Nevertheless, social software is being branded by some as a "bubble", with Gartner predicting that the investment bubble for enterprise social software companies will expand next year, before a dramatic burst in 2014. There was too much "overlap" in the market, it said.
As the volume of data consumed by enterprises grows, and the demand for analytics heightens, IDC said it will be a "busy year" for Big Data-driven vendor mergers and acquisitions, around "visual discovery, predictive analytics, and Hadoop analytics".
Tech vendor LG said there will also be a growth in network attached storage, as businesses deliver more content to smartphones and develop a need "to both back this content up and be able to access it remotely".
Testing company SQS Group said the changes in IT were driving a demand for rapid improvements in software analysis and readiness checking.
But the changes also offered a chance for a fresh approach, it said. "There will also be a rise in Testing as a Service - as the IT industry looks to control costs and gain advantages of scale."
Any weaknesses in the underpinnings of cloud technology "will be countered by third party vendors who will begin to offer products mimicking features similar to locally hosted solutions", it said. "This is particularly true in areas such as database backup and recovery."
As more businesses consider using open source software, at least for some parts of their business, they would also consider open source-based testing automation tools, SQS said.
"To offset the up-front cost of implementing test automation, open source products with no licence fees can be utilised to keep the initial investment in test automation low, thus maximising the return on investment," it said.
The increased complexity of business technology was raising tough demands on security technology, experts said.
"Cloud computing will take mobile device (in)security to a whole new level," said vendor Qualys. "And cybercriminals have already demonstrated that the proliferation of mobile devices is a pretty easy way to access the corporate network"
However, it said many cloud services were gradually becoming increasingly mature and secure, and added that 2012 will see "cloud-based security take the heavy lifting and complexity burden off businesses" struggling to cope. It also moves the problem "to an infinitely scalable platform", it said.
The rising maturity of the cloud means business executives - beyond IT - will be aware of potential risks and will demand evidence of strong security. Gartner said. "By 2016, 40 percent of businesses will make proof of independent security testing a precondition for using any type of cloud service," it explained.
Security supplier Trend Micro said the "new social networking generation", which is entering the workplace, will "redefine privacy". It added: "In a few years, privacy-conscious people will become the minorityan ideal prospect for attackers."
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