It’s probably a bit late in the year to be paying too much attention to the inevitable predictions that accompany the New Year, but we'll give it one last go. Gartner (news, site) has just released a list of five major trends that will be prevalent in the enterprise software space between now and 2015.

Contained in its latest Market Trends report, it predicts content management, social software, business intelligence, collaboration and supply chain management will be the major applications focus, while the delivery of applications through SaaS models will be the focus of the industry in general.

The focus in the enterprise software industry is on upgrading of build-run-manage technologies to improve agility, establishing cloud-computing infrastructure services and results-reporting transparency," said Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner.

Even this year revenues from enterprise software is predicted to rise by 7.5 per cent from US$ 235.9 billion to US$ 253.7 billion this year, with continued growth until at least 2015, the report says.

For enterprises, the report adds, investment in software is driven by the need to attract new and retain old customers as well as provide enhanced business processes and better collaboration through the use of social networking, managing content and performance reporting.

The five identified trends include:

1. Globalization

This will result in market consolidation and the technology convergence. This will be particularly marked by vendor consolidation that will see fragmented software markets becoming more structured with less vendors in all technology areas.

2. Implementation

Cloud computing and platform-as-a-service along with mobile access to content will grow dramatically over the next several years.

This will be driven by the development of mobile solutions that provide access to new ways of doing business including mobile banking, commerce and even remote healthcare diagnostics.

3. Modernization

Migration to open source software and SOA will quicken as older applications and systems become too difficult and costly to maintain and upgrade. Enterprises will commit considerable resources this year to upgrade all types of systems and software, ranging from personal productivity tools, to build-run-manage infrustructure software and more. Virtualization will be a key factor in modernization.

4. Socialization

Already an established trend, social media and networking will continue to gain traction. Personalization, collaboration and the provision of content in context will be pursued through the adoption of unified communications and collaboration, which will see increased adoption in 2012. Context-aware computing will gain more traction in 2013.

5. Verticalization

Another trend that is striking and particularly obvious in the health and financial sectors is the verticialization of software packages. The trend will see vendors who are providing general technologies moving towards specialized software as the number of deployments they do in particular verticals rises.

Gartner analysts also said that worldwide economic and financial uncertainty, although somewhat improved in 2010, will continue to impact the technology industry through 2011 as end users maintain reduced-cost and controlled-spending strategies.

If you want to find out more on this the findings are outlined in the report Market Trends: Enterprise Software Markets Are Shifting From Bricks and Mortar to 'BRIC and Mortals,' Worldwide, 2011 the report is available on Gartner's website.