Home How Will Technology Disrupt the Enterprise in 2011?

How Will Technology Disrupt the Enterprise in 2011?

We just looked at some potentially disruptive technologies that fall outside the usual domain of the enterprise.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the more near-term challenges facing the enterprise as seen by Constellation Research Group. In the first report from this newly formed consulting organization, co-founder R “Ray” Wang lists a set of five core disruptive technologies: social, mobile, cloud, analytics and unified communications. Together, these technologies could form a working definition of “enterprise 2.0.” I’d add next-generation network and storage technology to that list and perhaps swap analytics with “big data,” of which analytics is a subset, but these five serve as a good starting point.

In Constellation’s Research Outlook For 2011, the consulting group’s analyst team identifies generating business value as the core issue for enterprises taking advantage of its five listed core enterprise 2.0 technologies. To this end, the report identifies three main challenges for decision makers.

  • Assessing which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations.
  • Identifying how these technologies can be applied to generate business value.
  • Finding ways to fund investments and cut the costs of legacy investments.

Constellation’s analysts go on to make several predictions for 2011. We’ve broken most of them down by category.


  • Social and collaborative technology will be noisy and confusing in 2011. Social technology will come from four camps: pure play enterprise social software vendors; ERP and CRM providers adding a social layer to existing products; networking and UC providers adding social networking to VOIP and online meeting offerings, and specialist HR and LMS vendors extending offerings to include collaboration.

  • The social media landscape will undergo an interesting transformation as it ushers in a genre of information commerce and the 3 C’s of social content: creation, curation and consumption.

  • Tools, networks and services that cater to the role of the curator will emerge. Examples in the consumer space include Storify, Curated.by, Pearltrees and Paper.li.

  • Organizations will realize that for social media to feel sexy there is a lot of work that needs to happen behind the scenes.


  • IT will support at least two or three mobile devices per person: smart phones, laptops and maybe tablets or other use-specific devices.

  • Organizations will get serious about mobilizing apps and embrace the platforms to support mobility.

  • Android will become more enterprise friendly by fixing major manageability issues.


  • 2011 will be the year when SaaS providers find the issue of security turning from a perceived weakness of their offerings to a perceived strength.

  • Despite this, private clouds will prevail in 2011.

See also: 14 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2011 from Chirag Mehta and R “Ray” Wang.


  • Social analytics will evolve from ad hoc experiments into refined information services.

Unified Communications

  • Large enterprises will stall on adoption of cloud for voice communications.


  • Corporate IT spending will barely keep up with dollar inflation.

  • Technology refresh cycles will accelerate through 2011.

  • Organizations will cautiously recommit to BPO and the distinction between BPO and ITO will blur.

  • Organizations that reevaluate their IT strategies and contracts hand in hand will save the most money.

  • Organizations held hostage by high and useless software maintenance contracts will lead a massive backlash.

We’ve seen a lot of predictions for 2011 by this point. What do you think of these?

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