Forrester: Social Tech, Data Services Are Key Integration Trends

Loraine Lawson
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What pressing integration issues should enterprise architects prepare to face over the next two years? A new Forrester Research report lists three integration-focused technologies, as well as several issues that will ultimately require integration, in a new paper, "The Top 10 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014."

The integration list was surprisingly short, I thought, since it included only three items:
  • Data services and virtualization reach critical mass.
  • Holistic integration enables agile enterprise.
  • Social technology becomes enterprise plumbing.


Then again, integration underlies many of the other trends, including, I would think, the prediction that "personal device momentum changes mobile platform strategy" and the growing expectation that infrastructure be "always on, always available."

The list focuses on what Forrester calls "trending technology" and groups them into four categories, of which integration is only one. Application Platforms, Infrastructure & Operations and Mobile Computing are the other three.

The big challenges for EAs will be empowering employees and Big Data, according to CMS Wire. That's not surprising given the growth of BI. Forrester also sees the cloud and the "prevalence of Internet apps" - which I would assume means SaaS apps like Salesforce and not, say, "Angry Birds" - as impacting enterprise architects and their duties.

"There is no doubt that these technologies reap benefits for organizations, but unless its infrastructure can handle it, integrating emerging technologies can put a giant strain on a company," the article warns. "For EAs it's best to know about the next big thing before your early adopters do. Successful organizations know that you can't prevent new technologies from entering the enterprise, so it's best to be proactive about supporting them rather than risk security by denying them."

The article includes a chart showing to what extent each of these trending technologies will impact IT and the business, as well as assessing its complexity and newness. Holistic integration is expected to have a "high" impact on IT, while social technology integration will have a "medium to high" impact on IT. Social integration also rated a high complexity.

Forrester also issued a similar paper for EAs on business technology trends to watch. The business technology trends list is broader and less focused on IT-centric technologies. For example, the business technology trends list includes a section on data management and governance that includes two trend predictions:

The full reports are $499 for non-clients, but if you'd like to see the Cliff Note's version, check out the CMS Wire article and this blog post by the report's primary author, Forrester Research analyst and EA expert Brian Hopkins.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 14, 2011 10:49 AM Yves de Montcheuil Yves de Montcheuil  says:

@Loraine, thanks for this interesting summary. What you describe is quite aligned with what we at Talend, as a vendor of integration solutions, see on the market. Namely:

- more and more demand for a unified integration approach, bringing together data integration & application integration infrastructure

- modularization of integration via services

- integration of more and more diverse sources, social data being an essential component - all part of the Big Data movement

- integration in hybrid environments - bridging on-premises, Cloud & SaaS application

None of this is necessary entirely new. But this is clearly where our customers are going today - and where we have been helping them go in the past couple years. Glad to see leading analyst firms confirming these trends.


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