Applications Trends for the Medium Term
ERPs or inetgrated suits of transaction processing applications are now standard infrastructure. It is the exploitation of the vast oceans of data captured by these systems that remains a challenge.
Business Intelligence solutions have been around for quite some time but have not become accepted as a "must have" largely because implementations have not always delivered what was promised at the outset.
One approach to BI is to experiment with standard platforms like Analysis Services within Microsoft SQL Servers and try to pilot some solutions with high visibility. Relatively small efforts can easily turbo charge standard MIS in most organizations.
All it requires is a bunch of bright people who are equally conversant with business issues and the technicalities of data staging, cube generation and multi dimensional querying.
Another approach is that being toyed with by Google itself. This would most probably supplement BI efforts where wide availability of simple data is required at the finger tips. The delivery machinery is likely to be based on standard Google search technology which interfaces with transaction processing system databases and other sources of corporate information.
The extension of integration of applications to subsume other domains continues to include the extended enterprise like suppliers, partners, customers, service providers and so on. The ubiquitous web enabled applications are making all this very achievable and gives a comeptitive edge to whoever gets there first.
Technologies like SOA are hastening the integration of isolated automation efforts and also providing standardization and reuse of functionality.
Further augmentation of applications capability is happening with cell phones becoming a channel for dissemination of information in both SMS and browser modes.
Knowledege and Collaboration Management is another exciting area and has a huge payoff potential, but like BI applications, this area needs careful handling as successful models are not readily replicatable.