but don't expect any new game changers on the order of Internet or ERP, according to a new report.

Instead, existing technologies like service-oriented architectures and mobile will combine with component business applications and social networking to form what Forrester Research analyst Bobby Cameron calls "IT everywhere."

Information technology is at the beginning of a "new 16-year cycle of innovation and growth that follows the previous cycle of networked computing for enterprise applications and the Internet," Cameron writes in the report, which debuted on Wednesday.

Cameron identifies several technologies that are already in place but will gather steam in the coming years, such as X Internet--the explosion in RFID and other devices--SOA, business-process management, and mobile.

There will be some new acronyms joining the technology mix: dynamic business applications (and architectures) (DBA) that build on SOA and are far more flexible and easier to adapt than older technologies; master data management (MDM), which seeks to improve the quality of data that businesses use; and information workplace (IW), the notion of delivering information through available technologies.

So which vendors will deliver these technologies? Forrester predicts that while specialty players will have a role, the driving forces will place some familiar names at the "hubs" of the evolving IT ecosystem: IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.