The app Internet will dramatically alter the Web as users know it, force today’s leading technology vendors to adapt to a new business environment, and affect every job function in the business technology (BT) organization, Forrester Research CEO and Chairman of the Board George F. Colony told more than 1,300 business technology professionals attending Forrester’s IT Forum, Forrester’s largest IT event of the year, which ends today. And despite industry’s preoccupation with cloud computing, Colony said that a standalone cloud or web solution is not the web architecture of the future.

According to Colony, Apple has established leadership in the app Internet space, and web-centric companies such as Google and Facebook are risky bets in the app Internet market due to their overreliance on web-based technologies. Forrester estimates that the app Internet market was $2.2 billion in 2010 with a compound annual growth rate of 85 percent through 2015. To succeed in this market, other established leaders that are borderline contenders in the market, like SAP and Oracle, must determine how they are going to price these apps, and PC vendors such as HP and Dell must reform the PC experience to focus on app stores, which will be on every connected device in the future and serve as the keys to the Internet. Microsoft has important pieces to enable the app Internet — such as its application framework Silverlight — but must transition to a world of low-cost, dynamic applications and out of the old desktop licensing model.

“The future is not written. Any or all of these vendors can change their strategy and move toward app Internet,” Colony said. “Somebody is going to sit down and is going to reinvent themselves. Microsoft, Dell, and HP are candidates for that.”

The app Internet’s impact on the business technology organization will be profound, and Colony provided some insight into how this shift will affect the roles Forrester Research serves. For instance, Colony said Business Process Professionals will not create new applications without the app Internet, CIOs must prove they can embrace customer-centricity through the adoption of the app Internet, and Security & Risk Professionals will have great job security as companies are challenged with how to protect their enterprises in this new model.

IT Forum, a three-day event that features more than 90 sessions for business technology professionals led by 90 Forrester research analysts, focuses on how the business can better leverage technology to build bridges to new business partners, scale innovative solutions, and co-create business and technology strategy.

Keynote speakers at the event include:

  • Michael Ali, Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Harman
  • Eric Gebhardt, Chief Technology Officer & Vice President and Officer of the General Electric Company, GE Energy Services
  • Linda Jojo, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Energy Future Holdings
  • Walter F. Oswald, Corporate Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Motorola Mobility
  • Warren Ritchie, Chief Information Officer, Volkswagen of America

Attendees also had an opportunity to meet one-on-one with Forrester analysts, network with peers, and attend one of three pre-conference Workshops: Quantifying The Value Of Your Technology Solutions For Sales Success, Social Business Strategy, or Transforming Application Delivery.

The Forrester Leadership Boards, Forrester’s exclusive community of leading executives globally, also met on-site. The Leadership Boards’ meetings that preceded IT Forum included the: Analyst Relations Council, Application Development & Delivery Council, Business Process Council, CIO Group, Content & Collaboration Council, Enterprise Architecture Council, Infrastructure & Operations Council, Security & Risk Council, and Sourcing & Vendor Management Council.

IT Forum had more than 15 sponsors – including platinum sponsors MexicoIT and Microsoft and gold sponsor AT&T – that participated in a Solutions Showcase.