5 Key Areas Driving Enterprise 3.0

Posted by | December 8, 2011

Last week, I attended and participated in the IMPACT 2011 Venture Summit Mid-Atlantic conference, where I had a chance to talk to entrepreneurs and the venture capital community about the vast changes and opportunities ahead in enterprise computing. What struck me as I spoke with other attendees was that we’re only at the beginning of a massive wave of innovation in the enterprise, as worldwide enterprise IT spending could reach up to $2.6 trillion in 2012.

During the event, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel titled “Enterprise 3.0” that took a close look at what corporations are doing now in terms of technology adoption, as well as the kinds of technologies and companies that are shaping the coming decade of Enterprise 3.0. Companies large and small that I spoke with at the conference reported that they will transform 50 to 100 percent of their IT systems over the next year.

Joining me on the panel were Jeff Hummel, Head of Infrastructure at ING DIRECT USA; Randall Gaboriault, CIO at Christiana Healthcare; Jim Fagan, Deputy CIO at Morgan Lewis, LLP; and Rick Bullotta, CTO and co-founder at ThingWorx, a Safeguard Scientifics partner company. We talked about the five key areas that are driving us closer to Enterprise 3.0. These five forces will continue to drive the majority of changes in the years to come.

  1. Social Media — It was apparent that social media will impact the way businesses share information, drive collaboration, and increase productivity. Engagement and adoption of social apps in the enterprise will be driven by better design and functionality; a result of the mass appeal of visually appealing consumer social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Mobile Technology — This is probably the most visible, tangible game changer converging on the enterprise. The ubiquity of mobile devices, intuitive productivity apps, and business acceptance of the consumerization of IT is being driven by consumer behavior. Businesses are making it easier for employees to access data stored in the enterprise remotely and securely.
  3. Cloud — Our panelists have already moved to the cloud in one form or another because of the opportunities to decrease costs and cut down on the maintenance of hardware and systems. While there are many benefits to a cloud strategy, data loss and security remain major risks.  Now, and in the coming years, enterprises, including businesses represented by our panelists, can focus on their individual business processes and build the apps that enable them to work efficiently and drive productivity across all departments.
  4. Internet of Things — The “Internet of Things” is also driving new opportunities by employing the first three technology areas I mentioned above. While collaboration between people has driven Enterprise 2.0, the next generation of the enterprise will depend on the addition of information from machines and devices into the mix. According to Cisco, some 50 billion devices are supposed to be in use and connected to the Internet in one form or another by 2020, providing businesses with real-time insight into the performance of their assets.
  5. Big Data — The vast amount of data being produced by all of the devices will be connected both inside and outside of the enterprise. This offers businesses never before seen opportunities to gather and leverage greater data sets. Big data provides enterprises with the opportunity to break information out of their traditional silos and provide greater visibility into a company’s operations. Businesses can respond to problems faster by gaining immediate insight into their operations, and, in many cases, avoid potential problems altogether. It sounds like some companies are off to a great start developing new tools to sift through and make sense of this avalanche of intelligence.

These technologies, from mobility and cloud computing to fifth generation development frameworks and virtualization, are upon us. Right now, CIOs and CTOs can approach these innovations carefully, building APIs to continue deriving value from legacy systems. But, as they build towards full scale Enterprise 3.0, they will have to rethink significant portions of their environment. Don’t be intimidated though, as this process is leading us to the most exciting transformation in technology since the birth of the Internet.

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