Which Public Cloud Platform Is Right For You - Round Two

James Staten
Determining which public cloud platforms your company should standardize on is not a matter of marketshare, size or growth rate. What matters most is fit for purpose - yours. And that’s exactly what our latest Forrester Wave of this market helps you determine. 
 
And the key questions to ask have nothing to do with the vendors in question. They are all about you - your team’s skill sets, needs and requirements. Will you mostly be building lightweight web and mobile applications from common web services you’d rather not recreate yourself? What skills do your developers bring to the problem - deep knowledge of Java and C# but light on the infrastructure configuration and middleware management front? Need to ensure data residency in specific geographies? Compliancy top your concerns list? These factors are far more important than feature by feature comparisons. Ultimately your platform selection needs to match your business requirements, and if our surveys can be trusted, you desire agility and developer productivity over most other concerns.
 
Where Amazon Web Services may best suit your DevOps teams with strong desire to control everything themselves, your web properties team may be far more productive on Mendix or Outsystems.
 
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Information Governance: Not A Product, Not A Technology, Not A Market

Cheryl McKinnon

The Information Governance report is out! Over the last few months I've test-driven my thoughts and data with many vendors and enterprise customers via conference presentations, webinars, and one-on-one discussions. For those who have shared their thoughts with me - thank you! Forrester subscribers can access it here.

Information Governance is red hot right now, and it was time for Forrester contribute a view on how IG helps companies meet their core corporate missions. Of course, better, consistent fulfillment of compliance obligations is essential, but so are objectives such as customer service, revenue growth, and improved agility in oh-so competitive markets. IG is not just about getting rid of junk content, it is - more importantly - about instilling trust in the data and communication we use to run our businesses.

Software is not a silver bullet for information governance. Look beyond vendor hype - IG is not something to go buy so you can say your company has it. Look at IG as an evergreen corporate objective, enabled by programs, policies, people- and yes, a range of technologies.

I'm going to add to the IG definition war this week, by describing information governance as:

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Software Is At The Heart Of A New Healthcare Revolution

Skip Snow

Automation drove weavers from their looms in the industrial revolution. The Internet’s and tools facilitated the movement of manufacturing process for most software from the high priced markets in the US to India. So too the digitalization of health records combined with the insight that data yields and embed into work flow engines of care delivery will radically change the healthcare ecosystem.

Since I joined Forrester research, in the fall of 2013, my perceptions of what drives change has changed. I thought that the socio-political forces were driving software to change healthcare. Now I think software is driving changes to the socio-economic fabric. While we pundits are busy noticing:

  • EMRs being implemented.
  • Master patient indexes are rolling out.
  • Capabilities shifting to mobile.
  • Insurance companies rolling out tools to better track and communicating with consumers.
  • Startups forging new methods and business models to engage patients.
  • Large consumer companies making moves to gain access to our healthcare data by offering us free tracking tools.
  • Telehealth encounters becoming increasingly important to the administration of care.
  • Big data and cognitive computing changing our understanding of epidemiology and personalized care decisions.
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Announcing Forrester’s 2015 B2C Commerce Suites Wave

Peter Sheldon

Over the past 3 days some 30,000 retail attendees from across the globe gathered in New York’s Javits Center for the annual National Retail Federation Big Show. This year there was a visible increase in both the number of commerce technology vendors exhibiting and the size of their respective booths. For the eBusiness, omni-channel, merchandising, digital and business technology teams in attendance, 2015 will represent another year of robust investment in commerce suite technology. However, retailers face a daunting task differentiating between the vendors in what is an increasingly mature solution space. As luck would have it, Forrester has just released our 2015 Commerce Suite Platforms Wave update to help you. We spent the last 4 months putting eleven of the leading commerce technology vendors through a grueling process of due diligence, product demos, capability assessments and customer reference checks. We looked beyond features to examine toolset usability, extensibility, integration of suite modules, and innovation strategy. Here’s what we found:

  • Demandware, hybris, IBM, and Oracle Commerce lead the pack. These four vendors represent the best of the best and reflect a solution space that has been maturing since its inception 15 years ago. These  vendors go head-to-head in almost every midmarket and enterprise commerce deal and for the buyers of these solutions, the ultimate selection decision often comes down to price, vision, and alliances more than functionality and features. When it comes to the core capabilities (such as pricing, offers, site search, promotion, carts, and checkout), these vendors all pack a heavy punch, with extensive, mature capabilities that, frankly, go beyond the needs of many of their clients.
     
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Your 2015 Mobile Insurance Resolution? Align Your Mobile Insurance Strategic Plan With Changing Market Realities

Ellen Carney

Like most of us, you probably made a few resolutions you’re hoping to keep in 2015—eating better, exercising regularly, and  reading more.  Why not add one more resolution that will help you, your company and more importantly, your customers and agents?  Keep your mobile insurance strategy current with new technology; customer, employee, and partner expectations;  and pressures that are coming from competitors and more importantly, non-insurance competitors.   Because one thing’s for sure—the pace of change in mobile and insurance is crazy, as evidenced by all the new examples of mobile insurance innovation that we uncovered while writing our soon-to-be published update of our 2012 report,  “The Future Of Insurance Is Mobile”.

Need some help in updating your mobile strategic plan? Earlier this week, we published a major update to the Strategic Plan chapter in Forrester’s  Mobile Insurance Playbook. The report, “Get Mobile Insurance Strategy Right By Designing For Customers' Mobile Moments”, answers two essential questions: How do we build a strategic plan, and what should be in that strategy?  It also provides a framework for the plan that encompasses four processes:

  1. Identify mobile moments and context.
  2. Design the mobile engagement.
  3. Engineer processes, platforms, and people for mobile.
  4. Analyze results to monitor performance and optimize outcomes.
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Has Technology Changed How We Think?

Shar VanBoskirk
I've just started work on a report tentatively titled "How People Choose." I'm interested in studying how technology is influencing user decision processes. My hypothesis is that technology is fundamentally rewiring us so we actually rely more heavily on gut-based decisions than on well-rationalized ones. If you buy Daniel Kahneman's notions of fast and slow thinking (others have called it irrational and reasonable, or emotional vs rational thought), then my theory is that people are outsourcing more and more of their rational decisions to technology. This means, that what is left for most of us is a heavier reliance on our fast thinking, our impulses, and our gut-based response, when making decisions.
 
If this hypothesis is true, then marketers should actually focus on influencing impulse, rather than all of the linear, direct-response types of marketing sequences they prioritize today.
 
I'm just kicking off my research, so my overall hypothesis may evolve as I get some research under my belt. But my end goal is to write a report for marketing execs that would help them think through HOW to influence user decisions in a future where the fundamentals of how we make decisions have changed.
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Customer Obsession Differentiated Uber's Hailing Services In China

Gene Cao

Uber faces fierce competition in China from local taxi hailing service providers Didi and Kuaidi Taxi, which both launched Uber-style e-hailing services in 2014. Both providers use a costly subsidy model to entice taxi users to switch to e-hailing services. Kuaidi Taxi, which recently received $700 million in Series D funding to buy more self-owned e-hailing vehicles, has hired more drivers and continues to provide subsidies. Uber has a smaller user base than either Didi or Kuaidi and limited funds that it can leverage — so to win customers in China, Uber must engage customers differently. Uber can leverage its global organization’s existing customer analytics strategy and tools to better understand their (potential) customers and engage with them throughout the customer life cycle.

On New Year’s Eve 2014/2015, it was predicted that taxi service would be unobtainable as people concentrated on the New Year countdown. Uber analyzed historical customer data and was able to provide more appealing e-hailing options than Didi’s and Kuaidi’s cash coupons. Uber contacts customers in advance and asks them to confirm any rate increases due to its dynamic pricing model; this helps to set the correct expectations with customers about fares:

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What Will You Do Differently In 2015?

The start of a new year provides an opportunity to take stock of our environment and do things a bit differently. This year, I am addressing the role microvideo can play within a marketing strategy. 
 
Though we all enjoy receiving information about items that are of personal interest, we may find we have a few “go-to” sites.  This may be due to the presentation of the content, the ease with which we can interact with it, or a host of other reasons. Microvideo is versatile and provides numerous opportunities for marketers. Let’s use color as an analogy for this type of content. I have certain colors in my wardrobe because they work across a multitude of other colors. Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 color of the year, is described as an “elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors.” 
 
 Twitter profile for Pantone highlighting 2015 color of the year Marsala
 
Microvideo is similar. It can stand on its own or supplement targeted interactions with your customers. Just take a look at what Lowe's has done to keep us inspired. 
 
Vine profile for Lowe's
 
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Application Security Technologies List

Tyler Shields

Roughly a year and a half ago I began a process of measuring the importantance of technologies in the mobile security space. I'm currently beginning that same process for the application security market. Many technologies exist that provide business value to enterprises for the security of their applications, but which ones are better at delivering on the business value that the enterprise really wants? Have any of these technologies outlived their usefullness, falling to innovation and new ideas? Which technologies should the enterprise prioritize spending their limited security budget on? I hope to answer these questions and more!

I've identified nine distinct application security technologies that make up the application security market. (Link to additional details!). I'm sure there are technologies that I've missed and arguments to be made to remove something. As always, my research is significantly improved with your help! 

If you are interested in participating in this research or have feedback on the technology list, respond via this web form, in the comments below, or via email / tweet to tshields@forrester.com (@txs). 

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Push Notifications Change The Way Consumers Engage With Apps

Nicole Dvorak

Every time I download a new app to my smartphone, it bombards me with requests for personal details like my contacts, my location, my email, and my photos – followed by a request, “Name of App would like to send you push notifications.” After it’s asked for all those details, I almost always choose “Don’t Allow.”

And I’m not alone. Forrester’s Q2 2014 US 3D Panel Online Survey shows that US smartphone owners are also selective when it comes to the apps they choose to allow push notifications; about six in 10 only accept push notifications from a select number of apps, while 17% don’t accept them from any app at all. Why are consumers so discriminating? Because more often than not, people find these unsolicited app notifications are irrelevant, too frequent, and, most of all, annoying. If I were to allow push notifications from every app I use each month, there wouldn’t be a quiet hour in my day. How can companies create a better experience and use push notifications to deliver added value to their consumers?

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