Accenture has identified six technology trends that will help business open up new revenue streams.
"They will also help drive innovation and allow the winners to step ahead of the competition," Andrew Poppleton, managing director of Accenture's UK and Ireland Technology Group, told attendees of a Hewlett-Packard customer event in London.
Context-based services is the first among these trends that will impact business in 2012, according to a report by Accenture.
"Who is doing what, where and when will be key to services," said Poppleton.
Examples of the way location information is being used include retailers making offers to entice people into nearby stores and banks to add security through context awareness.
Socially-driven IT is a similar trend that is impacting businesses, with some integrating social media into their core systems and processes.
"Instead of interacting with customers only through call centres, some businesses are adding social media like Twitter as new entry points," said Poppleton.
Six technology trends
- Context-based services
- Converging data architectures
- Industrialised data services
- Socially-driven IT
- PaaS-enabled agility
- Orchestrated analytical security
Technological advances mean that data architectures are converging and an increasing amount of data that is being created is unstructured. But smart businesses are recognising that this unstructured data can be mined to extract a lot of intelligence, according to Accenture.
"I think we will see Hadoop become more mainstream as businesses seek to make better use of all the unstructured data available to them," said Poppleton.
With the industrialisation of data services, he said, businesses now have the ability to use data across traditional silos to get better value out of it. Even working within regulatory confines, Poppleton said some businesses are able to monetise this data to create new revenue streams.
The fifth trend identified by Accenture is platform-as-a-service (PaaS) enabled agility. "The emphasis here is on 'agility'; because the relative maturity of PaaS means the main driver is no longer cost," he said. PaaS enables businesses to test ideas more easily and at lower cost.
With the industrialisation of data services, businesses now have the ability to use data across traditional silos to get better value out of it
Andrew Poppleton, Accenture
"Organisations can move faster in terms of innovation. This is bringing a new wave of opportunity beyond test and development into the production environment," said Poppleton.
Orchestrated analytical security is the sixth trend that Accenture believes will impact business in the coming months.
Here, the emphasis is on "orchestrated", said Poppleton. "Security is fundamental to everything we do, but businesses are realising it is no longer enough to have the best security software in place; when a breach does occur, they need to be able to identify the threat and manage it going forward," he said.
According to Accenture, the six technology trends each represent an opportunity to businesses to add value and be a differentiator.