Trends 7 and 8

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

Despite a brutal economy and tight budgets, organizations are making plans to deploy the technologies that are most likely to drive their business in 2010. Here are 10 business and technology trends that will help solidify those plans.

7 Security, E-Discovery and Business Continuity

Cyber-security, business continuity and managing risk are all core issues for any organization. Although the Internet and increasingly sophisticated technology have created enormous business opportunities, the risk of a security breach and the threat of downtime are growing. Worse, the cost of a failure can prove catastrophic.

“Security risks are growing exponentially,” says Leonard Eckhaus, the founder of the Association for Computer Operations Management (AFCOM), an organization for data professionals. Botnets, insider threats, social engineering and new types of malware are proliferating. “The data center is more vulnerable than ever,” he says. According to AFCOM, 20 percent of data centers don’t even take the time to screen employees.

Unfortunately, as the calendar rolls over to 2010, this laissez-faire attitude about security and other risk-oriented issues—including business continuity and e-discovery—could prove costly. Baseline found that 70 percent of companies expect little or no significant investment in security, and 71 percent expect little or no significant investment in business continuity.

“There’s a growing need to develop robust security policies and manage them centrally,” says Michael Chapman, director of digital security for Santa Monica, Calif.-based Ascent Media, which handles film distribution and postproduction for film studios. Software such as LogRhythm SIEM 2.0, which Ascent uses for integrated log and security event management reporting, will likely play a prominent role in the coming year and beyond.

More advanced security tools and techniques are gaining traction, too. These include data loss prevention (DLP), which monitors data flow and identifies and blocks unauthorized data sharing; whole-disk encryption; and double-factor authentication. Savvy organizations also recognize that a down economy is no time to back off from mission-critical needs such as business continuity and e-discovery.

“The growth of records and the demand for storage are making e-discovery imperative,” says Brandon D’Agostino, electronically stored information counselor at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, headquartered in Columbia. “Organizations must place a greater emphasis on the life cycle of documents and identifying all the copies out there.” The health care provider uses software from Clearwell Systems to manage a growing mountain of data.

Cautions AFCOM’s Eckhaus: “The stakes have never been higher.”

8 Advances in Application Infrastructure

The enterprise has long been dominated by large and somewhat unwieldy applications. But the Internet is changing things dramatically and in ways that no one could have imagined only a few years ago. One of the biggest trends is the widespread use of open source code. From running operating systems to handling Web programming, it has changed the face of computing.

Anne Thomas Manes, a vice president at Burton Group, says that open source will continue to gain followers in 2010. And Baseline found that 22 percent of IT executives expect increased investment in application infrastructure next year.

At the same time, Manes sees ongoing interest in software as a service, SOA and business process management. Major enterprise applications are also opening up through APIs, and many of them are moving into the cloud as well. Not surprisingly, mainstream software providers are tweaking and adapting their applications to keep pace with the growing demand.

Tight budgets and an attempt to move away from costly, monolithic products have also led many companies to adopt smaller, niche solutions, says Paul Clemmons, lead for emerging technologies at Deloitte Consulting. For example, Google’s cloud-based desktop applications are creeping into the enterprise. And new players are offering niche solutions for an array of tasks, including CRM, BI, financials and e-mail. In addition, rich-application platforms such as Adobe AIR are emerging.

“These apps promise to extend the life of current investments and provide a better user experience,” says Clemmons.

This article was originally published on 2009-12-08
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
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