According to a recent study by Nucleus Research, development on the cloud, big data emergence and analysis, integration with social networking have high impacts on productivity and for the basis for their predictions for the top trends and topics for 2012. The Nucleus predictions are likely to help improve IT investment in future and focus areas for SMBs, startups, and investors.
The next year’s most successful firms “will leverage social technology to build the productive enterprise,” says Nucleus. “They will take advantage of mobile device access to collaborative networks to spur employees to work during down time, day time, and night time”.
Development on the Cloud
There is no counter argument to the fact that the cloud has made development faster (and cheaper, especially for SMBs). In the future, the cloud will also make development even more virtual. Initiatives like crowdsourcing and integration with social tools will challenge traditional resource management tools like billable hours. As long as good quality code is delivered on time, talented developers will have no dearth of opportunities, physical boundaries notwithstanding.
Big vendors are increasingly adding cloud offerings and other capabilities that are more feasible for SMBs and it’s even easier to make the case for choosing a major label. This means technology buyers will look to a big vendor with 80% solution rather than multiple small ones with the best solutions but in small parts that add up to the whole.
The Social Enterprise
Every major organization today has been trying to, or has already adopted social. Integrating capabilities like Microsoft’s Chatter can drive an average productivity increase of 20 percent, says another Nucleus study. However, it does not work for everyone: either users don’t adopt or they don’t use it for business purpose. Of course, Facebook provides you tons of distractions in the form of photos, discussions, games, and apps.
The most successful firms next year will surpass social enterprises to become productive enterprises. They will use the acceptance of “social” tools to drive collaboration, work sharing, and more capable workers.They will use social tools to support business purposes and direct workers on how to use them to get ahead and stay employed.
Labor (and Technology)
Workforce management vendors like Dayforce are combining analytics tools with attendance data and delivering this data to managers. This would help managers distinguish productive workers from slackers and accordingly streamline efforts. In 2012, measures like these will be used by organizations in help optimize labor.
Also, the investment of capital will move from labor to technology. A survey by Nucleus found 50% of US organizations are planning to increase their technology spend in 2012. Technology enables companies to avoid new hires by improving the productivity of the existing employees.
User Experience and Customer Experience
The 2000’s were about adding more and more functionality and features to software. This century’s teen years will be about making smarter software that will be more intuitive, integrated, and self teaching to increase productivity. There will be more intelligent applications that use semantics to find and remember your choices and preferences and provide contextual search results.
Many companies are still struggling to optimize customer experiences while registering their online presence – creating a Facebook page is not enough. There will be more investment in analytics, activity monitoring, and big data crunching as companies aspire to reach out to and build a relationship with their customers. In doing so, companies will also have to invest time, money and effort on security measures to build up a trust among customers skeptical of having their data handled in the cloud.
» Research Link.