Who said you can’t go home again?

Every new year represents some change; the hope of new challenges and opportunities. It is not all that often that a fresh new year also brings such literal and fundamental change, as it has for me this year. I ended 2011 on the vendor-side of things – and I am starting 2012 on the analyst side.

Of course, this is highly familiar ground for me. I was not only an analyst with 451 Research previously, but I have also been a demi-analyst of sorts through my blogging and other non-traditional marketing activities with both SugarCRM  and Basho Technologies.

Coming back to 451 Research is exciting for many reasons: this has always been a great team of highly intelligent individuals with great vision, and the type of analysis here is right up my alley.

In that vein, I wanted to give a heads up around the kinds of technology innovation I plan to make my area of focus. I will cover, as I did in my first go-round here, on core CRM, ERP and other packaged applications. But the world of applications is changing, rapidly and in fascinating ways. I will also cover how social media (and other data sets) are influencing how developers build applications – and how end-users interact with them. Also, I see the cloud and platform-as-a-service creating new and exciting applications choices for businesses of all sizes. PaaS means many things to many people, but I believe we will see even more PaaS development around enterprise apps in the coming months.

As noted above, Data in all its forms and sources is changing how we approach business. We have moved from leaving most of our enterprise data out of the applications we use daily to thinking about “Total Data” in just a few short years. This is an exciting area of technology development, and how data analysis plays into modern apps will be a focus. I am excited about working with the like of Matt Aslett and other team members on this research.

I am also excited to be working with Kathleen Reidy around how technologies such as enterprise search, text analytics, and collaboration/content management tools are shaping new concepts like the “social enterprise.”

Mobile apps – in the business sense – have taken much more of a front seat since I last covered applications – so I will try to keep on top of mobile as well. And again, this will be a collaborative effort to augment this existing strong mobile coverage here.

To sum up…essentially, if it lies at the top of the stack, and is indicative of “cool new tech” – I will probably be interested.

I look forward to speaking with some new, old and familiar technology providers. A lot has changed in the last five years since I last wore an analyst’s hat. But following this change from the vendor-side has given me an interesting angle. I hope my research and ideas offered through 451 Research’s many outlets reflects this in a positive and valuable manner for our ever-growing audience.