Overall, developers should keep an eye on four major technologies -- the cloud, mobile computing, social networking, and big data. Researcher IDC recently noted that spending on these areas is growing at about 18 percent per year and is expected to account for at least 80 percent of IT spending growth between now and 2020.
Here are seven enterprise development predictions for 2012:
1. The Cloud Landscape Will Mushroom
All cloud markets will continue to grow. In fact, the total cloud market (private, virtual private, and public cloud markets) will reach about $61 billion by the end of 2012, predicted Forrester analyst Holger Kisker. By far, the largest individual cloud market continues to be the public SaaS market, which will hit $33 billion by the end of 2012.
In 2012, Kisker said he expects more and more infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) vendors to offer technology platform services, platform vendors to offer software services, and application vendors to add business process services into their products and services.
Also on the horizon are a new wave of SaaS implementations, said Kisker, who expects to see more SaaS solutions for product life-cycle management (PLM), business intelligence (BI), and supply chain management (SCM).
2. The HTML 5 Juggernaut Will Continue to Roll
HTML5 is coming on strong as a standard, accelerated by the speed at which hardware devices are changing.
Microsoft has adopted HTML5 for Windows 8, Internet Explorer 9 and upcoming versions of the browser and other products.
The onset of HTML5 also drove Adobe to halt its development of its Flash technology for mobile browsers.
Al Hilwa, an IDC analyst, has predicted that 90 percent of smartphones and tablets will sport HTML5-capable browsers by 2013.
3. Get Ready for 'Internet Everything'
The Internet of things is leading to the Internet of everything, said Gartner analyst David Cearley recently.
He noted that 50 percent of Internet connections already occur between things rather than people, and this trend is growing rapidly because the cost of connected electronic devices is dropping very quickly.
Cearley said contextual and social user experiences will become more important, particularly using features such as identity, time, location, social networks, and sensors like GPS devices and near-field communications (NFC).
What this means for enterprise developers is tremendous demand for the creation of Internet-centric apps and solutions that will connect legacy apps to the Internet.