HOT Technologies 2009
Krishan Dhawan
Sunday, February 1, 2009
In the wake of the financial market turbulence and security threats imposing corporations, 2009 will drive organizations to re-look at how IT will accelerate their business transformation for future growth. The role of IT in business is becoming critical by the day, as organizations look to save costs and control their overall expenditures. In my view, IT solutions of the future need to enable organizations more and more with valuable insight for effective decisions and ensure transparency for proper governance. In the coming year, it will be critically important for companies to reorient their businesses and look at technologies that will offer practical benefits and a competitive edge.

I clearly see the green agenda gaining top priority in the years to come. Information technology will play a large role in helping companies meet their green initiatives. By combining lean and green practices, companies can potentially save millions of dollars every year by reducing production and energy costs. On the part of IT solution providers, they will have to provide solutions which will support their customers with energy efficient products that will help decrease energy consumption and benefit from cost savings. These would include providing green IT solutions that will cover supply chain management applications, enterprise performance management and business intelligence applications, advanced data compression, governance, risk, and compliance applications, self-service e-billing, etc.

In addition, there are other technologies, that I firmly believe, could help companies – midsized or large, overcome their business challenges and provide a more focused and sustainable future. I’d like to share these with you.

Corporate governance and compliance have acquired prime importance in today’s scenario. Companies cannot afford to ignore it. They must take serious steps to adhere to and comply with given that Indian companies, more and more now, are contributing to the global economy. To compete at a global level, companies have to put in place the best business practices. Regulatory compliance is no longer a choice but a necessity for companies conducting business in an increasingly competitive market place, both in India and abroad. Companies need to treat compliance as a competitive advantage rather than a necessary evil, and technology can help them do that.

Web2.0 is gaining traction because it enables enterprises to integrate platforms of choice and deploy different services for different groups on the web. An array of integrated tools and services are available for delivering context-aware applications, effectively collaborating, and simplifying management and archiving the explosion of unstructured content generated by a wide range of new technologies.

In the current market landscape, companies across the world are increasingly closely monitoring and assessing their workforce’s productivity. Talent Management is emerging as a key focus for companies – be they midsize or large enterprises. HR IT infrastructures, especially human capital management software solutions that enable effective and efficient talent management are gaining importance like never before. It basically consists of a set of integrated business processes including recruiting, performance management, learning management and business intelligence that empower organizations to achieve business goals and optimize performance.

Social CRM applications harness the latest Web 2.0 technologies, empowering users to be more effective and productive by leveraging the knowledge and experience of the broader community. Social CRM applications are highly collaborative and allow individuals and organisations to become 'smarter' by leveraging collective intelligence (like 'network effect’), are easy to use, very focused in their approach, and work both within and outside the barriers of a company.

The rapid growth of online commerce has brought increasing sophistication in Internet fraud. This has resulted in the need for fraud management solutions. Online fraud detection requires the use of multiple IT security tools. It needs to be able to evaluate risk by analyzing data from a variety of sources, including profiles, device fingerprints, IP and other network forensics data, geo-location information, and transactional data. By bringing together various risk factors in a single policy, the right online fraud detection IT mechanism can score the relative risk of a transaction, proactively prevent fraud, and instantly alert the organization to threats. Such technology provides real time and offline risk analysis to maximize the efficiency of capturing and analyzing real-time transaction data, matching the risk profile of the current transaction against historical patterns. These tools will be necessary for organisations to protect, prevent and overcome hackers and other online security threats.

SOA or service oriented architecture is widely being accepted as a foundation technology for gaining operational efficiencies and business agility through adaptable, re-usable business processes and services. It minimizes the risk associated with implementing SOA projects by reducing complex development of integration components, resulting on lower costs and faster time-to-market. Enterprise 2.0 further helps in better adoption and utilization of re-usable services such as SaaS. This model provides significant savings in infrastructure and resource costs as several organizations share a single IT infrastructure. Thus, resulting in effective realizing the goals of SOA architecture.

Finally, no business can mean business if you are not able to utilize your information constructively and to your advantage. Real time business intelligence enables organizations to use the insights gained from their data for more tactical decision-making in today’s competitive scenario. Real-time BI not only works on historical data gathered from data warehouses, but also provides real-time business analytics on information emanating from transactional data sources including Web services, message queues etc. Real time BI can deliver the analysed information and alerts in real-time to business users when and where the information matters. It also provides a platform that enables a structured and collaborative problem-resolution process that ultimately helps optimise business processes.
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