Forrester's Brian Hopkins has identified 10 tech trends that enterprise architects should be watching through 2014. The report, released on October 7th, identifies trends that are expected to have a strong impact on IT over the next few years.

The 10 technology trends on Forrester's watchlist through 2014 fall under four categories: Application platforms, integration, infrastructure and operations, and mobile computing.

The Big 10

Forrester rates each technology trend by IT impact, business impact, newness and complexity. According to Hopkins' report, enterprise architects have their work cut out for them for the next few years. All but three of the trends are judged to be of high or very high complexity.

Under the application platforms category, Forrester predicts that companies will be dealing with elastic application platforms and wider adoption of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). The PaaS trend probably needs little explanation. Forrester is predicting that it will "cross the chasm" to wider adoption. As for elastic platforms, Forrester is predicting that enterprises will be seeing more applications that enable scaling by workload. Forrester says companies need to be getting ready with scale-out storage, parallel processing and horizontally scalable databases.


In the integration category, Forrester is expecting data services and virtualization to "reach critical mass." The firm is also predicting that better tools will enable "holistic integration" that will allow firms to "work on application, process, and data integration with a minimum of technology overlap."

Finally, Forrester says that "social technology will become enterprise plumbing." According to Hopkins, tools like Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, and Socialtext will make social interaction part of normal workflows.

Infrastructure and Operations

If you've been paying attention to ReadWriteCloud, the infrastructure and operations categories predictions will look very familiar.

Forrester says that improved virtualization is going to be setting the stage for private clouds, and that network architecture will be evolving to meet the demand for cloud. The third trend to watch in this category, says Hopkins, is that "always on, always available is the new expectation." No argument here. Actually, I'd say that "always on, always available" has been an expectation for quite some time. Whether services live up to it or not is another story.

Mobile Computing

Forrester calls out what we've been observing for some time in the mobile computing category. The first trend here is that enterprise mobile platform strategy is going to change due to personal device momentum. In short, users will increasingly be bringing their own phones and expecting to use them. Forrester notes, correctly, that this will continue to be a problem for asset management and security.

Finally, Forrester says that the "app Internet will usher in the next generation of computing." In short, Forrester is giving enterprise architects a heads-up that apps are becoming more specific, location and context-aware.