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Top 10 Trends
by Dr. James Canton

The Top Ten IT Trends For 2004 and Beyond: Get Ready for the Real-Time Economy of the 21st Century

2004 will be the year IT becomes a key success driver for the organization. IT will be the builder of the Real-Time Economy wherein total knowledge visibility throughout the supply chain or the enterprise is mission-essential for success. Real-Time will drive the future of IT ROI. This is just the beginning. The IT buzz words for this year such as collaboration, on-demand and real-time will be about enabling the enterprise to do more, faster, more cost-effectively and competitively. 2004 will be a new era for IT executives because for the first time, top management will realize IT is the primary enabling force that can drive competitive advantage. IT will no longer be back room alchemy but a key competency, a weapon used for seizing new market share, forging new alliances and better serving customers. This is also a new era for the CIO-a business accelerator of new opportunities. Here are the top IT trends for 2004 that every IT leader needs to know.

From Web Services to Portals. The evolution of the Internet web services space will become a key competitive weapon for companies in every vertical market-from health care to financial services- special purpose portals will proliferate.

The Emerging Web Smart Infrastructure. The next Net will emerge as a robust, transaction-intensive, streaming application environment enabling supply chains, enterprise productivity and consumer adoption. Look for seamless channel integration from wireless, to digital TV to wearables.

mBusiness. Wireless platforms will be a key driver of business services, enterprise productivity and consumer buying. Look for location and context awareness emerging with the fastest growth in offshore markets. Telematics, wireless auto's are coming.

Business Intelligence. This is the year that business intelligence will become essential as competitiveness becomes an IT worldwide product deliverable. Real-time data mining will give leaders a new view of the business landscape.

Customer Relationship Management. CRM will be redefined as more self-service customer care migrates to the Net. AI-decision support, intelligent agents, data warehousing real-time capture and customer demographic profiling will shape customer service.

Risk Management. In the post-9/11 world, security will drive the business agenda. Everyone wants it but too few are buying and using security. From 128 bit to quantum encryption-the future of security as a product will be mission-critical to the organization. More extensive threats are coming in 2004.

Voice and Data Convergence. Voice will be an important trend this year as the integration of call centers with the web and with data warehouses becomes a business visibility accelerator.

On-Demand Supply Chains. The ability of IT to electronically link producers, agents, suppliers and providers throughout the supply chain will provide optimization enabling customers to see and know more.

Knowledge Engineering. This is the next evolution of knowledge management, total knowledge visibility across the supply chain, or enterprise. KE is the packaging of content, the reuse of knowledge, the capacity of an enterprise to find the right information and get it to the right person at the right time.

IT Metrics. Does IT have a ROI? Metrics will be the IT leaders' challenge to demonstrate the effectiveness of IT on productivity, sales and market growth.

© Copyright 2004 Dr James Canton. All Rights Reserved.

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