Big Data

Tech trends for 2012: Where career potential lies

Nucleus Research, Inc. has released its top ten tech trends for 2012. It pros should take a look at the predictions to see if there is any career potential.

Nucleus Research, Inc. has released its top ten tech trends for 2012. We're seeing a lot of the same predictions from the Gartner Symposium so IT pros would be wise to check these out for possible career enhancement.

1. The Productive Enterprise

Nudged by the ready adoption of Facebook, many enterprise software vendors are incorporating social capabilities to their apps. But, according to Nucleus, for every organization that has successfully adopted social capabilities, there are two that struggle to make it work. The biggest concern is that social media will leach productivity (like Facebook does) without adding to the collaboration wanted. Savvy enterprises will find a way to align social tools to support clear business purposes.

2. The cloud will change development

The cloud has made development faster and more iterative. When changes can be made on the fly, companies can deploy once and then adapt an app as business needs change. As we go forward, the cloud will make development more virtual. Crowdsourcing efforts and the integration of social networking tools into the dev environment will provide opportunities for developers no matter where they live.

3.  SAP will reemerge

SAP revenues have gone up and the company has introduced innovations in areas like mobile device access. According to the report:

We've started to see real traction with Business ByDesign. This is partly because customers that have growth aspirations are also risk averse given the economy. Also, cloud delivery makes BusinessBy Design less onerous to support than traditional ERP deployments.

Nucleus also cites last year's exodus of top-level executives to be a good thing for its future.

4. Going big

Nucleus thinks that tech buyers are increasingly "going to look at big vendors with an 80 percent solution versus a best-of-breed application that must be managed, integrated, and negotiated separately."

5. More ways for everyone to manage big data

Nucleus recognizes that although big data is definitely being overhyped, "companies will soon make smarter decisions using analytics to comb through huge amounts of data." (I recently ran a piece about how to get started in the data analytics field.) The report says that this is one area where we'll continue to see innovation, like integration of field-programmable gate arrays.

6. Capital will move from labor to technology

While the unemployment rate will continue to hover near 10 percent, Nucleus sees technology hiring going up. A recent Nucleus survey (Nucleus Research 106, Nucleus 2012 IT spending survey, September 2011) found that technology spending is winning hands down. And there will be the need for people to support those technologies and to train end-users.

7. Smarter software

Nucleus says, "We expect to see more intelligent applications that search for and push information related to what workers are doing directly to their desktop, a rise in usability for analytical and text mining tools whose capabilities were previously only for the gearheads, and presence and location monitoring to drive new ways we interact with enterprise software."

8. Labor will get optimized

Nucleus claims that workforce management software will change to show which employees are the most productive, show up on time, and create the least scrap. "Workforce management vendors such as Dayforce and Kaba are now delivering this data to managers by combining analytics tools with data gathered at time and attendance kiosks." Slackers, beware!

9. Healthcare investment

Although the technology for moving paper health records into electronic form as been around for a while, Nucleus says that the availability of low-cost secure cloud applications such as those from Digitech Systems will drive significant investment in 2012.

10. Renewed focus on customer experience

Nucleus says it continues to see str5ong investment in CRM and related applications. They expect to see more investment in analytics, activity monitoring, and big data crunching as companies aspire to "the prefect combination of targeting, touching and treating their customers."

The full Nucleus Top 10 Predictions 2012 research note is available at


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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