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How enterprise software will look in 2017

Andrew Bartels | April 21, 2008
Using a scenario-based planning approach, Forrester has three visions of how software will look -- each illustrated by a poker analogy.

CIOs will also act more like accountants, teachers, and recruiters by communicating technology decisions in terms that non-technical colleagues can easily understand.

In contrast to the relative stability of Three Kings, the Joker's Wild scenario results from dramatic change to the enterprise software market. At least one major new enterprise software vendor rises to challenge the Big Four and, like the Full House scenario, enterprises shift work to the most advantageous locations and suppliers around the globe.

Managing utilities
The Joker's Wild and Full House scenarios have similar implications for CIOs but Joker's Wild is more extreme with the CIOs of the largest organizations managing utilities capable of providing 'IT power' to the business. To create these utilities, CIOs drive standardization of system and network configurations, formats and protocols, and skills. CIOs manage delivery of core IT solutions that are provided by solutions providers or on-demand software companies, focusing on service-level agreements, costs, and integration.

Picking a winner from these three scenarios is less important than understanding the impact each scenario could have on your organization. Rather than making a single prediction about what the future will look like, smart companies create several scenarios, determine how each scenario would impact their business, and make plans for what they would do to mitigate the potential damage or magnify the potential benefits. To continue with the poker/gambling analogy: this forecast may tip the odds in favor of the CIO.


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