Business applications tend to be transformed by technologies that disrupt traditional notions of process flexibility, insight, delivery speed, ownership, and support costs. Forrester is a global research and advisory firm, that helps the world’s top companies turn the complexity of change into business advantage. According to a Forrester research, there are ten key trends, presented below in short, which will drive business applications transformation and can be used by application delivery leaders, application architects, and enterprise architects to inform their application strategy.
1. Cloud Deployment Models
Software upgrades in traditional applications have nowadays become so costly and difficult and customizations and extensions make them even more complicate. Cloud computing and particularly software-as-a-service (SaaS) can provide solutions to such problems. An all-in rental model with hosting, maintenance, managed services, automatic upgrades and software usage can lead to much more predictable costs. As SaaS will expand in the future, it will become more flexible and scalable. So more and more industries will enrich their application mix, blending off-premises business applications with on-premises apps according to their objectives.
2. Mobile Technology
Since mobile technology is rapidly evolving, all business applications vendors use it to increase the usage of their business apps. Business processes now become portable through mobile apps, though business vendors need to decouple mobile capabilities from their architecture, so as to follow mobile world rapid paces. In the future, more powerful devices, such as tablet devices will enrich the capability of mobile business apps, whereas packaged mobile apps will expand in areas like architecture, banking, healthcare and real estate.
3. Embedded Modelling Tools
Business stakeholders have always been depended on IT staff skilled in business applications configuration. This always led to long delivery terms, limited flexibility, even limitations in software. Business apps vendors provide configuration tooling that becomes more flexible, graphical and model-based, thus eliminating coding. Configuration tools will empower business experts in the future, to modify app behaviour without the help of IT. Graphical modelling tools include business rules, notification and embedded BI. So business will own all configuration and app flexibility will be the key for a vendor selection.
4. Application User Experiences
Application usability is enriched with the use of drop down lists, colours, icons, so that apps vendors can reach high expectations of users. Graphical features, analytics and customer interactions move focus from data capture to business outcomes. So, customer experience is collected to improve business apps, along with social network help. But real business value will come from customers interactions, extending business process support and even with performance improvements.
5. Extensibility Is Improving Via PaaS
Business apps are usually customized by tools offered by vendors, but these tools are usually complex and costly. So PaaS has come up, a set of application development tools for building apps in the cloud. With PaaS, business apps will thrive in the cloud. PaaS will add model-based configuration and BPM, and will become more extensible.
Manufacturers in automotive, aerospace and other mature industries have evolved from making simple service components to building assemblies of components that meet differentiating requirements. Componentization will result in blending elements and creating custom-built and know-your-customer apps. Componentized business functionality will lead firms to make use of component frameworks with internal and external business apps components. So, scalable, flexible and easy-to-use business apps will achieve competitiveness and change business strategy.
7. Elastic Computing Platforms
Elastic Application Platform (EAP as defined by Forrester) is an app platform that automates elasticity of transactions, services, data, with high performance and using elastic resources. EAP will encourage scenarios like big data analytics, that have scalable demands for higher performance, at low cost, and rapid analysis of business information from vast data resources. EAP will enable innovative apps, that will offer predictive simulation combined with scalability and elasticity. SaaS can adapt to EAPs, allowing to scale thousands of customers on the same application and providing app upgrades and better levels of isolation.
8. Social Collaboration Via Social Tools
Social collaboration can be used by vendors to solve business problems and lead to better business apps. For example, crowdsourcing has helped banks to develop new financial services products. But social media use in business processes may lead to overload of information that will cause difficulty in handling. It is obvious that the effective use of social collaboration in business apps will take several years to mature.
9. Big Data and Real-Time Analytics
Today customers know everything about companies, since they can make use of price comparison websites, aggregator websites and social computing. Since firms like banking and retail need to learn more about their customers too, they can make use of big data real-time analytics, such as checking credit scoring and tracking customer behaviour across channels. Real-time information will help optimize business processes. Intelligence systems will collect internet information for customer. A 360-degree view of customer and business-wide information will reach all kinds of business partners, thus delivering a more current and comprehensive view of customers and partners relationships in real time.
10. Standardized Service Semantics
In SOA syntax specifications and standards there has been a gap between the promise of full business agility and the reality of only syntactically standardized business services interfaces. This gap is crucial to be bridged, so that business value of architectural element is leveraged. Semantic business service specs will result in a quantum leap in extensibility. The convergence of semantic specs with large sets of vendor proprietary pre-built business services will speed this trend.
According to the researchers, these ten key technology trends will reshape the way delivery teams will design, develop and select business applications. You can read more, downloading the full article from Forrester here.
Understand These Trends To Shape Your Application Strategy
This report enumerates the top 10 technology trends that are reshaping the nature and value proposition of business applications today and in the coming years. Application delivery leaders, application architects, and enterprise architects should use this report to inform their application strategy. The report will help them define their road map for implementing that strategy and avoid basing their long-term strategy on the technologies or architectures of the past, as these are inherently ill-suited to meeting the challenges of the coming decade.