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Social and business networks remain a key pillar in transforming enterprise software beyond cloud, mobile and “Big Data.” Social is becoming an important enabler for enterprises, bridging relationships by enhancing information exchange and improving productivity. In addition, business networks are gaining traction, with networked supply chains becoming a critical part of B2B collaboration.

Key trends in 2013 as predicted by analysts:

  • Social Collaboration
    • Identity management: Consumerization of IT will expand beyond mobile devices and proliferate into enterprise security. Lines between work identity and non-work identity will blur.  Enterprises will use consumer social networks' (e.g. Google, Facebook) identity management as a foundation for new authentication, with secure communication transcending beyond firewalls
    • Shift from point offerings to suite: Context will play a defining role for social in articulating value. There will be a shift from best-of-breed applications to embedded technologies including use cases in customer service, HCM, e-commerce, sales, and contract management
    • SMBs and social: Analysts predict that SMB retailers will be carving out up to 24% of their IT budget on social media in 2013; social would be leveraged as a bi-directional platform to gather feedback and to provide awareness on new products. Given SMBs’ limited resource pool, many retailers consider the effort behind social data mining to be their greatest concern

  • Business networks
    • Analysts predict 10x increase on B2B e-commerce (from 2008 to 2013): Improved process automation, increased forecasting needs,  and real-time business essentially translate to more protocols and data connections
    • Holistic view of supply chain: As service excellence emerges as a key differentiator, supply chain organizations will take a much more holistic view of service and products. Disparate systems (PLM, ERP, SCM etc.) will be interconnected and efforts will be made to leverage scale of supplier relationships, rather than approaching them in silos
    • Community-based clouds: Financial services will leverage community based clouds primarily driven by “Fin-tech” providers. This will be more pronounced in the U.S. due to regulatory concerns and budget constraints

Check out SAP slideshare presentation to learn more about the 2013 trends.