Who does not love to make predictions? Tis' the season, right?

We posted our Top 10 Enterprise Products for 2009 and so it feels like a good time to provide some perspective on what the enterprise can expect in the year ahead.

Mashups

Mashups are going through a renaissance thanks to the incredible power of cloud computing. These mashups are popping up in any number of ways, especially as business users look for more ways to get answers to problems that previously required technical help from the IT department. Examples are everywhere of this new renaissance. Microsoft is launching Dallas Project as part of Windows Azure. It will give users the ability to combine data from different sources such as data.gov. Even old-school enterprise technologies are getting the treatment. indicee and companies like FusionOps are offering mashup services to pull relevant data from ERP systems.

Collaboration

Collaboration may be the big daddy, the mega trend to watch. We will see if Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 really holds up to its hype. Expect the market to shake out a bit. We're starting to see some vendor bloat out there. There are just too many players competing for a piece of the pie.

Real-Time Enterprise

Email overload is perhaps one of the most common issues we hear about. It's part of the data silo conundrum that plague companies. The real question is how real-time technologies will evolve in the year ahead to help make information more transparent. We are already seeing its evolution. Tibbr is Tibco's new real-time technology. It is defined more by subject than following people. That's in contrast to Salesforce Chatter which serves as an internal social network, aggregating data from Facebook and Twitter.

We expect real-time services to deepen in the enterprise with some really interesting potentials for its integration with business intelligence technologies. For instance, the ability to use predictive analytics to notify people in a real-time stream of trends to watch. Think of the financial services world as an example. Data aggregated in the cloud, mashed up and delivered in a real-time stream. That's powerful stuff.

The Mobile Enterprise

We posted today about IDC's forecast that 1 billion mobile devices will be connected to the Internet by 2013. What that means for the year ahead is a further increase in enterprise apps for mobile devices, and a host of issues that companies must face. Interestingly, Lenovo just bought back its mobile phone group it sold 18 months ago for $100 million, twice its original selling price. Lenovo sees its entire desktop market changing with the advent of mobile devices. In fact, the new desktop is really a smart phone, a netbook or other sub-notebook mobile devices. Mobile spending is up and enterprises are looking at devices like the iPhone. That means a layer of services will be required to protect the enterprise. Expect data security to be a hot issue.

Software-as-a-Service Integrations

The SaaS market will take another turn next year as the rush continues to integrate third-party applications into any number of platforms. Dashboards that show information from multiple data sources will become increasingly important. These SaaS platforms in many ways may serve as replacements for intranets by providing better ways to connect the enterprise to the social Web.

Coming Up in Part 2

A look at API's, web-oriented architectures and the emergence of community management as a required job function in the modern enterprise.