10 technology trends that will define enterprise architecture in the 2010s

In terms of technology trends shaping enterprise architects' jobs over the next three years, its all about cloud, cloud, cloud and mobile.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Forrester Research's Brian Hopkins and co-researchers recently assembled a list of the top 20 trends that will define (or redefine) enterprise architecture between now and 2014 (10 top technology trends and 10 top business trends).

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

In terms of technology trends over the next three years, its all about cloud, cloud and mobile. Here is Forrester's top 10 list:

1) Elastic application platforms emerge to handle variable scale and portfolio balancing. "A new generation of elastic applications is emerging to help firms realize cloud computing benefits," Hopkins observes.

2) Platform-as-a-service crosses the chasm. What does Hopkins mean by this?  He observes that despite a lot of interest in PaaS by early adopters, "a wide chasm exists in technology maturity" before a majority of the market will adopt it.

3) Data services and virtualization reach critical mass. "Over the next three years... leading firms will implement data services to extend their enterprise data warehouse and/or to operate in a multitechnology environment with a mix of physical and virtual data stores."

4) Holistic integration enables agile enterprises. The silos are breaking down, but technology "does not overcome cultural obstacles." A more holistic approach is emerging to address both technical and business integration, says Hopkins.

5) Social technology becomes enterprise plumbing. "Social interaction will become part of normal workflows, and applications must be architected from the inception to enable this."

6) Improved virtualization sets the stage for private cloud. "Expect to see more focus on virtualization maturity to raise utilization rates, standardization, and automation," Hopkins says.

7) Always on, always available is the new expectation. High availability will be the watchword for IT. Expect to see such improvements as "cloud-based disaster recovery services."

8) Network architecture evolves to meet cloud demands. "Over the next three years, firms will consolidate their network tiers to a flattened topology using virtualization features that are already a part of most currently shipping data-center-class switches."

9) Personal device momentum changes mobile platform strategy. "Strategic changes will include IT support for at least BlackBerry, iOS, and Android devices as well as much more openness to individually liable devices connecting to corporate resources."

10) The app Internet ushers in the next generation of computing. Expect to see fully enabled context-aware and secure app-based mobile computing, Hopkins says.  Also, the jury is still out on HTML5 development versus platform-specifc app development.

In an upcoming post, we explore Hopkins' 10 top business technology trends shaping EA.

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