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Top Five Disruptive Technologies for 2009, According to Saugatuck Technology

Originally published December 30, 2008

Saugatuck Technology released a list of top five disruptive technologies to watch during this current economic downturn: 

Software as a service (SaaS): The economic appeal of SaaS is that usage-based or subscription pricing can move software costs into the operating budget from the capital budget. Plus, the supporting infrastructure is off-premises, thus eliminating the need to buy additional hardware or hire personnel to manage it. Critical Issue: Integration. 

Strategic Planning Position(s):   

·         2009 will be the year that serious horizontal and “buying center”-driven SaaS suites emerge, via pure-play investment and aggressive industry consolidation and M&A.

·         By 2012, roughly half of the companies considered "SaaS Master Brands" will be pure-play SaaS providers; the remaining will be traditional Master Brands who have repurposed their businesses.

Cloud computing: Whether it is on-demand storage services, an on-demand application development platform, a runtime infrastructure for a custom mission-critical application or integration as a service, CIOs are taking cloud computing seriously. Cloud computing – whether through public or private services – promises reduced costs while satisfying the needs of both large and small enterprises alike. Critical Issue: IT Management challenges. 

Strategic Planning Position(s): By 2013, at least 20 percent of enterprise IT workloads – that historically would have operated on-premises – will be run in the public cloud, providing significantly enhanced functionality, lower costs, fewer staff and reduced carbon footprint. 

Virtualization: Consider that on average, a physical server typically runs at 10% or less utilization, while a virtualized server can mean an increase in utilization to 60 or 70%. This means that data centers can reduce the number of servers required to support the business by eighty percent or more. Critical Issue: Ownership.

Strategic Planning Position(s):  

  •      By YE 2010, large enterprises will virtualize at least 35 percent of non-desktop IT infrastructure and 20 percent of desktop IT infrastructure. 

·         Through 2013, management tools, processes, expertise, and services (not functionality) will remain the key limiting factor in user adoption of IT Virtualization.

Open source: The same factors that attract users to open source – lower costs and reduced times of development, and reduced dependency on vendor-specific technologies – have attracted commercial software vendors to use and incorporate open source into their offerings and portfolios. Critical Issue: Governance.

Strategic Planning Position(s): 

·         By YE 2009, open source will be part of practically all software in user enterprises. 

·         By YE 2009, the widespread inclusion of multiple open source software components by vendors (including SaaS and cloud providers) will force users and vendors to invest significant IT, Finance, and Legal resources on open source licensing governance.

Social Computing: With the potential to improve information sharing internally and connect companies more closely with external customers, suppliers and partners, social computing is beginning to prove itself beneficial to the enterprise. Critical Issue: Integrating social applications into enterprise business applications.

Strategic Planning Position(s): By year end 2010, one-quarter of business process improvement initiatives will include the integration of social information into the context of business applications and workflows.

Five Disruptive Technologies to Watch

Knowing how, where and when technology and business disruption is likely to occur, enables user firms to improve their planning, management and decision making. Knowing how, where and when user firms will plan and manage disruption in business and technology helps technology vendors and services providers identify opportunities and plan offerings. 

Saugatuck does not expect most user firms to invest heavily in any IT for the next year or more, unless those firms are experiencing dramatic growth, or have needs for new or improved IT that will clearly result in strong business improvement. A shift “backwards” toward more centralized IT spending scrutiny (capital and operational) with a renewed emphasis on compelling business cases will be the norm. Such practices can be effective in helping to manage IT costs with traditional technologies. 

Under this scenario we can expect some investment in these technologies and some progress toward business and IT improvement – especially when they can help deliver new innovation cost-effectively, or lower the cost of existing service delivery. 

But these five disruptive influences will also continue to come in through “side doors” and could reach critical mass through unofficial channels and practices. User firms that are unaware of their presence and/or lack effective governance to deal with these influences will find costs for IT management, security, integration, and operations escalating during a time when those firms may need some very tactical restraint. 

Excerpted from December 19 Strategic Perspective by Saugatuck Technology entitled Five Disruptive Technologies to Watch in 2009.


This BeyeNETWORK news item contains information from a recent press release by the company mentioned.