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large_4472447063Research firm Forrester understands that everyone who’s been listening with even one ear knows that mobile, social, cloud, and data are big freight trains of change that are crashing through old business models and old business practices.

But let’s face it: That train is in the station. What’s next?

Also see: Forrester’s top 10 mobile trends for 2013

Analyst Bryan Hopkins gave us a peek into what Forrester thinks is next, and much of it builds on those four horseman of disruptive change. “We went a level deeper in our research by examining how today’s hot technolog[ies] create platforms for future disruption,” he wrote this morning in a blog post.


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Here they are, in four groups:

End user computing technologies

  1. Leap MotionNext-generation devices and UIs
    New sensors and new user interfaces. Think Leap Motion
  2. Advanced collaboration and communication
    Think social inside, like Yammer or other social-inside-the-enterprise solutions
  3. Systems of engagement
    Real-time data, in everyone’s hands. Think Roambi

Sensors and remote computing technologies

  1. Smart products
    Thing that can sense, react, and communicate. Think operating system for places and buildings
  2. In-location positioning
    GPS and in-building location sensors
  3. Machine-to-machine networks
    Background intelligence on people and things. Think ReelyActive

Process data management technologies

  1. Smart process applications and semantics
    ss-big-data-brain1Real business processes are a lot messier than your flow charts. Smart process apps know that.
  2. Advanced analytics
    Smarter, more predictive data. Think Cloudera’s Impala tool for Hadoop
  3. Pervasive BI
    People need business intelligence that comes every hour, not at the end of the month
  4. Process and data cloud services
    Scalable, burstable, and cheap computing capability. PaaS, BaaS, etc. 

Infrastructure and application platforms

  1. Big data platforms
    Infrastructure to handle big data and high speed … and use all that data you’ve been uselessly storing
  2. Breakthrough storage and compute
    Yes, hardware may still be necessary, even if you’re never going to be like Google
  3. Software-defined infrastructure
    Software that dynamically routes your networking and data center capabilities
  4. Cloud application frameworks
    Technologies for deploying and running distributed apps in the cloud, like, perhaps, a multi-continent-spanning database
  5. New identity and trust models
    New federated trust and identity models for a changing world of jobs and careers … and maybe even killing all usernames and passwords

An interesting thought for executives:

If you want a good look at the future of end user computing technologies and sensor and remote computing devices, check winning Kickstarter and IndieGoGo campaigns in the technology and gadget categories. And for a picture of the future for the last two groups above, process data management and infrastructure and application platforms, look at Google and Facebook.

photo credit: ginnerobot via photopin cc

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