Big trends, big awards, read all about it! We kick off 2007 with not only our Readers' Choice Awards, but also a cover feature describing tectonic trends that are rearranging the landscape for business applications. We welcome your feedback on what we should be watching as we prepare content in print and online for the next 12 months.
Along with voting for favorite products and technology providers, we asked readers to tell us the software categories in which they'd be most likely to increase spending and also share their top priorities for 2007. Executive editor Penny Crosman deciphered the results, and I'm reporting her findings here.
As it was last year, data security is the most common area of planned expenditure. Hardly a day goes by without a new hack into some cache of customer or employee data. Spam and privacy concerns are rising dramatically as perpetrators learn their way around antispam software and security controls. BI, data mining and business rules management will be applied to combat this problem.
We also asked, "What are your three most important IT goals for 2007?" Here again, security was the most-cited goal, driven in part by regulatory compliance pressures. Improved stability was an imperative for several readers. And many reported they are striving for better productivity and efficiency. A good number said they are focused on implementing or upgrading particular applications, such as CRM, business process management or ERP. Consolidation was big, but a few had their sites set on expansion. Then again, one reader boiled it down to "Simplify, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY!"
Readers also want more cost-effective data integration and better database performance. We will be covering these topics in 2007. Another said his company is looking for ways to "reduce the hardware footprint." Staff development, training and retention figured in readers' plans; one simply wrote, "Keep my job."
What were readers' biggest IT concerns for the coming year? After security, budget ran a close second. IT managers are under pressure to do more with less. Could this increase the development and implementation of IT best practices, governance and performance management? If so, IT managers may finally get the tools to reduce costs and consolidate with greater intelligence about ripple effects throughout the organization.
"Getting it all done" and "inability to deliver on promises" were two more concerns cited by readers. With excitement--and impatience--brewing on the business side about how advanced information technology could transform operations, service and customer profitability, it's crucial to set realistic expectations. That's what I do: Write out my resolutions and then cut the list in half.
Good luck in 2007 accomplishing what you set out to do. We'll be there with insight to help lead the way.
David Stodder is the editorial director and editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise. Write to him at [email protected].