From taking mobile to the next level to preparing for a hybrid cloud world, we offer a dozen suggestions for moving toward progressive IT.
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Hybrid deployments, with some apps on-premises and some in the cloud, look like the future for enterprises large and small. CRM, HR management, Web analytics, and marketing automation apps have all moved heavily into the cloud. Next up will be ERP, with Microsoft (Dynamics) expected to join (sometime in 2012) NetSuite, Oracle (Fusion), SAP (Business ByDesign), and Workday in the cloud.
Hybrid deployments might play out for you in different ways. A common choice will be keeping some apps on-premises while moving others into the cloud. Another choice might be to follow the model of the emerging two-tier ERP approach, in which headquarters uses on-premises software, while divisions and satellites run ERP in the cloud. Similarly, some regulated enterprises are mixing on-premises email for some users, while others are supported by cloud-based apps. In short, expect to see many variations on hybrid deployment in the years ahead.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.