Wearables Should Underpin Customer-Centric Innovation

JP Gownder

In a new report, we lay out how I&O leaders can leverage wearables as a source of customer-centric innovation as they build their BT Agenda. As we have written, today the I&O role is changing, as business imperatives now shape technology choices and I&O pros are judged on business outcomes. You can only add value and achieve relevancy if you reframe your organization's goals and objectives.

Want an example from a real-life I&O leader? Tim Graham is the IT Innovation Manager for Virgin Atlantic behind the Google Glass pilot in Virgin's Upper Class Lounges at Heathrow.  His job, as he described it at a recent wearables conference where we were both speakers: "To use technology to reshape both customer experiences and operational efficiency." Here’s a video to show how he led Virgin Atlantic’s efforts to deploy Google Glass and Sony smartwatches in the Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow Airport:

To do your job the way Tim does his, you need to take a holistic view of how technology can help your organization. For wearables, there are four essential choices:

  • Company-owned devices that make workers more effective. They’ll serve customers more efficiently and effectively with wearables. In the age of the customer, this can mean reengineering customer service interactions, as Virgin Atlantic has done.
  • Employee-owned devices that make workers individually productive. As more people buy wearables, they’ll become BYO devices that I&O must accommodate.
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Business Continuity Pros, We Need Your Help!

Stephanie Balaouras

Each year, Forrester Research and the Disaster Recovery Journal team up to launch a study examining the state of business resiliency. Each year, we focus on a particular resiliency domain: business continuity, IT disaster recovery, crisis communications, or overall enterprise risk management. The studies provide BC and other risk managers an understanding of how they compare to the overall industry and to their peers. While each organization is unique due to its size, industry, long-term business objectives, and tolerance for risk, it's helpful to see where the industry is trending, and I’ve found that peer comparisons are always helpful when you need to understand if you’re in line with industry best practices and/or you need to convince skeptical executives that change is necessary.

This year’s study will focus on business continuity. We’ll examine the overall state of BC maturity, particularly in process maturity (business impact analysis, risks assessment, plan development, testing, maintenance etc.) but we’ll also examine how social, mobile, analytics and cloud trends are positively and negatively affecting BC preparedness. In the last BC survey, one of the statistics that disturbed me the most was that very few firms assessed the BC preparedness of their strategic partners beyond asking for a copy of their BC plan. And we all know plans are always up to date, tested and specific enough to address the risk scenarios that the partner is most likely to experience (please note the tone of sarcasm in this sentence). I hope this year’s survey shows an improvement; otherwise, most of the industry is in mucho trouble.

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Business Agility Drives Tech Companies To Divide and Innovate - At 60 Billion are the HP Companies Small Enough ?

Craig Le Clair

Somewhat lost in the discussion of HP splitting into two is whether breaking into smaller companies is an unstoppable trend in the tech sector.  HP plans to break itself apart, creating two approximately $60 billion, publicly owned, global companies. No one would consider these small. Companies at a certain size just can't execute at the speed of digital customers today. Heres our take on why.

Marc Adreessen made the point well at Dreamforce last week.  He basically said that tech companies are different from others in that their product is really innovation. The products driving revenue today will be different in three years or less. By contrast, the Campbell Soup Company made soup 50 years ago, and while they may acquire other retail food companies, they will still be selling soup 50 years from now.

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HP Joins The Battle Of Mobile Application Delivery Management in China

Charlie Dai

HP was the first US company to create a joint venture subsidiary in China; three decades later, the vendor has become a major player in the country’s consumer and enterprise markets. Among enterprises, HP has strong brand awareness for its server products and services, traditional software solutions, and IT services, but rather less for holistic application life-cycle management (ALM), especially on the mobile side. I think it’s time for technology decision-makers and enterprise architects to seriously consider adopting mobile app delivery management solutions and to evaluate HP for that purpose. Here’s why:

  • HP’s portfolio now covers the entire mobile app life cycle.The products HP will bring to market as part of its latest strategy will eventually cover the entire mobile application life cycle from app design, development, and optimization to distribution and monitoring. For example, at the design stage, HP Anywhere — based on popular open source product Eclipse — allows developers to write once to multiple devices within its integrated development environment. And its service virtualization feature can help virtualize third-party cloud services and make them consumable across each layer of the system architecture, including web servers, application servers, and web services.
  • HP’s solution has rich optimization features suitable for Chinese enterprises. At the mobile app optimization stage, HP’s Mobile Center uses a comprehensive approach to functionality, interoperability, usability, performance, and security to consolidate and automate mobile testing. Mobile Center is integrated with LoadRunner, one of the most popular performance engineering tools in Chinese market.
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IBM Sheds Yet Another Hardware Business - Pays to Get Rid of Semiconductor Fabrication

Richard Fichera
While the timing of the event comes as a surprise, the fact that IBM has decided to unload its technically excellent but unprofitable semiconductor manufacturing operation does not, nor does its choice of Globalfoundries, with whom it has had a longstanding relationship.
 
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Agile, flexible, modern BI deployments often require help from the professionals

Boris Evelson

Digitally empowered customers — both businesses and consumers — wield a huge influence on enterprise strategies, policies, and customer-facing and internal processes. With mobile devices, the Internet, and all-but-unlimited access to information about products, services, prices, and deals, customers are now well informed about companies and their products, and are able to quickly find alternatives and use peer pressure to drive change. But not all organizations have readily embraced this new paradigm shift, desperately clinging to rigid policies and inflexible business processes. A common thread running through the profile of most of the companies that are not succeeding in this new day and age is an inability to manage change successfully. Business agility — reacting to fast-changing business needs — is what enables businesses to thrive amid ever-accelerating market changes and dynamics.

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Technology Imperatives To Manage The Ebola Outbreak

Skip Snow

The Ebola outbreak serves as a portrait of the fact that the health systems of the globe must be radically interconnected in order to ensure that global outbreaks like this have a chance of being contained. We are not in the 19th century where the massive migrations of populations took place using slow-moving transport and thus where the incubation periods of most diseases would have in all likelihood passed before a person approached a border.

Today I can be infected by a disease, and within hours be on a plane that crosses the world. Traditional public health precautions of quarantining the sick will not necessarily be effective. And so we must think though a better manner of managing what is fast becoming a continental pandemic and could easily become a global pandemic.

The picture above is from the emergency room entrance at Mt. Sinai Hospital on the corner of 100th street and Madison Ave. in Manhattan.

That the disease is out of control just now is documented by the current (October 15th) World Health Organization report on the roadmap to respond to the outbreak (http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/136508/1/roadmapsitrep15Oct2014.pdf?ua=1) which states:

“It is clear however that the situation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is deteriorating, with widespread and persistent transmission.”

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Creating the Data Governance Killer App

Michele Goetz

One of the biggest stumbling blocks is getting business resources to govern data.  We've all heard it:

"I don't have time for this."

"Do you really need a full time person?"

"That really isn't my job."

"Isn't that an IT thing?"

"Can we just get a tool or hire a service company to fix the data?"

Let's face it, resources are the data governance killer even in the face of organizations trying to take on enterprise lead data governance efforts.

What we need to do is rethink the data governance bottlenecks and start with the guiding principle that data can only be governed when you have the right culture throughout the organization.  The point being, you need accountability with those that actually know something about the data, how it is used, and who feels the most pain.  That's not IT, that's not the data steward.  It's the customer care representative, the sales executive, the claims processor, the assessor, the CFO, and we can go on.  Not really the people you would normally include regularly in your data governance program.  Heck, they are busy!

But, the path to sustainable effective data governance is data citizenship - where everyone is a data steward.  So, we have to strike the right balance between automation, manual governance, and scale.  This is even more important as out data and system ecosystems are exploding in size, sophistication, and speed.  In the world of MDM and data quality vendors are looking specifically at how to get around these challenges.  There are five (5) areas of innovation:

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Salesforce.com Enters The BI Market With Wave, The Salesforce Analytics Cloud

Boris Evelson

There just might be another 800-lb gorilla in the Business Intelligence market. In a year.

The popular cult book “Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy” by Douglas Adams defines space as “. . . big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. . .” There are no better words to describe the size and the opportunity of the business intelligence market. Not only is it “mind-bogglingly big,” but over the last few decades we’ve only scratched the surface. Recent Forrester research shows that only 12% of global enterprise business and technology decision-makers are sure of their ability to transform and use information for better insights and decision making, and over half still have BI and analytics content sitting in siloed desktop-based shadow IT applications that are mostly based on spreadsheets.

The opportunity has provided fertile feeding ground to more than fifty vendors, including: full-stack software vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, each with $1 billion-plus BI portfolios; SAS Institute, a multibillion BI and analytics specialist; popular BI vendors Actuate, Information Builders, MicroStrategy, Qlik, Tableau Software, and Tibco Software, each with hundreds of millions in BI revenues; as well as dozens of vendors ranging from early to late stage startups.

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"Business Technology" Spending In The US Will Grow Faster Three To Four Times Faster Than Classic "Information Technology"

Andrew Bartels

In our research over the past two years or so, Forrester has drawn a distinction between "business technology" and "information technology".  Information technology or IT represents the spending on technology goods and services that businesses and governments have been making over the past six decades to run their operations more efficiently and lower business costs.  Business technology or BT in contrast is the technology spending to grow revenues by winning, serving, and retaining customers.  In earlier reports, we identified the leading technologies that are part of what Forrester has called the BT Agenda (see "Top Technologies For Your BT Agenda").  Today, we have published our report that sizes US spending on BT (see "Sizing The US CIO's Business Technology Agenda -- Business Technologies Will Grow Faster Than Information Technologies And Will Exceed Half of New Project Spending").

Here are our key findings from this exercise:

  • BT technologies are more than just the front-office systems for sales and marketing.  They also include software and services for developing new products, handling and fulfilling orders, serving customers, and acquiring the human and partner resources for doing this effectively.  
  • IT technologies will continue to be over 70% of total tech spending through 2017.  Spending on information technology over decades has created a legacy of tech maintenance and operations spending, and firms still need to keep these core systems running. 
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