This is an age of constantly emerging technology that has far-reaching effects on all aspects of business planning and scalable innovation. As enterprise organizations stand at the edge of major shifts in processes and approach, challenges around raising returns, lowering overall costs, and speeding up go-to-market rates remain paramount. Yet, many companies are only now acknowledging the breadth of technology that exists to support these global initiatives.

This April, we’re going to focus on current emerging technologies and their integral connection to enterprise innovation and market relevance.

Collaboration, Mobility, and Devices

Collaboration — and the technology that facilitates it across disparate regions — plays a critical role in how the enterprise approaches innovation. As workforces grow and expand across myriad time zones and cultures, finding more effective ways of bringing teams together is as imperative to project completion as it is to saving revenue. Tools like enterprise social networks and mobile conferencing are worthy investments, especially for organizations with high-speed growth trajectories.

DataRPM’s Gautam Shyamantak makes an excellent observation about the importance of these existing and emerging technologies. He says, ”When we discuss emerging technologies, we [cannot] ignore the tremendous focus on mobility. IDC estimates that more than 1.7 billion mobile phones will ship this year, with the predicted number reaching around 2.2 billion in 2016…Our most useful asset has become our smartphone. According to Gartner, 900 million connected devices were in use in 2009, by 2020 the market research firm expects the number to climb to 26 billion. The era of connected smartphone to connected smart devices is upon us. Can you imagine the type of industry enhancement this will make when we start connecting this type of technology to enterprise practices?”

Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Disruption

Next-generation enterprise companies are exceptional at embracing change, as well as building cultures and strategies that are flexible enough to facilitate it. As new tools and innovative approaches become available, these organizations adjust how they incorporate processes, structure their hierarchies, and maintain technology solutions. By willingly renovating the way they get things done, they’re able to successfully align their business models in today’s collaborative — and highly digital — economy — a vital transition to consider in order to maintain market relevance. Ultimately, this will help organizations avoid negative disruption and continue to engage with and provide value to their customers.

There have been several shared predictions about which emerging technologies will infiltrate the enterprise in the near future, particularly around big data and predictive analytics. When it comes to enterprise innovation, both present very clear opportunities and challenges. This article from MongoDB explains that “With Big Data databases, enterprises can save money, grow revenue, and achieve many other business objectives, in any vertical.” For example, “Big data might allow a company to collect billions of real-time data points on its products, resources, or customers – and then repackage that data instantaneously to optimize customer experience or resource utilization. For example, a major US city is using MongoDB to cut crime and improve municipal services by collecting and analyzing geospatial data in real-time from over 30 different departments.” Of course, how exactly to use Big Data is not always clear — especially with respect to how much data to store, associated costs, security, and maintenance.

Predictive analytics are only as valuable as an organization’s ability to leverage existing information. “Often,” says Black Light Solutions’ Chance Coble, “that means starting with basic questions about your business, its opportunities, efficiency and risk and then using the evidence available to answer those questions. Predictive analysis is one of the basic tools for accomplishing this, and is essential when it comes to handling big data applications.”

Moving forward, what emerging technologies do you expect to see integrated in enterprise-level organizations, and how do you think they’ll change the way things are done? Tell us about it in the comments.