Many companies have been making critical decisions about the architecture of Internet and mobile applications based on flawed assumptions dating from the Internet bubble. Research published by Giga, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrester Research, Inc., (NASDAQ: FORR) debunks these flawed notions and lays out a new model that defines seven key dimensions for architecture strategy. The model is used to predict the key trends through 2006 that will shape Internet and mobile architectural strategy for both technology buyers and vendors.

“Many companies have been investing in Internet and mobile strategies based on flawed assumptions such as `’he browser is always the best user interface,’ or ‘all processing should be centralized on application servers,'” said Mike Gilpin, Research Fellow at Forrester. “Yet experience with some large vendors shows that a more balanced approach on these seven key architectural dimensions can better satisfy business requirements, leveraging rich clients, peer-to-peer processing, and other recent innovations to optimum effect.”

The seven key dimensions for making interdependent decisions about system, network and application architecture are:

  1. Process distribution, from centralized to highly distributed or peer to peer
  2. Connectivity, from always connected to rarely connected
  3. Data distribution, from centralized to highly distributed
  4. Mobility, from stationary to always mobile
  5. Urgency of communication, from real-time to batch/asynchronous
  6. Business service sourcing/sharing, from completely insourced and local, to completely outsourced
  7. Power of service consumer, from the buyer’s market to the seller’s market

New Model Has Predictive Power

Devising the optimum architecture for Internet and mobile efforts today is desirable, but the real power of the new model comes from its usage in predicting future trends on all seven dimensions, with specifics of how Giga expects these trends to develop year by year through 2006. Any company planning significant new Internet and/or mobile initiatives in the next few years should study this model and the recommendations flowing from it to better understand which architectural strategies will be most appropriate at each stage as these trends play out.

What It Means for Technology Buyers

Knowing what architectural strategies will be required for the next few years can dramatically improve the cost-effectiveness of technology acquisition to support those strategies. The report details six specific strategies that buyers and users should employ to optimize spending on information technology, ranging from taking advantage of rich clients to taking advantage of externally marketed shared services.

What It Means for Vendors

Vendors looking to take advantage of these trends will need to employ technical and business strategies with greater flexibility than has been required in the past. Service-oriented architecture is not just a technical challenge, but a business model challenge, too. Giga’s report details four specific strategies vendors and service providers should employ, ranging from looking to enable added architectural flexibility to finding new ways of delivering value to customers.

What It Means for Investors

Investors can also formulate a number of possible investment philosophies from the principles outlined in the report. Several such possible theses are presented at a high level, not giving specific investment advice, but as background for the development of investment strategies by qualified professionals.

The research mentioned in this press release is available to Giga Advisory clients and can be found through